One of the most effective ways to significantly lower operating costs, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase building occupant comfort is to replace existing inefficient boiler/water heaters.
For a limited time public utility providers are offering cash rebates and incentives for replacing older, wasteful boiler/water heating technology with new, energy efficient technology. Additionally, several utilities provide zero interest, zero cost out-of-pocket “on-bill financing” to finance the cost of these retrofits 100%.
The cost of the retrofit, minus rebate and incentive credits, is amortized over time through utility billings. Even with repaying the “loan” amortized over a period of time (between 2.5-5 years, depending upon the application) in utility bills, your monthly utility bill will be less after retrofitting to a new energy efficient boiler/hot water heater.
If your boiler/hot water heater is 10 years old, or older, the thermal efficiency may be between 25%-75% of what it was when new, especially if it has not been on an annual maintenance schedule or recalibrated as needed over time.
Most installations from concept to implementation take 1-2 months, with actual installation taking from 2 to 5 days, usually with very minimal interruption to hot water deliverability. Today’s high efficiency boiler/water heaters operate at between 87% – 97% thermal efficiency. Simple pay-back periods of 2.5 – 5 years, or sooner, are common.
By taking the tax depreciation on installed equipment in the first year, a business utilizing this retrofit can be cash-positive immediately, for no cost out of pocket, while also guaranteeing lower operating costs for the life of the equipment, estimated to be over 20 years.
Condensing Modulating Boiler Systems
Water vapor (steam) is created as a by-product of the combustion process that takes place within a boiler/hot water heater, creating additional heat that can be recaptured by condensing the water vapor, and recovering and reusing its “latent heat”.
The amount of additional efficiency achieved depends upon the temperature of the water returning to the boiler/water heater, but will always be more advantageous than an older non-condensing boiler/water heater. Today’s boilers modulate the ideal fuel to air ratio based upon return water temperatures and other “use specific” factors.
Natural Gas Cost Trends
Now, more than at any time in recent history, it makes sense to replace inefficient boiler/hot water heater technology with modern technology that uses significantly less fuel. As this can be paid for at zero cost out of pocket for a limited time, a state-of-the-art, energy efficient boiler/hot water heater replacement makes perfect sense.
With the current and likely lengthy duration of political unrest in parts of the world which are influential on fuel prices, the cost of natural gas will increase more rapidly than in recent years.