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Help with Steam Efficiency
All, this discussion board is awesome but I have a couple of questions I cannot find through searching.
My 1928 home has its original steam boiler, a Redflash #1 Ideal by American Radiator Company. It takes 35 minutes to get heat at the closet radiator and after about 50 minutes heat is really cranking.
I received a $25k estimate to replace it. Hot water conversion would require too much destruction, and forced air is impractical because of clearance in my crawlspaces. We have replaced all the windows in the house with thermal glass, insulated the crawlspaces, and brought the attic up to R-38.
The boiler is controlled by an Intermatic mechanical 24-hour timer, which is connected to a 24v transformer, and then to a Robertshaw 780-715U ignition control unit. Thus, we time it to turn on for 1.5 hours in the morning and 3 in the evening.
I live in northern California. In cold months, my gas bill is as high as $800!
I would love advice about how to heat my home more efficiently--
1) I have only one setting: full power! Is there a way to cycle the boiler so that it fires at full power until it generates steam, and then powers down to 60% or whatever it takes to maintain the steam generation?
2) Is it possible to get a timer that would turn the boiler on for 90 minutes, then off for 60 and then on again to take advantage of the heat built up?
any other ideas of how to deal with this problem? MANY THANKS, Chris