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How much of a temperature swing for Gas-Fired Boiler thermostat?
I have an older Utica Gas-fired Steam Boiler, installed around 1994, Peg-C model. One-pipe system.
Here's a little background:
I bought the house in August of last year (2012). One of the first things I replaced in the fall was the old mercury switch thermostat and replaced it with a Honeywell 1-day programmable one.
It has 4 programmable "times" for the 1-day, so I'm looking for help in configuring it. I've already set the thermostat to "Gas-fired Steam Heat" mode buried away in the settings to prevent it from firing too often.
A comfortable temperature my family enjoys is around 68-69. Once the thermostat turns off, the radiant heat from the steam radiators usually heats the home to around 71-72.
When we leave in the morning, I currently have it set to 66. I've programmed the thermostat to increase to 68 around 4 PM in anticipation of everyone returning home shortly thereafter.
What I'd like to know (and what my heating tech couldn't say without a doubt) is how much of a temperature swing I could program for. Obviously, a larger swing places a larger demand on the boiler itself. It will have to run longer.
In a typical day, nobody is home between 8 AM and 5 PM. So realistically speaking this could be set as low as I can go to prevent problems with freezing, assuming the boiler could handle the extra load to bring the house back up to temperature in the evenings. So, I suppose I would say optimal level for me would be around 60 in the days when nobody's home and keep it around the 68-69 we're comfortable with in the evenings.
I live in an old house, built around 1930. Plaster and wood lathe walls, almost certainly zero insulation in it. There is insulation between the ceiling second floor (bedrooms) and the attic floor that appears to be in good shape.
Also some background information while you're reading this post:
I was having issues with surging on my boiler that looked like it was not properly maintained and I had a technician come out here about a month ago to take advantage of the "21-point tune-up specials" which included a combustion analysis. The analysis showed very high (500PPM or higher) carbon monoxide. I had the chimney flue swept the following day by a local company and had the heating company return to run another analysis, and it was still high. After discussion with the tech, I had him perform a "chimney flue base cleaning" which included a cleaning of the heat exchanger, etc. Following analysis shows the CO level down between 25-30 PPM, and within acceptable ranges.
So, I'm not sure exactly what they cleaned regarding the exchanger and whatnot, but they fixed the problem and that was worth it in the end.
Thanks for the advice, suggestions, and answers.
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