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Tweaking steam system

I live in a 90 yr. old two story house just south of Boston that has single pipe steam. I have a 13 yr. old Burnham V75 oil fired boiler that can produce 596 sq. ft of steam, problem is I only have 190 sq. ft of radiation surface - not to much I can do about that.

I keep the house cool (63) and set it back to about 58 at night.

I retired last spring and in the early fall I decided to see what I could do to make the system more efficient.

First thing I did was to insulate all the bare piping in the cellar, that cost me $275.

Next I bought TLAOSH by Dan Holohan, that cost me $45.

I replaced my main air vent because it didn't seem to be working, that cost me $28. All the radiator air vents were working fine.

I then replaced my pressuretrol with a vapor-stat and a 3 PSI gauge, that cost me about $200. I set the cutout  to 1.3 and  the cut in 0.3 PSI. The old pressurestrol had crept up to 4-5 PSI (on the 30 PSI gauge but I didn't know how bad that can be for efficiency.

I installed a time meter so I can track exactly how much the boiler runs, that cost me $26 used.

The net result is that I reduced my oil usage from 0.083 gallons of oil per degree day (last year) to 0.052 gal / DD (this year). That means I'm only burning 63% as much oil as I was last year at this time (mid February) and Because I'm not working the heat is up a lot more.

At today's oil prices these improvements will pay for themselves pretty quickly. I still have more to do but Id say that Dan's book was probably the best investment I've made in many a year. I just wished I read it before I had that over-sized boiler installed.


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