If your home has an older fuel oil system or gas boiler, you could be burning a lot of cash. Older boiler units may be only 55 to 65 percent efficient, but a generation of new technology has produced propane boilers that have efficiency ratings of 90 percent of more. If you live in a colder climate, upgrading to a high-efficiency propane boiler will generate substantial savings, cleaner emissions, and a warm, cozy home.
Do the math
The numbers are startling. If your existing gas boiler is only 60 percent efficient, installing a new propane boiler rated at 90 percent efficiency will cut energy use by one-third, assuming the same heat output. At the same time, propane produces fewer emissions than other petroleum-based products. For example, propane furnaces emit 37 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fuel oil furnaces. Propane boilers also require less frequent maintenance than fuel oil units.
Less space, less waste
Today's propane boilers are more than energy efficient. Most on-floor models take up little space, and wall-hung boilers can actually fit in a closet. As a bonus, propane storage tanks are installed outside your home. That means more space — and no potential for damaging leaks that can occur with fuel oil tanks.
3 tips for safe installation and maintenance
Each day, millions of people use propane for their home heating needs. If you're ready to reap the benefits of propane's exceptional energy, consider the following tips:
- Evaluate your needs. Before buying a new boiler, consider having a trained propane contractor size your home heating needs. The Energy Department says many homes have oversized heating systems, which leads to inefficient (and wasteful) operation.
- Hire a professional installer. Only a qualified service technician should install, service, and maintain your new propane boiler. For a list of qualified service providers, get in touch with your nearest propane retailer.
- Schedule an annual checkup. An annual appliance inspection by a qualified technician will help ensure that your boiler's pilot light and venting systems are operating at peak performance.