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Can we gain worthwhile efficiency with new steam boiler?
I am an energy auditor looking in to a STEAM boiler replacement for a customer with a large victorian house in Minnesota. They currently have single pipe steam radiators, so we need to stay with steam. They have a natural gas Weil-McLain model H-8, series 4 steam boiler mfg'd in the early 1960's (per Weil McLain). Kbtu In= 490, Kbtu Out= 392, thus the thermal efficiency was already 80% at date of manufacture. I have looked thru website from AHRI, and cannot find anything in steam better than 81% Thermal eff now. Am I missing something? Why bother, except for reliability/ parts issues, right? How about adding a good quality flue damper, and call it good? Or do this with a new steam boiler?
Home envelope/ air leakage measures are being addressed to save energy. I just do not want to overstate savings for a boiler replacement here.
We know that hot WATER is a different animal (way more common) and these can save a lot of energy and $ to replace. I would appreciate a second learned opinion...