It has taken longer than usual, but warmer weather is finally headed to the US Northeast and Midwest, and boilers to provide heat and comfort can be shut down for awhile. While it may be “out of mind”, this is exactly the time to perform upgrades to save you money in the next heating season. We have seen recently fuel prices rising (fuel oil and natural gas), so savings will be even greater next heating season.
Heating and hot water supply can account for over one-third of a building’s energy consumption, justifying the investment in improved efficiency. Heating costs can be cut by up to 30% by implementing simple measures such as insulation, maintenance, optimized on/off controls (improved modulation), and energy monitoring.
The simplest upgrade with a good payback is insulating or repairing the existing insulation on boilers, condensate tanks, pipes and valves in steam or hot water service. Putting your hand on such areas (very briefly) will illustrate the loss of heat which must be made up by combusting more fuel. Insulating such areas can save up to 10% of fuel consumption.
It is important to find a reliable company to review, test, and upgrade maintenance of your boilers. Not just go through the motions, but spend extra time inspecting boiler tubes, brickwork, fuel lines, etc. to determine whether they are operating optimally. Have combustion testing done to determine efficiency, O2, CO, and CO2 levels at both high and low loads, etc. Given that you have invested so much in capital costs for your boilers, it would be a shame to have you have to buy new units prematurely because warning signs have not been even observed, not to mention addressed. Quality summertime maintenance of boilers pays for itself in the long term.
If you have not installed this, you should consider installing monitors and software to determine whether all areas of your building are receiving adequate heat and feeding back either to adjust the rate of steam or hot water travel or the fuel feed rate. While the monitors and software may be initially expensive, the detailed determination of your heating success not only will save you energy costs, but also provides proof that you are providing adequate heat to all tenants.
CCES has the technical experts to help you identify potential upgrades for your boiler, domestic hot water, and other heating systems, and can manage upgrade or replacement projects for you to maximize the cost savings and other benefits. Contact us today at 914-584-6720 or at karell@CCESworld.com.