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Is it time to replace your old boiler?

October 17, 2014

Triangle Tube boiler in LexingtonOne of the common questions we all face is when to replace major appliances; whether it is our refrigerator, washing machine, or even our car.  The boiler certainly fits into that category.  The boiler works throughout the year providing heat and hot water and goes unnoticed much of the time – until a bill for either fuel or repairs arrives.  So when is the right time to replace your boiler?The answer depends on many factors.  Here are some to consider.
1)  Fuel:  In many areas of the country, and especially in the North East, heating oil is still used in many boilers.   This made sense when oil was abundant and inexpensive and natural gas was not common and relatively expensive.  Today the exact opposite is true.  Heating Oil is now over $3.50 per gallon in most of the US while natural gas is around $1.25 per therm.
At these rates, even if the efficiency of the new boiler is no better than the old, you Prestige Boilerwill save 50% in your energy costs by switching to natural gas.  So, if you have access to natural gas, and you currently heat with oil, this is a big motivator to invest in a new boiler.

2)  Age:  How old is the existing boiler?  As boilers get older, the chance of a major repair is more likely.  If your boiler is more than 20 years old, it is time to at least consider a replacement.  Even if the boiler can last another 20 years, the increased efficiency and reliability will make it worth the investment.

Challenger Boiler3)  Efficiency:  Modern condensing boilers like Triangle Tube’s Prestige and Challenger models provide significant efficiency advantages over older models.  The rating plate on the boiler will provide an initial estimate.  Simply take the output divided by the input to find the theoretical efficiency.  The difference between this and 96% for the Prestige and 95% for the Challenger is the theoretical difference in fuel costs.  But modern boilers have features like modulation and outdoor reset that add 5 to 10% more to this efficiency gain.

4)  Water Heating – If you are currently using a separate water heater, or a tankless coil in the old boiler, installing a Smart Indirect Water Heater will provide additional energy savings.  With a standby cost of only $0.05 per day, it is the most efficient way to heat your hot water.

5)  Finances – While the new boiler will surely reduce your energy bills, do you want to make the investment at this time?  This is a personal choice for each homeowner.  Rebates and other incentives may sway the decision, but it is important that the overall numbers work for the homeowner.

When you consider all of the factors, contact us to provide a quote for your home.  Investing in a new boiler and indirect water heaters is a sound decision.

Jim Lavallee Plumbing
Serving Eastern Massachusetts and the Boston area
Phone: Toll-free (888) 884-4122

(original article)

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