Oil Boiler With Indirect
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  1. #1

    Oil Boiler With Indirect

    I was looking into ways to save money with the increasing price of oil. I was originally looking into replacing my oil boiler with an electric boiler but have decided that it is a bit more expensive than I'm willing to pay. I'm now considering adding an indirect tank to my oil boiler. Can anyone explain how this works to me (like I'm a two year old )? Also, I was told I can expect around a 25% savings with this, is this about right or is it way off? I'm trying to determine whether it makes sense to add. I'm also going to replace my thermostats with programmable thermostats. What sort of savings can I expect with these thermostats and what temperature should I be programming them to drop to when not at home or sleeping?

    Any help with this would be appreciated. I just want to make sure I'm not just falling for salesman tactics.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Can anyone help me out with this? I really want to decide on my best route soon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    If you have an inefficent boiler now, and it set to stay at 180 degrees 24x7x365, I doubt you'll more then 5% max. You need to be able to "cold" or "warm start a boiler with an indirect: allow it to only cycle when there's a demand. You save big with this off season, but of course when it's cold out and the boiler is cycling to make heat anyway, the savings are less.

    Savings also come from getting a smaller boiler. Now the boiler can be put on priority for the indirect. Heating it exclusively when it calls for heat.
    You do stop heating the house for 10-20 minutes while the boiler just
    services the indirect, but this shouldn't be an issue in a well insulated house.

    Getting the right size boiler for the job and having it run only when needed generates the biggest savings.

    I'm not a big fan of set-back thermostats, unless you're able to set back for
    a good portion of the day. Look into outdoor reset also. This lowers the
    max temp of the boiler during warmer outdoor periods. Why run the boiler up to 200 degrees just to make domestic hot water durring the summer? 160 might be enough to reheat the indirect in a reasonable amount of time.

    Also get a tech to see if your burner is using the max size nozzle. You might be able to downsize it, reduce the BTU otput and still make enough heat on the coldest days. The boiler will tend to run longer, but less often. Short cycling boilers wear out faster and are less efficent.

  4. #4
    So short of replacing the boiler (which I'm not really prepared to do this year) what are my options?

    There is no one in the house for 8 hours of the day during the week so would a programmable thermostat help in that situation?

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    8 hours is a good set back time.
    Type heat emmiters, will also determine how much temp set back works for you. Baseboard, or cast iron rads.
    How many zones do you have.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    8 hours is a good set back time.
    Type heat emmiters, will also determine how much temp set back works for you. Baseboard, or cast iron rads.
    How many zones do you have.
    I have baseboard hot water heaters. I have 1 zone in the lower level and two zones in the upper level. I have two programmable thermostats currently and plan to pick up a third before winter and install all three.

  7. #7
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    Usually, not always. One zone is seldom used. If that zone doesn't effect the other areas much. Keep it set low, and have the stat programed for that low temp 24/7. Then when your going to use that zone, you set the temp up, and the stat will lower the setting automatically if you forget.

    Baseboard recovers quicker then cast iron. So you can set the temp back a little further.
    4 to 6 degrees is a good set back for 8 hours.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Usually, not always. One zone is seldom used. If that zone doesn't effect the other areas much. Keep it set low, and have the stat programed for that low temp 24/7. Then when your going to use that zone, you set the temp up, and the stat will lower the setting automatically if you forget.

    Baseboard recovers quicker then cast iron. So you can set the temp back a little further.
    4 to 6 degrees is a good set back for 8 hours.
    We use most of the house when we're at home. So should I set them all up for the same schedule and temp? I'm assuming 4-6 degrees is in Fahrenheit. I'm in Canada so I just want to make sure I get my units correct .

    So I guess bottom line is that an indirect may not be worth to cost for my system. Perhaps I'll just go with the programmable thermostats this year and look into replacing the boiler next year.

  9. #9
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    Yes, that was in °F.

    You can also lower any zone that is not used while you are sleeping.
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  10. #10
    Is there anything that I can do at the registers to lower heating costs in a hot water system? I can't imagine there is since it really depends on the water temp but I figured I'd ask.

  11. #11
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    Are the elements clean. If not, then you aren't getting teh heat you should be.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Are the elements clean. If not, then you aren't getting teh heat you should be.
    Define clean? Do you mean no dirt or dust at all? I'm not sure, never really looked at them. Do you just use a vacuum or something to clean them?

  13. #13
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    A vacuum can work.

    Make sure the dampers are also open. Sometimes they close on some, and no one notices
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