Whenever you are shopping for an HVAC system, you have a lot of things to consider. To put it simply, you want the most efficient system for the most affordable price. Boilers are obviously more expensive if they are larger. However, they can also be more expensive if they have better efficiency ratings. So, you need to compromise and find the system that is going to be just right for your particular home.
AFUE: Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency
AFUE, which stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, is the most important thing to consider. This standardize rating will tell you what percentage of the fuel is converted to energy. Basically, every boiler will burn some sort of fuel to heat up the water that is circulated through the heating pipes in the wall. Most boilers run on propane or other natural gasses. The most cost-effective and affordable fuel is largely dependent on what the public utility company offers. If you can get natural gasses, you can probably find some very efficient boilers for your home. This is because natural gas boilers often have AFUE ratings that are over 90%. Anything over 90% is good, but anything over 95% is excellent.
SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating
The SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency rating, is a rating that is applied to heat pumps. Don't be confused by the term "heat pump" because it is actually the main component of your AC system, not your heating. A heat pump is on the outside of a building, and it draws heat out of the home and pumps colder air back into the home.
The SEER measures the cooling output in comparison to the energy intake. A product with a low SEER rating will consume a lot of electricity with a relatively minimal cooling output. On the other hand, an efficient unit will consume minimal electricity but put out more cold air. Products with higher SEER rating are going to be the most efficient. That being said, you need to consider the size of the unit. If you have an unnecessarily large unit, it might use more electricity than is necessary for your relatively small home.
Lastly, you should also look for an Energy Star badge on any boiler, or any appliance for that matter, that you buy. It is easy to see why boilers are still common central heating sources. SEER and AFUE are two of the most important specs to look at if you are thinking about updating or installing a new central HVAC system.
For more information on HVAC installations, contact your local HVAC service today!