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NShak Member Posts: 38
Homeowner question.

Let's assume that the boiler is clean & working well, the pipes are insulated, and the radiators are balanced.  One glaring problem is no main air vents.  Obviously this would improve things tremendously and we're working on adding some to each steam main. 

Until we get main air vents installed...

My wife thinks keeping the thermostat low is the most efficient and cost-effective setting.

I think that too low a setting is inefficient because the pipes will go totally cold, and the next time the boiler fires, the steam has to reheat the entire system and vent the cold air out the radiators.  I think keeping the thermostat set a little higher will help keep the pipes a little warmer.  I assume warmer pipes means that the steam has less resistence (less cold air to push out the radiators), and thus we should satisfy the thermostat sooner.

Any opinions?

I hope I'm right, because maybe I can convince her to raise the temp a little and I can wear less layers around the house!



  • Big-Al_2
    Big-Al_2 Member Posts: 263
    Cooler is Cheaper

    Keeping your thermostat at a lower temperature will decrease the amount of heat your home loses to the great outdoors.  Less heat lost = less heat needed from your boiler = lower fuel bills.  Keeping the pipes warm by running the boiler more often doesn't seem very economical to me.  However, a warmer temperature might lead to a more comfortable wife.  Happy wife = happy life. It might be worth the expense . . .
  • Lowering the Temperature.

    I hate to say this, as I believe in this female dominated world we males have to stick together, but you wife is right!.  Living at a lower temperature uses less fuel- even just a couple of degrees lower.   Don't confuse this with setback. It generally thought by the steam people on this forum that setting back the temperature more than 5 degrees at night uses up more fuel making up the temperature in the morning  than just  maintaining the temperature. Lowering the temperature does save fuel. While I like my room temperature at 70 degrees we have got use to it at 65 and that has made a big actual savings in our fuel bill. Sweaters are much cheaper than oil!

    Since you mention that your system doesn't have main vents I'm sure there are a lot of things you can do to make you steam system more economical.  Main vents make a lot of difference to the burn time of your boiler. I don't think there is such a thing as too much main venting! I would install main vents as soon as possible.
  • NShak
    NShak Member Posts: 38
    Main Vents

    Regarding main vents....

    I have no plugs on the steam mains where I could connect a stalk and at least 1 main air vent.  So I either have to drill & tap ~2 feet from the downturn/elbow from the wet return or crack the elbow and run a connection there.  Is this right? 

    If I have the tools and some support from my father-in-law (who's always looking for a project), do you think I can do it as a handy homeowner?  A little scared to try a big project right before winter time, here in NJ.

  • Tapping vents

    Read  the post "Boiler Install Results (cont)" Tapping vents was discussed there

This discussion has been closed.