BOILER RETROFIT VS. BOILER REPLACEMENTIs your boiler not producing as much heat as it should?

Are you unsure if a boiler retrofit or boiler replacement is the correct choice?

To help make this determination, the first step is to have a professional, like those at Universal Plumbing and Heating, inspect your boiler.

When you select the Universal Plumbing and Heating, you can be sure that you are in good hands. Our team will evaluate a number of factors to make the best recommendation to your situation.

Factors we will consider in determining a boiler retrofit vs boiler replacement:

  1. Age and condition
  2. Capacity in pounds of steam per hour or hydronic heating load in Btu’s
  3. Operating pressure or temperature
  4. Hydronic heating with condensing/non-condensing boilers
  5. Fuel to steam efficiency and overall hydronic heating efficiency
  6. Burner characteristics (fuel flexibility, turndown, fuel/air control, etc.)
  7. Control and/or sequencing schemes for steam and hot water
  8. Duty (heating, process or both)
  9. Removal and install costs

In addition to these factors it is also important to consider the cost of a new boiler compared to the cost of retrofitting. The cost in terms of downtime, and the potential cost in productivity if the boiler breaks down needing an emergency repair or replacement must also be considered.

Boiler Retrofit

Boiler retrofit involves adding parts and equipment to an older boiler system. As with other types of retrofitting, the goal is to increase the overall efficiency of the system.

Benefits of a boiler retrofit can include

  • Cost savings
  • Energy savings
  • Enhanced function
  • Less pollution
  • Better technology

Before you decide to retrofit a boiler, you must first consider the maintenance the current system has received. If the boiler hasn’t been maintained well, you’ll probably need to replace the entire system, whereas if the boiler has been maintained on a regular basis, retrofitting likely will be the best option.

New equipment is nice, but never underestimate the value of regular maintenance for controlling energy costs. Something as seemingly minor as a compressor working too hard and losing flow through dirty air filters can cause a boiler system to work inefficiently. While retrofitting is initially less expensive than purchasing a new boiler system, you must also consider whether retrofitting is the most cost effective answer in the long run.

If you make the decision to retrofit, that could include installing some of the following:

  • A programmable thermostat
  • New ductwork (for furnaces)
  • Zoning controls
  • Vent dampers
  • New gas or oil burners
  • Modulating aquastats (for boilers)
  • A time-delay relay (for boilers)
  • Intermittent ignition devices
  • Pressure part modifications
  • Circulation improvements
  • Selective catalytic
  • Reduction (SCR) systems
  • Boiler capacity increases

Boiler Replacement

Older furnaces and boilers generally have efficiency ratings between 56 and 70 percent while the most efficient systems available today are up to 97 percent efficient. If your unit is getting old, wearing out, oversized or inefficient, the simplest solution is to make a high-efficiency replacement.

It’s important to improve your home’s energy efficiency (by sealing the ductwork, for example) before you size a new system. This allows the optimally sized system to be smaller, saving you money both on the initial purchase price and operational costs.

Then, when shopping for a replacement, keep an eye out for the Energy Star label, a prestigious qualification that only the most efficient and well-performing furnaces and boilers can earn.

Call Universal Plumbing and Heating today at 604-873-3551 for a boiler retrofit consultation.

Upon the consultation, you may decide that a new boiler is the best alternative for you. If that is the case, click here for furnace and boiler installation services offered by Universal Plumbing and Heating.

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