Like furnace efficiency, boiler efficiency is measured by the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratio. All boiler models display their AFUEs to help potential buyers make informed purchases. Heating efficiency is especially important in Schaumburg, IL, where below-zero temperatures are not unusual.

So What, Exactly, Does AFUE Mean?

An AFUE tells you how much energy a boiler uses to produce heat and how much energy it loses up the chimney. The higher the boiler’s rating, the less energy you will lose and the lower your energy consumption and monthly energy bills will be.

A boiler with an AFUE of 85 will convert 85% of the energy it consumes into heating a home. The other 15% is lost through the chimney.

AFUEs are not exact. They are based on averages that can vary according to temperature fluctuations, age of the system, maintenance, usage, type of heating fuel used and type of heating medium employed.

Boiler Efficiency Ratings for Different Types of Boilers

  • Gas-fired hot water boiler 82%
  • Gas-fired steam boiler 80%
  • Oil-fired hot water boiler 84%
  • Oil-fired steam boiler 82%

Condensing Versus Non-Condensing Boilers

Boilers come in condensing and non-condensing models. Non-condensing boilers have AFUEs between 78% and 88%. Condensing boilers can achieve AFUEs of six to eight percentage points higher by condensing the water vapor produced during combustion and converting it into heat. The newest condensing boilers can reach efficiencies of up to 99%.

Condensing boilers have other advantages. The heat produced by the radiant conduits infuses every nook and cranny with a toasty warmth. You can extend a boiler system to heat a patio, garage or driveway. Boilers don’t dry out the air, so they improve indoor air quality too.

Contact the HVAC installation experts at Ray’s HVAC to learn more about staying warm in winter without breaking the bank.

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