Heating commercial buildings, factories, schools and residential apartment complexes in the winter can be a tricky process for building managers. There are many buildings, especially ones that have separate office spaces and apartment units, that do not rely on regular furnaces. These facilities may use steam radiators and baseboard radiators to heat individual rooms, spaces or floors. These radiator systems rely on boilers to heat water at high temperatures. This heated water can be pumped into pipes for baseboard radiators, or the steam is collected and pushed into pipes for steam radiators.
Controlling Mounting Utility Costs with Boiler Heating Systems
Winter can create conflicts for building managers, building owners and the occupants. Building owners want to have energy-efficient heating systems that do not raise their utility costs. This issue can lead to the building manager adjusting the air temperature and water temperature settings so that the system is using less energy. Yet building occupants may feel uncomfortable at the lower temperature environment as they request for warmer spaces.
To properly manage the efficiency of the boiler system to decrease utility costs while keeping the building occupants happy with the warm indoor environment, you can make the boiler system more energy efficient. Here are several tips to use to inspect and modify the system to make both the building owner and the occupants happy this winter.
Reset the Loop Differential Pressure and Hot Water Temperature
After many years, the hot water temperature and loop differential pressure for the boiler system can be changed so often that they are no longer at the correct boiler settings based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. You want to adjust both based on the heating coil valve position. To set it to the desired control, the heating coil valve that has the highest cooling load should be set so the valve is 90% open.
Combustion Efficiency Analysis
Another way to reduce energy costs is to make the boiler more efficient is to monitor excess oxygen that is needed to ignite the fuel so that it can heat the water for the boiler system. Whether you have a gas or oil boiler, you can perform an analysis of the combustion process and adjust the air-to-fuel ratio linkages. By adjusting the oxygen level that the boiler needs to complete the combustion process, you can make the system more efficient.
Use Two-Way Valves and Variable Frequency Drives
The boiler system may have three-way hot water valves that could be affecting the boiler’s performance as it tries to reach optimal efficiency. Inspect each heating coil to see if it is a three-way valve and replace it with a two-way valve. Then install a variable frequency drive and adjust it so that it isn’t at too high of a setting.
There are many other ways to increase commercial boiler efficiency in buildings, including the installation of a condensing gas furnace to placing in multiple smaller boilers to meet the building’s heat load. Evaluate all of your options based on the type of facility you operate to determine the best method to increase efficiency, reduce energy costs, and create a nice warm indoor environment in the winter.
Contact us today at A. Messe Supply with any questions! We’re always happy to help.