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.
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 systems.
Like any piece of equipment, your boiler will eventually have to be replaced one day. Here are five signs that will help you determine if a replacement system is in order.
If your boiler’s age is close to 20 years old–or older–you’ll save money on your annual heating costs by replacing it with a new, more efficient system. New oil boilers heat your home using significantly less energy compared to older generation equipment.
Just like your water heater, if you see outward signs of rust on your boiler, its time is running out. A professional inspection may also reveal damage to piping or other boiler components.
Is your old boiler keeping you warm enough? A properly working oil boiler should keep you comfortable even on the coldest New Jersey nights, but a boiler’s operating performance diminishes with the passage of time.
Your boiler’s efficiency slowly degrades the older it gets. Lower efficiency means higher heating costs. Add in a higher number of repairs for an old system and this is another strong sign that you would do well to let go of your old oil boiler and upgrade to a new one.
If you depend on your boiler to heat your domestic hot water—and you’re not getting as much hot water as before–this could be a sign of a leaking or corroded coil on the boiler, a warning of potential boiler failure.
The latest oil boilers (as well as furnaces) are small, smart and super-efficient and can save you 20% or more on your annual heating costs. There are many different equipment options to fit your budget and your local heating oil company has expertise in all types and models of oil heating equipment.
To see how you can save on heating costs with a new, high-efficiency system, reach out to your local heating oil service provider and they’ll be glad to crunch some numbers for you. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much you could actually save. Equipment rebates for new boilers are also available! Read more here.