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Separate heating, switch to propane

Stateline Member Posts: 1
We own a small 4 apartment building where there is one oil fired ancient boiler that provides the heat and hot water. We'd like to switch to propane and try to make the tenants pay for their own heat.

Current system has 4 loops for the baseboard heat and another line provides the hot water. We'd like to have 4 small wall mount boilers installed for each apartment's heat, and one boiler for the hot water that we would pay for. Each tenant would have a separate propane meter and they would pay for their own heat. I'm tired of seeing open windows in the winter while the heat I pay for goes out the windows!

I guess my question is am I crazy? Is the cost going to outweigh the savings? Anyone else tacked a similar project?


  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,569

    This post is very similar http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/148308/New-install-choose-propane-or-oil

    I still like the idea of limiting the temp in the unit. If they continue to leave windows open, just keep turning the temp down, remotely. When the complain about the cold, you can mention the windows and tell them you thought the unit must be too hot.

    BTU metering is also a nice option.

    A central plant will always be more efficient, and less upfront costs.

    No Natural Gas?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    edited December 2013
    control strategy .

    sums up my thought on the windows being opened..

    even very old boilers can have new control strategy with some small pipe changes near boiler added to them.

    one of the more simple ones is , a by pass off the system with a set point control and one circulator for continuous circulation controlled by out door reset .

    having done just that much means that were you to choose more recent heat source or appliance , the materials for a large portion of the change would already be in place and the building could be "ramped" for a day to lessen the noticeable difference during the change out of the newer equipment by simply closing two valves, near the continuous circulation loop, that the new appliance would connect to .....

    as a thought and consideration ...

    *ramped means to send the heat directly into the building hotter than it needs to be , to bring up the thermal mass temperature ,which then releases that stored heat more slowly over time.

    a picture of the boiler and near boiler piping and just about anyone here can explain the "How to" part of the job ..should they have a moment to check in ,and read the thread.


    that would also allow you to consider and implement other options ... and still provide heat and hot water during the sequential change outs .

    .this also increases your opportunity or window of opportunity to do so.

    sometimes the savings over the first heating season allows you a chance to reconsider earlier options you may have considered on impulse...
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    4 units

    Heat loss per unit?  You may have trouble finding boilers which are small enough.
This discussion has been closed.