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Posted by HeatPro on November 29, 2007 at 11:34:03:
In Reply to: Steam boiler replacement and hot water unit posted by steve on November 29, 2007 at 04:09:12:
When replacing a boiler for a steam system, you must have all the radiators supplied by steam, as all the steam radiators must have steam to reach 212F to boil to get heat to them. So it is necessary to size the boiler according to the radiator sizes. In addition there is also required to have the steam pipes heated by the same steam first, so the boiler should be about 35% more input over the total radiator requirements.
If you have a heat estimate done, you would probably find the heat loss of the building to really be 1/3rd that of the radiation. Steam heat for houses is fossil technology from more than a century ago. This means losing a sale for a lot larger boiler, so steam boiler companies dislike having accurate heat losses done by computer. It is really better to have the system converted to hot water, which requires re-piping between radiators. Fortunately, the large pipe risers are good chases to run PEX tubing through.
Also, if you have a heat estimate done, you will find that insulation can cut your heat losses in half. This means a combination of insulation and a new hot water system can provide a payback in 10 years when getting fossil fuels will be prohibitive. There is no way people who were paying $2000 a year for heat will afford $6000 a year; but they can afford $3000. If you were thinking of getting a timeshare, or a power boat, invest instead in a new hot water system, it's time to choose the right 'boy toys.'
Burnham's a good boiler manufacturer; but steam is going to be a 'white elephant' with a food shortage.
As natural gas is taken from this continent, without using oil to fuel tankers carrying oil, gas promises more price stability and less international manipulation. It eliminates the tank problem. It will take too long to get non-toxic bio-fuel from our farms to replace the toxic petroleum from Asia, considering the resistance of the oil cartels to let loose of the reins. The writing is on the wall, depends on how large the letters have to be to read them with rosy glasses.
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