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Posted by HeatPro on December 19, 2004 at 18:20:43:
In Reply to: Replace steam boiler or convert to hot water heat posted by Steve Garson on December 19, 2004 at 17:18:52:
"My plumber says that hot water is so much more efficient, since you can modulate the water temp and you don't need to wait for the larger amount of water to be heated."
These statements do not add up. If you leave the mains and runouts the same with the cast iron radiators, then fill them with water, you will have many gallons more of water to heat up. You will spend a considerable time waiting to heat much more water than the gallon or two of water you heat on each cycle.
You gain savings in fuel by not heating water to 215F on every cycle as is done by steam; but you might not get a comparative payback by conversion, especially if the pipes turn into sprinklers when you put 15 psig of water in them.
I say, if you are happy with the steam, keep the steam system, change the boiler, and continue your happiness. You will gain considerable efficiency in changing to a new boiler. The pipes and radiators will not be part of a gain if you change to hot water and you leave the old piping.
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