Condo Boiler Questions

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Posted by George Regnery on March 10, 2001 at 22:45:13:

Hello. In our condominium, we just replaced our boiler and burner. Our building is 4 floors, in Greenwich,
CT and has 35 units, all one or two bedroom. The building was built in 1930 and has steam radiators.
We replaced our old gas-fired burner with an oil-fired burner based on advice from the management
company. However, some questions came up (as well as accusations) that no one is really qualified
at all to answer.

1) We installed two new boilers. The first, for heat, is an HB Smith Series 28, and it is for heat. It's
1.3 million BTUs. The second is an HB Smith Series 19, and it's for domestic hot water. It's 500,000
BTUs. Some people (and these people are PE teachers and accountants, NOT heating engineers)
claim that these boilers are way too big for our purposes. So my first question is, do these boilers
sound reasonable? Or are they WAY TOO BIG for Southern New England?

2) Our oil boiler was heated with natural gas. Our new one is heated with oil. The new one is significantly
noisier. Apparently, our old gas burner (quite old) was some sort of passive burner (like a stove
flame), whereas the new oil burner has a motor and some sort of compressor. Is it just oil burners
that are loud, or are the new gas burners louder than the old style gas burners (someone said that to get
efficiency, the new oil and gas burners both use a compressor or some sort of motor).

3) Right now many people have their windows open in the dead of winter. But since we have some old
people and some young people in the building, it is impractical to turn the central heat down. Sure, people
can individually control their radiators, but should we get some sort of thermostat on each radiator? Would
that cut down on the heat a lot?

4) Some people were really upset about the move from gas to oil. I wasn't particularly passionate about
either, but it seems that now, oil will cost less than gas. Is this a correct assumption (we can always replace
the oil burner with a gas burner).

Thanks in advance for your responses!

George M. Regnery
Greenwich, CT

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