If you’re looking for a new boiler for your Frederick, Maryland, property, there’s one factor that’s absolutely essential when choosing the right one, and that’s the size. Boilers can come in a wide variety of sizes, but you’ll need a boiler that’s big enough to provide enough heat but small enough to avoid wasting excess heat. Fortunately, there’s a method for determining the boiler sizing for your home.
In general, the appropriate boiler size depends on how much power you need per square foot. There are also other factors at play such as the construction material of your home and the amount and type of insulation you use. While it may seem like a lot to consider, it’s easy to determine what size boiler is best for your home when you know what to look for. Learn everything you need to know about finding the right size boiler for your Maryland property and discover the role square footage plays in your selection.
Boiler Size Basics
The first thing you need to understand is exactly what boiler size is referring to. It’s not solely the sheer volume of the unit. Instead, boiler size more accurately refers to the heat output in terms of energy units. These units are measured in British thermal units or BTUs per hour. This is often represented in terms of boiler horsepower or BHP. A British thermal unit is the amount of power needed to increase the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. One BHP is equal to 33,475 British thermal units per hour.
Why Square Feet Matter
When determining the appropriate size for your new boiler, it’s important to remember the general rule governing all boilers in relation to homes. For every 1000 square feet of space you have, your boiler should be able to offer one BHP. Given the proper conversions, that equals about 33.475 BTUs for every square foot in your home.
While around 33 BTUs is the general rule, it’s really only true if you live in a moderate climate. Hotter climates won’t require as much, typically needing just 20 BTUs per square foot. Colder climates, on the other hand, need a bit more power such as 50 BTUs per square foot. That’s just the first step, so don’t stop there when sizing your boiler. There are numerous other factors at play that could alter the boiler size requirement for your house.
How to Account for Heat Loss
The reason you can’t solely go by the general rule is that every home suffers some form of heat loss. Modern houses tend to feature high-end insulation and efficient airflow control. Since that minimizes heat loss, you can actually opt for a smaller boiler than the general rule would suggest. Alternatively, if you have an old wood-frame house without much insulation, that boiler may have to be a bit larger.
Before settling on any sized boiler, you need to consider its energy efficiency. This requires you to focus on its AFUE or annual fuel utilization efficiency rating. This measures how effectively the boiler can convert fuel into energy. Consider what kind of operating conditions your boiler will function under before opting for a high AFUE rating.
Any modern boiler is going to be generally efficient, but condensing boilers can be particularly efficient as long as they’re used with an outdoor reset modulation feature. Additionally, electric boilers are 100% efficient since they don’t produce any waste at all, so it’s an appealing option for homeowners with low electricity costs.
Why You Need a Professional
Calculating the appropriate boiler size on your own requires you to consider a lot of factors. Even if you measure it correctly, you’ll still need professionals to take care of the installation. That’s where Griffith Energy Services can help. Our factory-trained professionals can determine the appropriate size boiler for your home and install it quickly allowing you to enjoy comfort and efficiency in no time. Of course, our team is also available should you need a boiler repair. Contact Griffith Energy Services at (888) 474-3391 today to make your home as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.
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