Heating - High Combustion Efficiency
(equal to or greater than 90%)
Technology Snapshot & Benefits:
There are easy savings to derive with
improved combustion efficiency. Many buildings are heated by burning fuels
imperfectly in furnaces or boilers. Owners and occupants benefit from high
efficiency equipment and modern designs that efficiently convert energy
contained in the fuel into useful heat for building occupants. The more
efficient this conversion, the less fuel is required for a given level of
comfort with corresponding cost and pollution savings.
Estimated Cost Savings:
Frequently, tests of existing heating units
reveal operation at 50-60% combustion efficiency. High-efficiency replacement
units (with combustion efficiencies of 90% or greater) reduce fuel costs (and
corresponding pollution) by 30-50% over existing units, depending upon
site-specific particulars. It is not unreasonable to achieve improvements of 30
cents on the dollar in heating costs for residential and commercial buildings.
For a monthly heating bill of $200 dollars, this equates to an estimated savings
of $60 per month. If the upgrade to higher efficiency costs $2,000, a
improvement of this nature pays for itself in substantially less than five
years, and improves cash-flow immediately.
Some units extract so much heat from the
flue gas that water vapor (a normal product of combustion) condenses in the
chimney before it can be vented to the outside. Special drainage means may be
required with high efficiency units, but this is frequently an inconsequential
Depending on your heating degree days per
year, combustion efficiency improvements are as big a winner as you can find.
Installation (Getting It Done):
We encourage you
to get two or three bids from HVAC and/or plumbing contractors as you move to
take advantage of this savings opportunity. Obtaining a range of bids will
provide you with immediate perspective on the true costs of equipment and
installation in your area.
More Information On This
Department of Energy - How to Buy an Energy-Efficient Residential Gas Furnace
Department of Energy - How to Buy an Energy-Efficient Commercial Boiler
Energy Star - Guide to Energy-Efficient Cooling and Heating