A boiler is a closed vessel in which water or some type of fluid is heated and use for heating applications. They can run on oil, gas, propane, and even solar like the one pictured to the left. Which boiler you pick will depend on the services available in your area, as well as your current needs. A New Jersey Contractor will take your household dimensions to help find the correct boiler for your home. Cost can be a significant factor. Your New Jersey Contractor will find the most efficient boiler available in your price range. There are many types of boilers:
- Oil Boilers - popular choice in areas where natural gas is not avialable. The price of oil is going up, making them less desirable. If you have an old oil burner, it will pay to get a newer, more efficient one. Provide an opportunity to use renewable fuels, such as heating oil blended with biodiesel, which produces less pollution.
- Natural Gas Boilers - are clean and efficient. The price of natural gas is going up, just like oil. There must be a natural gas source in your area to utilize a natural gas boiler. If you are at the end of the pipeline, like the Northeast, you will pay a higher price.
- Propane Boilers - same type of boiler as natural gas, just require some simple modifications. Propane is available throughout the United States, but is more costly than natural gas.
- Electric Boilers - use electric heating elements to heat water. Provide 100% efficient electric heat and are very clean. The cost of electricity is going up, raising the cost of using electric boilers. Although electric boilers have a higher energy factor than fuel-burning models, electric resistance is a very expensive way to generate heat.
- Wood-Fired Boilers - the wood-fired boiler is located in a small, insulated shed some distance from the house with the pipes run underground to the house. If you live in an area where wood is available for free, this can be a big savings. The downside is the amount of smoke produced, although manufacturers are working on improving the output of smoke.
- Coal Boilers - are said to provide heat for an entire home, including domestic hot water, at 50% or less than the cost of conventional oil, gas or electric systems. Although said to be running much cleaner, there is still the worry of pollutants being released.
- Pellet Boilers - these wood pellets are composed of compressed saw dust held together by the sap from the wood. These boilers require regular maintenance. The ash pan needs to be emptied regularly, the baffles cleaned, the components checked, etc.
- Multi-Fuel Boilers - furnaces and boilers which can burn wood or wood and coal, with an oil or gas backup built into the same unit. When your wood/coal fire starts to die down, the oil/gas backup will take over.
- Solar Boilers - results in significant savings on your energy bill. Usually used in conjunction with a gas/oil/electric furnace, the solar hot water flows into the existing system, causing it to not need to run since the water is already heated. Works best in areas where you don't get deep freezes, but can be used in colder climates utilyzing a fluid that resists freezing rather than having water run straight through them. Initial cost is high, but very environmentally friendly.
The decision on which type of boiler is best for you depends on a lot of factors. An important factor is what type of energy sources are available in your area. Another issue is cost. Solar Boilers are extremely efficient but costly. Coal boilers are cheaper to run than oil, gas, or electric, but are not as clean. It is difficult to know what kind of new system will be the most appropriate, efficient and cost-effective for your house. That is why the first step in replacing your system is finding a New Jersey Contractor who has experience in high-efficiency systems.