Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Boiler Installation’

Why Choose a Boiler Installation?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

It’s getting late in the season for a heating installation, but it is not too late to get a new heater in place! Are you concerned about the condition of your existing heater and the problems it’s having? Has it given out on you completely?

Call our number today to work with heating professionals that you can trust. We’ll help you to explore your options to ensure that you wind up with the right heater for your home and personal preferences. We suggest that you give a boiler installation in Georgetown some serious consideration.

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What Does the AFUE Rating Mean for a Boiler?

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

The energy efficiency of any heating system should be an important consideration for your home. Why? Energy efficiency relates directly to fuel usage, and fuel usage can impact your home’s budget. Just as whole-home air conditioning systems have their energy efficiency rated by SEER numbers, so, too, do combustion heating systems: AFUE. Understanding what AFUE means can go a long way toward ensuring that your boiler installation in Northern Virginia is an energy efficient one.


The acronym AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. AFUE measures the efficiency of a combustion heating system’s ability to convert fuel into energy. AFUE is presented as a percentage, and this percentage will tell you exactly what percentage of your fuel is being used as energy and what part is lost to byproduct exhaust. For example, a boiler with an AFUE of 85% means that 85% of the fuel used becomes energy that heats your home and the other 15% is exhausted through your flue as combustion byproduct. Having this kind of specific information can help you choose a boiler that meets both your heating needs and your energy efficiency needs.

AFUE Standards for Boilers

Each type of combustion heating system has minimum AFUE standards as set by the Federal Trade Commission. When it comes to boilers, the type of fuel used to power the boiler helps to determine what the minimum AFUE number will be:

  • Natural gas hot water boiler – minimum AFUE of 82%
  • Natural gas steam boiler – minimum AFUE of 80%
  • Oil hot water boiler – minimum AFUE of 84%
  • Oil steam boiler – minimum AFUE of 82%

Condensing boilers, which are boilers that use the latent heat from combustion vapors, have AFUE’s well over 90%.

While AFUE should not be the only factor you consider for your boiler installation in Northern Virginia, it should be one of the top factors of the installation process.

Ready for a new boiler? Call the experts at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., and schedule an appointment today!

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Types of Terminal Units Used with Boiler Installation

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

A boiler is a large unit often installed in the basement or in its own room or area for heating a home or business.

Boilers are quite effective at providing heat, as they distribute heat more evenly than forced-air units like furnaces and heat pumps and can be modified for zone control. Water is heated at the boiler and then makes its way through a series of pipes to allow convective and conductive heat into a room. But in order to do so, it must reach a terminal unit, which is selected by the homeowner and the technician during boiler installation.

Which type of terminal unit is chosen generally depends on your home and family’s needs and your budget. You should always speak with a technician before setting your sights on a particular type of terminal unit, but as a starting point, the following list contains a guide to a few of the most popular terminal units for hydronic heating systems.

  • Baseboard Units: A baseboard unit is installed at the bottom of the wall in each room or zone in the house. These units are highly effective and can blend into the décor of a room so there is little interference with the interior design. These are some of the most common terminal installations.
  • Radiators: A radiator is a fairly outdated terminal unit for heat transfer, but it’s still in use primarily in industrial settings, particularly where a steam boiler is in use. However, some homeowners appreciated the look and feel of cast-iron radiator, and keep it in the home for heating and to add an industrial or vintage feel to the home.
  • Fan Coil Units: A fan coil unit contains a heat exchanger, blower fan, and filter to circulate air in the home from a boiler and/or a commercial chiller. As water moves through the unit, it sprays onto the heat exchanger, allowing for a set of thermodynamic processes to take place so that a fan can blow conditioned air in the home.
  • Radiant Floor Heating: Finally, many homeowners today choose radiant floor heating, which means a set of pipes runs underneath the floorboards in order to provide even heating, warm feet, and all-around comfort.

The heating professionals at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. know a thing or two about boiler installation in Northern Virginia. For quality installation, give us a call today!

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Washington DC Boiler Question: How Does a Boiler Heat a Home?

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Many homeowners swear by the efficient, effective performance of their boilers. There is a reason that boiler heating systems have been so popular for as long as they have, after all. With a professional boiler installation and routine maintenance you can enjoy years of comfortable, even heating service from your boiler. They have few moving parts and are incredibly durable, making a boiler a great investment for your Washington DC home. Like most homeowners, though, we’re guessing that some of you do not actually know how a boiler heats a home. Here is some basic information from Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating.

The operation of a boiler is actually very simple. The boiler itself is really just a tank containing water. A separate component of the boiler system, the burner, is to burn the fuel that will heat the water within the boiler. One of the greatest benefits of a boiler installation is the fact that there are a number of fuel source options available. The fuel is mixed with air and ignited, allowing the boiler and the water within to heat up to create hot water or steam.

Once the water has reached the appropriate heat level, it is ready for circulation throughout the home. In a hydronic heating system hot water is distributed throughout your home through a piping system. Radiators or baseboards may also be used to distribute the heat a boiler creates throughout a building. The result is even, efficient radiant heating. Unlike a furnace depending on forced air to circulate heat, boilers do not stir up the air in your home. This is an added benefit to residents with allergies or asthma symptoms for whom airborne pollutants can be an aggravating concern.

For more information on your boiler options and their operation, contact Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating. We have the answers to all your questions. Let us handle the installation, maintenance and repair of your boiler heating system in Washington DC.

