Since North Jersey has five times the number of boilers as the national average–South Jersey has 2.5 times as many– there’s a good chance you may be among the many homeowners in the Garden State who rely on a boiler to stay warm during the winter.
And with another heating season upon us, it’s a good idea to review the basics of how a heating oil boiler keeps a home warm. That way, if you run into heating issues over the next few months, you’ll be better prepared to discuss the situation with your heating oil service technician.
There are two main types of boilers found in New Jersey homes: a steam boiler, most often found in older homes, and the modern, and more energy-efficient, hot water boiler. Steam boilers require special safety precautions because of the temperature of the steam (the water must be heated to 212°F). As a result, it is vitally important to follow a regular maintenance schedule.
Your boiler extracts heat from heating oil as it burns; this heats the water (or creates steam) that will run through the zones that are calling for heat. The heat is delivered through your radiators or baseboards.
The problem is that some heat (as much as 30% in some older boiler models) will be lost as exhaust, which means you are paying a lot of money for heat that will never reach your living space. See how much you could save with a new boiler installation.
A more efficient version of the hot water boiler is the condensing boiler, which is designed to keep heat loss to a minimum. By recycling heat from the exhaust process – and by operating at lower temperatures overall – your condensing boiler can improve operating efficiency by 10-15% compared to a non-condensing boiler.
However, a condensing boiler is not practical for all homes. Plus, condensing boilers cost more to manufacture. Installing a condensing boiler correctly requires highly trained technicians who know how to capitalize on the efficiency benefits of these sophisticated heating oil systems.
Regular maintenance is a vital money-saving investment for heating systems– not just because it can keep your equipment running safely and at peak efficiency, but also because four out of five heating system breakdowns are preventable if you follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.
A tune-up allows your heating oil technician to fix minor issues before they become big problems (worn parts, etc.). Regular tune-ups can also help you conserve heating fuel over the winter.
Your professional heating oil technician will conduct many tests to make sure your heating system is running at the best possible efficiency. Any adjustments and repairs can be done after this initial evaluation. Here are some of the tests they may do:
Contact your local New Jersey heating oil service to find out more about arranging for boiler maintenance. You’ll get a more efficient system and peace of mind. And you’ll also be all set to go when winter returns to the Garden State.