Furnaces and gas boilers can either be fueled with the use of propane or natural gas with some simple modification accounting for the various characteristics of the fuels. Compared to fuel, propane is usually more expensive but the gas is abundantly available all throughout the US. The supply for natural gas will usually be dependent on the natural gas distribution system in your locality and the areas that are at the end of the pipeline as they tend to pay higher prices for this natural gas. You can certainly do a number of retrofitting for your gas-fired boilers and furnaces but before you even think of pursuing these retrofits, you need to consider the potential added advantages or benefits that you could receive by just simply replacing the furnace. Below are some of the possible retrofits:
- Vent dampers. This is perhaps the most common retrofit. The vent damper will prevent the chimney losses by closing the vent of the boiler when the boiler is not firing. The steam boilers usually benefit from the vent dampers more compared to the hot boilers and the bigger boilers benefit much from smaller ones. The vent dampers usually are not cost effective with the inclusion of properly sized newer furnaces.
- Intermittent ignition devices. Old boilers and furnaces that have continuous pilot light can certainly be retrofitted with the use of intermittent ignition devices. These devices are not easy to install and they should be installed only by professionals. The cost of the product is about $250 and would typically have a payback period of just less than a decade. These intermittent ignition devices can definitely save you some costs in your fuel but they tend not to be always cost-efficient especially when installed in aging equipments. If possible, turn off the pilot of the furnace during spring time and then switch it back on again in the fall. This way you can save the same amount of dollars as you would use these devices.
Having gas boilers that are functional in your house is indeed very important especially that winter is fast approaching. If you are having trouble with your gas boilers you can approach companies that have gas safety certificates Nottingham with experts to help you on the matter.