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Do I save money by turning down the heat (steam boiler)

mgmine
mgmine Member Posts: 58
I keep my heat set at 65 and turn it down to 60 at night. In the morning the boiler runs for an hour before it finally shuts down. Do you think I should just leave it at 65 all the time? I heat with oil and go through over a 1000 gallons a season. I have a new steam  boiler but that doesn't seem to be saving any oil. I have other questions concerning new vents as well as the thermostat but will hold off on those so that I don't confuse the issue. 

Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    steam

    This would probably do better in the strictly steam section of the forum.

    However,  I typically turn my heat down to 67F at night and bring it back to 70F in the morning.  Not sure how much it saves me but it makes it more comfortable to sleep. 



    One thing that is important is that your boiler doesn't build too much pressure or cycle due to pressure during the recovery.  If it does you are probably wasting fuel doing it rather than saving.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,537
    Maintaining temp?

    http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/thermostats-and-control-systems





    Is the boiler maintaining temp with an aquastat?
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • mgmine
    mgmine Member Posts: 58
    Do I save money by turning down the heat (steam boiler)

    I don't know? Does a steam boiler have an aquastat? I know that tyhe goverment says to turn down the heat but it seems that unlike forced air that quickly heats steam or hot water for that nmatter takes a long time to get hot enough to actually give off heat. As I mentioned my steam bolier goes for over an hour to raise the temperture 5 degrees. That means about 2 gallons of oil times 30 days in a month = $60 dollars a month just to bring the temp back up to 65 degrees
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,471
    Turn down

    Steam systems don't typically like large turn downs and many think that it doesn't really save any real cash.



    I'm retired now and what I've done in the last few years is to being the system up in stages. At 10PM the thermostat sets back to 59, at 630 in the morning it comes up to 62 then late in the afternoon it comes up to 65 when I'm likely not very active - reading or on the computer. i don't know how much fuel I save but I do know my fuel consumption is pretty low for this location considering the barn I live in.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    Depends

    On a lot of variables as to setback savings.... Or not.



    1.how well a structure is insulated, and air sealed. Typically the less a house is sealed the more savings you will realize.



    2. What kind of heating system you have. Like the report link says posted above.



    3. How much you set back, or are willing to tolerate as a setback. It is true the narrower the delta t between the inside, and outside the slower the heat loss in this case will be.



    4. How long you are away from the home for,deep setbacks. Vacations etc. this always makes sense.



    5. Comfort verses dollars saved toleration. If you are warm blooded, or do not mind roaming the home well dressed then lower temps will benefit.



    6. Type of fuel used obviously the type of fuel, and its cost per btu is going to effect the amount of money you save.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    Timing the steam

    How long is the boiler taking to make steam, (2ounces), and then how long does it take for the steam to get to the radiators? Is there any short-cycling?

    An hour seems pretty long.--NBC
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,719
    If a steam system responds quickly

    setback will save fuel. But if it takes forever to get heat to the radiators, it won't save much if anything.



    This is where proper venting and pipe insulation make a huge difference.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • mgmine
    mgmine Member Posts: 58
    Venting

    It is taking at least 10 minutes before the radiators start to heat up and after an hour some are still not hot. I know that the vents need to be replaced because I took one off and the radiator heated up. I did some research and decided to go with a non adjustable brand, Gorton to be specific. It looks like I will be using the #5 in the two rooms closest and #6 in most of the other rooms. I am not sure what the downside is to putting in a "C" in two areas. Can anyone give me direction here?  Of te two areas one is pretty far from the boiler on the second floor the other isn't that far from the boiler but is next to a room without a radiator and I would like to get heat there quickly. The basement has a Hoffman #75 installed.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,719
    How long are the steam mains

    and what pipe size are they?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • mgmine
    mgmine Member Posts: 58
    The steam mains

    The mains are 58 feet long made out of 2" pipe. There is a small section of 3" but only a few feet so I included it in the 58 foot measurement.
  • mgmine
    mgmine Member Posts: 58
    Forgot the other side

    I forgot to measure the pipe that goes to the right of the boiler off the header there are another 56 feet of 2" pipe. This extension goes to the "newer" side of the house. There isn't a vent on this end of the line at all. There is about 46 feet of pipe then it takes a 90 degree turn and goes another 10 feet however there aren't any radiators on this last 10 feet, It looks like one was there at one time but was removed. There is a place where I could put a vent on the end of this 10 foot run. Should I put one there or is that to far away to do any good?
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    counterflow or parallel?

    if you have dry returns on the system, then the main vents should be mounted there with water-hammer protection, if your system is counterflow, then the vents will have to go at the end of the main.--nbc
  • mgmine
    mgmine Member Posts: 58
    Venting

    I'm not sure what a dry return is but it is a one pipe system. What size vents would I need? As stated earlier in the thread IO have one Hoffman 75 on one end of the line.
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