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Washington DC Heating Tip: Benefits of an ENERGY STAR Qualified Boiler

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Are you considering an ENERGY STAR boiler for your Washington DC area home? The boiler specialists at Polar Bear are here to help! We provide installations for a number of ENERGY STAR qualified boilers, and we also provide routine maintenance so that your new boiler will provide lasting results.

Here are a few benefits you can get from an ENERGY STAR qualified boiler:

Energy savings is perhaps the best benefit from an ENERGY STAR qualified boiler, especially if you are replacing an older boiler that has an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating of less than 80%. A new boiler will also need fewer repairs, which can make a big difference in the overall cost of heating your home. If your home is properly insulated and sealed, you can see quite a bit of savings from a new high-efficiency boiler.

If you are building a new home, consider a boiler that can both heat your home and your hot water. This is an efficient way to provide heating and consistent hot water. Radiant floors can also be heated by a boiler designed for radiant floor heating systems, and this will provide even greater energy savings. While there are a variety of boilers on the market today, an ENERGY STAR qualified boiler can help you not only keep your home comfortable, but also save you a lot of money over time.

Don’t hesitate to call the Washington DC heating experts at Polar Bear for all your boiler installation needs. We are here to find the most cost-effective solutions for your needs, so call today to get started!

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Washington D.C. Heating FAQ: When is a Boiler Replacement the Best Option?

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Do you think you might need a boiler installation in your Washington D.C. home? Let the heating experts at Polar Bear help by inspecting your current boiler and recommending the right solution for your heating needs. While there are a few questions to ask yourself, it’s best to speak with a professional who can also assess your home and suggest other home improvements that may need to happen first.

Here are a few questions to ask when trying to decide if a boiler replacement is the best option for you.

How Efficient is My Current Boiler?

If you aren’t sure how efficient your current boiler is, call a technician to test it. This should be done during annual maintenance exams, so if you haven’t scheduled yours this year, call Polar Bear. If your current boiler is rated at 80% AFUE or lower, then you could benefit from replacing it with a high-efficiency model, especially if you are paying for frequent repairs.

Is My Home Insulated Properly?

Many older homes in the area are not insulated properly. Instead of upgrading to a high-efficiency boiler first, make sure your home has enough insulation. If you are losing heat due to inadequate insulation, then you won’t be getting the most out of your new boiler. In addition, your boiler may be efficient enough that it would be more cost-effective to add insulation to your home and replace the boiler when it wears out.  

Choosing the Right Heating System

If you have decided to replace your boiler, it may be a good idea to at least consider the cost-effectiveness of installing a different type of heating system.  There are a variety of heating system options, and our friendly staff members can help you choose the right boiler, furnace, or packaged system.

Contact the Washington D.C. heating experts at Polar Bear for a routine check-up, or if you would like to go over the different boilers we can install for you.


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Washington DC Heating FAQ: Is a Boiler Installation the Best Option for My Home?

Monday, November 26th, 2012

If you are trying to decide whether boiler system is right for you, the Washington DC heating specialists at Polar Bear have are here to help. Aside from the durability of the new high-efficiency boiler systems, heating with a boiler is also a clean and reliable way to heat your home. While there are a few potential disadvantages, overall they are gaining popularity as a viable heating option for homeowners throughout the area.

Hot Water Boiler Maintenance

As with any heating system, a hot water boiler system should be tuned regularly—ideally, once a year, and before the heating season begins. This will help to ensure worry-free and lasting performance from your boiler system. The main components that will need to be checked by the homeowner are the pressure gauge, safety valves, and water levels.

All other routine maintenance should be handled by a professional heating technician. The technician will also check the radiators or other heating elements used in the system. Because there are no air filters to change or ductwork to clean, hot water boilers are ideal for people who want a low-maintenance heating system.

Making an Informed Decision

Whether you are replacing an older boiler or installing a heating system for a new home, always speak with a Washington DC heating contractor you can trust. This will help to ensure that you feel confident about your decision. At Polar Bear, our Washington DC boiler experts are here to answer questions and go over your options. Call us any time if you have further questions or would like a technician to come out and inspect your current heating system.

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Washington DC Heating Question: What Exactly Are High Efficiency Boilers?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

You have already read plenty about how energy costs are rising. You know plenty well that heating your Washington DC home is a substantial expense, and that the cost of running a boiler is constantly on the rise.

But as technology has gotten better, so have boilers become more efficient at providing heat. It stands to reason that a more efficient boiler is one that costs less to run…but what does “efficient” really mean in the context of boilers? What makes a boiler “high efficiency”?

 What Is a High Efficiency Boiler?

All boilers are rated according to a standardized system of rating efficiency, called the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). Essentially, this rating tells you how much heat energy is produced by a boiler compared to how much energy it draws. The higher a boiler’s AFUE rating, the more efficient it is.

For a boiler to be called high efficiency, it must carry an AFUE of at least 90%. For basis of comparison, older systems carry an AFUE of about 70%, while mid-efficiency systems run at about 82%.

In addition, a high efficiency system has a second heat exchanger for capturing and condensing flue gases, as well as a closed combustion system.

These three things — an AFUE of 90% or above, condensing flue gases and closed combustion – define a high efficiency boiler.

The initial investment in a high efficiency boiler can be costly, but the savings over time in heating bills make it well worth the expense.

If you would like a high efficiency boiler installed in your Washington DC home, give Polar Bear a call today!

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