Should I Convert
Pitman specializes in installing and servicing all major boiler brands. We have installed thousands of residential boilers over the years along with hundreds of commercial boilers. Making the correct decision regarding an oil / gas conversion requires a few simple questions.
1) What is the life expectancy of my current equipment?
On average a boiler installation should last 18-25 years. When you take care of your boiler you get more years out of it. If your boiler has been maintained properly your equipment should last to the longer side of the spectrum. For instance, a neglected leak on a return line could turn one year of use into the same as four. Air vents that are not replaced when defective also affect this number by making the boiler work harder to produce the same amount of heat. If your boiler is nearing the end of its life expectancy this would be the best time to consider changing to a more economical fuel. Better to be prepared for the inevitable. Regardless of the season, we will be happy to do your job. The condition and age of your fuel tank should also be considered, especially if it is an underground tank. While you can test your tank it’s nearly impossible to estimate how many years of service it has left.
2) What is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency of my current equipment (AFUE)? Annual Fuel Utilization – what does this mean?
Manufacturers are required to specify how efficient a boiler is. As fuel prices rise this number becomes more important. The main reason old boilers are terribly inefficient is directly linked to the cost of oil. Not many people cared about gas mileage when gas was $1.00 a gallon. For example: If your old boiler has a 68% AFUE this means 32% of every dollar you spend on fuel is wasted up the chimney. That’s energy that you purchased but your old boiler wasted it. All new boilers are required to have a minimum of 80% and 75% for steam systems. A dirty boiler AFUE is always less than a clean one. If you don’t know your actual AFUE Pitman can test your system to find out. (link)
3) Exactly how much can I save by updating my heating system
If your old boiler is running at 68 % AFUE, remember even a new mid efficiency boiler can easily achieve 85% AFUE. If you multiply that difference by let’s say 1000 gallons a year used in an average NY home, you would have saved about 150 gallons of oil; a $589 annual savings just by updating your old equipment. Below is a 7 year NY area oil / gas price comparison. If that same AFUE rated equipment was a gas system, the fuel cost savings would be an additional $1720 annually.