Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.

If you've found help here, check back in to let us know how everything worked out.
It's a great way to thank those who helped you.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

muti family dwelling wants to convert to gas...individual units

elaine howellelaine howell Posts: 12Member
I am looking into converting from oil to gas in a multifamily bldg. 8 apartments on 3 floors 24 units I would like to put units in each apartment I do have gas lines to stoves but i pay gas for cooking I need a lot of help to pick the right boiler and contractor I know this is a big job I would like to use someone who has done this type of conversions I know its going to be complex. I need to remove a 5000 gal oil tank from ground at the same time as putting in new units.  please advise... I believe there are rebates available and 0 % interest out there but not sure about all the requirements..newark, nj

Comments

  • rlaggrenrlaggren Posts: 159Member
    Are you asking for a separate heater in each unit?

    Not sure from your post.



    If so, there are a lot of considerations, many directly related to what might be found at your site. The job _requires_ some significant time be spent looking at the physical situation and discussing options with you. Possibly the best course of action would be to cut to the chase and check out the contractors listed on this site and call any that are near you.



    Here are _some_ of the challenges:



    1) Combustion appliances must be vented, either out the walls or up to the roof. There are rules about each and each requires available space to run the vents.



    2) There is less than a 50/50 chance you can use the existing gas lines. Running new gas lines takes up space and often looks ugly so you need to decide where to put those pipes.



    3) You will likely need new electrical to each unit.



    4) Does your existing gas service from the street provide enough gas to the building for you plans? Maybe you need a new service.



    5) Pipes that feed the radiators need to be designed because you likely can't use much of the existing.



    6) Tenant/vacancy scheduling will be necessary.



    Yes, it's a big job. If you are in fact attempting to make each unit responsible for it's heating costs, using electric heat may be a far more reasonable solution. There is a very slight chance you could install BTU meters on the heating pipes to each unit and bill them based on their usage; however, it's not likely that the heat was piped in a way that would make this possible.



    Rufus
    disclaimer - I'm a plumber, not a heating pro.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,281Member
    With electric heat

    the cost per BTU would be so high you might not be able to keep tenants! 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Chris_110Chris_110 Posts: 3,056Member
    Is this a Gut

    Is this going to be a complete gut? Are we changing windows, insulation etc. Need much more info.



    Any design of a heating system begins with a complete heat loss. It lays the road map.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • elaine howellelaine howell Posts: 12Member
    muti family dwelling wants to convert to gas...individual units

    Hi Chris, No This is not a gut as far as the entire inside of the apartment goes.but As far as the boiler yes ( its huge) weil Mc clain) approx 60 yrs old very well maintained mechanically but no one ever looked at the big pic... oil was cheap 10 years ago... We paid almost as much for water supplied to this building ad we did oil, now its 4x the amount..I am looking at this as a 10 year payment plan and I am not sure but with prices of all energy unstable and always going up it just seemed the smartest way to go.... I know its not going to be the least expensive. Also In newark NJ we are not allowed to pass along our increases in oil taxes etc. to existing tenants. Its rent controlled. This is a 3 story bldg. oil heated  baseboard, 1 main temp control set auto matically. but can be increased if necessary. I am positive the heat loss in this building is off the charts and the burner is most likely inefficient. th meterere is gas in the building for stoves . I pay gas bill. 1 gas meter..Insulation Yes Windows --no only ten yrs old maybe less......might need some sealing around the windows but no replacements. this bldg.is using 10,000 -12,000 gallon of oil yearly. Hot wat is heated by oil too. thank you Elaine
  • James Day_2James Day_2 Posts: 185Member
    Gas

    sounds like it might be a good application for a cascade system. Multiple smaller boilers tied together rather than 1 large boiler.
  • elaine howellelaine howell Posts: 12Member
    muti family dwelling wants to convert to gas...individual units

    Hi Day Heating , Never heardof cascade system I will look into this but will it accomplish my goal of having the tenants pay their own heat & hot water. Regards Elaine
  • James Day_2James Day_2 Posts: 185Member
    boilers

    you would still have to zone out each appartment individually.  Then you could run each apartment and clock the hours they run and bill them on that.  But rather than putting in 24 boilers (which will be extremely expensive)  You could tie a couple in together and stage them so they will fire together as they need more btu's.
  • Chris_110Chris_110 Posts: 3,056Member
    BTU Meters

    Considering you are not gutting the place, using BTU meters to bill the tenants from one heating plant is a viable option. Might be the most cost effective option as well.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • elaine howellelaine howell Posts: 12Member
    muti family dwelling wants to convert to gas...individual units

    Do I need to put the btu meters  a one location or in each apartment?
  • Chris_110Chris_110 Posts: 3,056Member
    The Meters

    Would go in the basement on the individual zones feeding each apartment. If that is not currently the setup then they may not be an option due to the system piping. Would need a a contractor to have an on sight visit to clarify.  I believed you said you were in Newark I was just down in that neck of the woods on Friday looking at a job. I am not a contractor although I have installed hunderds of high efficiency systems. I'm on the design side which I feel is the most important side. Without a proper design the install is fruitless.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • elaine howellelaine howell Posts: 12Member
    muti family dwelling wants to convert to gas...individual units

    ther is one meter in the boiler room now but the boiler is 60 years old and gigantic  once that is removed I'm sure we could fit 23 meters in room along with new gas unit...but i still need to insulate building properly. thanks Elaine
  • James Day_2James Day_2 Posts: 185Member
    Gas

    Listen to Chris, he knows what he is talking about when it comes to hydronics.  Best guy in my area hands down.
  • elaine howellelaine howell Posts: 12Member
    muti family dwelling wants to convert to gas...individual units

    thank You I will. waiting for a answer on my question to Chris....
  • elaine howellelaine howell Posts: 12Member
    muti family dwelling wants to convert to gas...individual units

    Where do you work out of Chris?   How often are you in newark nj
  • Chris_110Chris_110 Posts: 3,056Member
    Thanks James

    James, thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate your thoughts. Elaine, I didn't see a question in your post. I can assume you mean should you insulate. That's an easy anwser, YES, YES, YES, insulation is our best friend..
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • James Day_2James Day_2 Posts: 185Member
    Chris

    Chris,

    Her question was where do you work out of and how often are you in newark
  • elaine howellelaine howell Posts: 12Member
    muti family dwelling wants to convert to gas...individual units

    how much physical room do  need to install a new gas boiler & water heater and 24 meters ...... the boiler room is approx 9x9 or a bit bigger.... can this all fit in one room?
  • Chris_110Chris_110 Posts: 3,056Member
    I'm Only

    A couple hrs up the road in Monroe NY. I work out of Hawthorne NJ. Send me an e-mail we can arrange a look..
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
This discussion has been closed.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!