Garden City Plumbing – Useful Information

Retrofitting Boilers and Furnaces for Efficient Missoula Residential HVAC Systems

Photo of a Missoula, Montana heating company.

Missoula, Montana heating company.

If your older Missoula home has an HVAC system that is outdated and inefficient, you might consider retrofitting it to be more energy-efficient.  You can save a lot of money in energy costs and have a home that is more environmentally friendly.

What it Means to Retrofit a Missoula Residential HVAC System

If you enjoy your furnace or boiler HVAC system, you can replace the furnace or boiler and have it fitted to the network of duct or tubing.  If you have a set of zones that works for you, this can be maintained with retrofitting.

Furnaces: Understanding AFUE Rating in Missoula Residential HVAC Systems

Annualized Fuel Efficiency Rating is the standard unit used to measure how efficient furnaces are.  It represents the percent of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed. Like miles per gallon, the higher the number, the more efficient the unit.  If a unit has a 70% rating, that means 70% of the oil burned is heat used to heat the home. This means that 30% of the heat the oil produces is lost through leaks in the ducts or windows.  A furnace with an AFUE rating of 90% or higher is considered “high efficiency.”

Furnaces: What is Your Furnace’s Rating and How You Can Improve It

You can find your furnace’s AFUE rating on the faceplate of your furnace. If you cannot find it there, you can search the model and serial number of the manufacturer’s website to find the AFUE rating.  Most systems produced from about 10 to 20 years ago are in the 80-85% range.  Some older systems can have as low as a 50% AFUE rating.

By retrofitting your furnace, your furnace system can have between 95 and 98% AFUE rating.

Boiler: Understanding The Boiler in Your Missoula Residential HVAC System

The AFUE rating system is used also for boilers.  A typical AFUE rating for a gas-powered water boiler can be above 82%.  Gas-powered steam boilers should be above 80%.  Oil-fired water boilers should be above 84, and oil-fired steam boilers should be above 82%.  Similar to furnaces, a boiler has to have an AFUE rating above 90% to be considered high efficiency.

Boiler: What is Your Boiler’s Rating and What It Can Be

You should be able to find your boiler’s AFUE rating on the faceplate of your boiler.  If you cannot find it there, searching the manufacturer’s website with the model and serial number should get you there.  Before 2011, steam boilers were between 75% and 84% on the AFUE scale.  After that, most were between 80-84%.  As for water boilers, in 2003, almost 4 out of every five boilers sold were between 80-84% efficiency, while the rest were rated about 85% efficiency. In 2012, 3 out of every five boilers sold were between 82-84% efficiency while the rest were 85% or greater. 

Retrofitting your boiler system to be highly efficient can see an increase to at least 90% of the AFUE scale.

Missoula Residential HVAC Contractors Have More Options for More Efficient Homes

If you are not convinced that retrofitting your furnace or boiler is the right choice for your home, there are other options you might want to consider.  

If you think it is time to have a replacement unit installed or are considering a significant change in your system, it can have a huge impact on your energy consumption and energy bill.  There is the obvious choice of replacing your furnace or boiler with an updated model. Switching your heating system to use a different energy source may also be an option. Or if you want to take advantage of solar energy, you may consider switching from a gas-powered HVAC system to an electric one.  While the upfront cost of this would be sizable, your overall power costs would be lower, and your home would be more earth-friendly.

If you are leaning toward lower-cost options, top Missoula residential HVAC contractors, Garden City Plumbing and Heating, have suggestions here as well. 

Proper Insulation

Insulation in a home has a huge impact on heat retention. If the insulation in your walls or ceiling is insufficient, fixing that can be a massive first step in making your home more energy efficient. If your ductwork is not insulated or the insulation is wearing out, replacing it can make a huge difference in your electric bills.  

Seal Up Ductwork

If you think there are holes or gaps in your ductwork, Aeroseal can make a big difference in the efficiency of your home’s furnace system.  

Fix Leaky Pipework

If your ductwork or boiler piping is leaking, it can make your entire system inefficient. Have the pros at Garden City Plumbing identify and repair those problems.

Regulate Heat Settings

Add zones to your HVAC system to limit the heat going to unused rooms. Lastly, a new thermostat that you can program to turn down the heat while you are out of the house can create huge savings on your power bills.

Missoula Residential HVAC Systems Can Be More Efficient

Whether you are trying to be more earth-friendly or simply want to lower your heating bills, retrofitting your furnace or boiler can be a great option.  If you want to see if it is the right option for your Missoula residence, give Garden City Plumbing and Heating a call.  We can help you figure out your options and get you moving in the best direction!  Call us at (406)728-5550 or contact us online to get started!

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