Boilers can use a lot of energy providing hot water, steam, and space heating.
Boilers are closed vessels that heat water to provide hot water or steam for industrial and institutional processes, as well as space heating. Boilers can use a lot of energy providing these types of services. Installing the most efficient boiler system or upgrading your existing system to a higher standard can therefore help lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Improving Boiler Efficiency
There are three key considerations when it comes to having an efficient boiler:
- Buy the most efficient unit. Boilers over 20 years old are likely operating at just 60 to 70% efficiency, meaning a lot of energy is being wasted. Comparatively, newer conventional models have efficiencies of 70 to 85%, while more modern high-efficiency "condensing" boilers can be 95% efficient. Given boilers have a typically life cycle of 25 years, investing in an energy-efficient option can generate considerable savings.
- Right-size your system. When picking a boiler system, one of the critical considerations is that it can meet your needs year-round. However, buying a single large boiler to meet peak demand, such as heating demand in the winter, may actually be an inefficient choice. In such cases, it might make more sense to either install a separate, smaller boiler to operate during off-peak periods, or to consider implementing a series of smaller boilers, each of which can be brought online as needed. Enhancing your boiler system's versatility in this manner is especially worthwhile if you have highly variable needs or seasonal demands.
- Maintain your boiler. Simple steps, such as keeping the boiler clean of excess deposits (or scale) on the waterside of the boiler tubes can make real differences that add up over time. These deposits can inhibit heat transfer and reduce overall efficiency. Similarly, identifying and repairing leaks, faulty gaskets and other openings can improve boiler efficiency. To minimize these potential wastages, make sure your boiler is maintained by a technician and that those who operate it are adequately trained in energy-efficient practices.