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  1. #1

    Possible oil heat cost reductions?

    Hi, we have just purchased a new to me house in Hartford CT. The house is 5100 sf built in 1998, with a Weil-Mclain Ultra Gold oil fired boiler and 2 air conditioners. The system runs on glycol with a 75 gallon indirect hot water tank, there are two zones on the first floor, (front and back) and two zones upstairs. The main upstairs portion of the house is one zone with a 600 sf bonus room over the garage having its own zone. The system appears to be set all the time at 180F.
    In a week in February with the heat set at 58F, we used 100 ga. of oil. Unfortunately there is no natural gas in the area.

    We basically inherited this house and are really worried about the energy costs. We asked some contractors to come out and see what we could do to save energy. One of the contractors seemed to have some great ideas, when I received the proposal I was surprised at the cost with vague potential savings.

    1. He said our biggest savings would be from a networked energy management system that would keep the zones from independently asking for heat. Some how all of the zones know what they are asking for and keep the system from short cycling. I think this needed 4 new Honeywell HD thermostats and some sort of Honeywell energy management system. The thermostats, 2 new zone controls, and the management system was $$k. I can't find any information on a system like this from honeywell and how much money I could save. He also mentioned outdoor reset with this.

    2. Install new heat manager, Beckett maybe? Beckett claims 10-20% savings at a cost of $$$

    3. Install new heat manager aquastat? $$$$ I am not sure what this actually does better than my current aquastat

    I would love any guidance or information someone could provide. I was wondering even if I could get a brand new boiler that would save more money, or install a couple of propane fired instant hot water heaters instead of the gigantic tank and turn the boiler off during the summer.

    thanks
    J


    Pricing isn't allowed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Altmar, New York, United States
    Posts
    4,782
    start out with an energy audit. how old is the house? i would think it could use some tightening up and insulation. maybe windows. you can do some things to the boiler but it won't do what you are looking for.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,589
    I wonder if a buffer tank would help so your not short cycling the boiler so much? That would let your boiler only Fire maybe a few times a day.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
    414
    Few questions...
    Why is there glycol in the system? Is this a vacation home? Was the glycol tested? Less heat transfer with a glycol system.
    Is the house vacant (no furniture etc)?

    How are the zones controlled?
    Like stated above, I would get a complete energy audit & heat loss to make sure the boiler is the right size, and firing the right nozzle. Also make sure the system is performing optimally.
    Upgrading the insulation will give you the biggest savings, coupled with a boiler control with an outdoor reset.
    Also make sure no hot water faucets are dripping.

    100 gallons of oil...5100 sq ft w/domestic H/W...for the week. What was the outdoor temp? Not too bad if it was very cold coupled with a leaky house, empty, no furniture. Can be improved with all the above mentioned ideas.
    Beckett heat manager/aquastat are boiler controls that will give you outdoor reset, and provide boiler purge--longer run cycles at lower temps

  5. #5
    Thanks for the replies, we have an energy audit scheduled already, the house doesn't seem to drafty but we will see. February has probably average 28 or so I am guessing. The system is hydro heat so the boiler glycol is being pumped into the attic for the 2nd floor air handler. Maybe they had a problem in the past with the line freezing. The house is empty right now, we are moving next week. I have heard that furniture will help the costs. We are working to spray foam in the attic, but it sounds like these options for the heating system will help, but ROI could be very long.


    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEusaPA View Post
    Few questions...
    Why is there glycol in the system? Is this a vacation home? Was the glycol tested? Less heat transfer with a glycol system.
    Is the house vacant (no furniture etc)?

    How are the zones controlled?
    Like stated above, I would get a complete energy audit & heat loss to make sure the boiler is the right size, and firing the right nozzle. Also make sure the system is performing optimally.
    Upgrading the insulation will give you the biggest savings, coupled with a boiler control with an outdoor reset.
    Also make sure no hot water faucets are dripping.

    100 gallons of oil...5100 sq ft w/domestic H/W...for the week. What was the outdoor temp? Not too bad if it was very cold coupled with a leaky house, empty, no furniture. Can be improved with all the above mentioned ideas.
    Beckett heat manager/aquastat are boiler controls that will give you outdoor reset, and provide boiler purge--longer run cycles at lower temps

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