Concerned about which boiler is right for you? Read our helpful guide, which will help you better understand boiler sizes & other important considerations.
Winter is coming!
With cold months just around the corner, you’ll need a boiler that won’t let you down.
After all, certain boilers and hot water tanks last an average of 15 years! Make sure you’re purchasing one that won’t leave you high-and-dry (or, far more likely, cold and wet!).
That’s not always easy, though. The best option depends on your personal heating and plumbing requirements. Confronted with hundreds of options to choose between, most homeowners don’t know where to begin.
And we don’t blame them. Among other key factors, there’s different boiler sizes, types, and energy ratings to consider. Things can get confusing before you know it!
Our goal is to help you realize which boiler is best for you. Sound good?
Keep Reading to learn seven top tips for choosing the perfect boiler for your house.
1. Decide the Type You Want
The first thing to know is that boilers aren’t all made in the same way.
Roughly speaking, you’ve got two main types of boilers to choose between:
Combi and regular boilers.
In regular systems, water is heated, then stored in a hot water tank. This also requires a separate tank for cold water (held in the loft) to fill the hot water tank when necessary.
Regular boilers take up a great deal of space and are generally less energy-efficient. However, the upside is being able to enjoy large quantities of hot water on-demand.
In contrast, combi boilers don’t require a hot water tank. Instead, they provide instant hot water by heating it straight from a main supply. They’re space-saving and energy-efficient, but struggle to cope with a high demand for hot water.
Speak to a professional to figure out which boiler suits you best.
2. Figure Out Adequate Boiler Sizes
The size of your boiler is another key aspect to this decision.
Too small, and you’ll struggle to provide adequate heat for your home. Too large, and you’ll overspend unnecessarily on both the boiler itself and the energy it creates.
The industry discusses boiler sizes in terms of BTUs (otherwise known as British Thermal Units), which is measured in relation to a building’s interior square footage. In general, the following rules apply:
Cold climates require approximately 50 BTU per square foot.
Moderate climates require approximately 35 BTU per square foot.
Warm climates require approximately 20 BTU per square foot.
Use those numbers and the square footage of your home to calculate the proper boiler size to fit your home.
You can figure out which climate zone you’re located in here. However, the size of your house, the extent of its insulation, and the number of windows will all come into play as well.
Speak to a professional for expert advice on which boiler size is right for you.
3. Know Your Hot Water Needs
Every household has different hot water requirements.
Naturally, a large family with multiple bathrooms in their house will need access to a surplus of hot water. With more open space, a regular boiler might be the best option.
On the other hand, a single bachelor living in an inner-city apartment likely requires far less hot water. In this scenario, a combi boiler could be ideal.
Think about your current state of affairs. If you lack the hot water necessary, it makes sense to upgrade to a more powerful system. Your last water bill will help gauge the level of hot water needed each month.
Keeping that figure in mind, you might find it easier to reference in discovering the right boiler and avoid a plumbing emergency!
4. Think about How It’s Fueled
Boilers use distinct types of fuel to heat up your water.
You’ve got numerous options to choose from: natural gas, LPG, oil, electricity, and wood. Deciding which is best often comes down to two additional components.
First, there’s the cost. Natural gas boilers are often cheaper to run and support than oil-powered ones, which makes them appealing to many homeowners. Of course, electricity is another good cost-cutting option if it happens to be cheap in your area.
Second, there’s environmental considerations to be made. Neither gas nor oil are inherently environmentally-friendly. If this is a major issue for you, then consider investing in renewable household energy sources, such as solar power and wood.
5. Don’t Forget About Efficiency
Energy efficiency is of vital importance too.
More efficient boilers are better, not only for the world but for your own bank account! The better a boiler is at converting fuel to heat, the cheaper your heating bills will be.
Look for boilers that are ENERGY STAR certified and have high-efficiency ratings (anything over 85% is a good bet). With zero waste-production, electricity-fueled boilers are often top-performers.
Combi boilers carry a reputation of being more energy-efficient in nature as well.
6. Remember Venting
Don’t forget to heed the venting needs of boilers as well.
There are three primary means of venting available: chimney, power, and direct. The trick is to find one that will work best for your home.
As the name suggests, chimney vents exhaust fumes naturally via an external chimney; power and direct varieties use fans to remove fumes through a vent. However, an important difference is that powered systems require air from inside.
As such, these boilers can’t be placed in small, enclosed spaces.
7. Consider Available Space
Finally, think about space.
We’ve mentioned already how boilers come in different varieties, shapes, and sizes. Often, a key element in determining the proper fit will be how your available floor area is utilized.
Somebody in a one-bedroom apartment, for instance, is unlikely to either need or have room for a regular boiler. In an effort to maximize available space, installing a combi boiler would be recommended.
As you can tell, choosing the right boiler for your home is no small feat!
There are hundreds of boilers to choose between, and many significant factors (such as boiler sizes, venting requirements, and energy-efficiency ratings) to consider. Hopefully though, this post has provided all the information you need to pick the right one for your home.
Are you looking for professional support selecting and installing a boiler? The technicians at Eyman offer boiler installation and repair services for residences and businesses. Call us today at (402) 731-2727.