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Would you recommend automatic damper to increase efficiency of new boiler?

Dave_61
Dave_61 Member Posts: 280
We have a new oil fired boiler Weil-McLain SG05. Would an oil vent damper (Field Controls) significantly increase our energy savings? Thanks

Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,739
    edited February 2021
    It can't hurt. My Peerless came with a damper on it.

    Edit: You know, I saw the "oil heat" part but somehow it didn't click. Of course my atmospheric gas boiler has one...otherwise it has a wide open vent up the chimney. Oil wouldn't have that because of the burner I gather...
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,880
    Dave_61 said:

    We have a new oil fired boiler Weil-McLain SG05. Would an oil vent damper (Field Controls) significantly increase our energy savings? Thanks

    significantly NO

    Save energy yes. return on investment probably "0"
    LS123SuperTech
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,907
    It will save a little energy. How much? Not much. And they are prone to failure, usually at oh dark hundred in a blizzard.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    LS123
  • Don_175
    Don_175 Member Posts: 75
    Steamhead said:
    Depends on what it's hooked up to. Remember, most steam systems originally had coal-fired boilers. These required powerful chimneys to pull air through the coal bed on the grate- I've seen some that could pull pets and small children up to the roof. This is way more draft than a modern boiler needs, and the draft continues after the burner shuts off, which can cool down the boiler between cycles, requiring the burner to re-heat the boiler on the next cycle. This is why dampers were invented. So if the chimney is original, a damper will help, even if it's been re-lined.
    I’m not sure if it’s original. It’s about 17” square and projects about 6 feet above the roofline. 
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,176
    edited February 2021
    @Steamhead has been watching a little too much Mary Poppins. Chim Chim Cher-ee

    I believe that the stack damper on oil heat was oversold in the 1970s. They caused many problems and most were bypassed, made inoperable, or removed after the burner operated with the damper closed. This happened on a no heat service call and the repair person did not understand that making the burner run with the damper closed was a problem.

    The case that @Steamhead is referring to, is one of the exceptions that actually saved on fuel. If you have such a system, then by all means I would try it ... But be cautious when having service and maintenance completed. Be sure the technician understands the purpose and how the system is supposed to operate, and the safety lockout designed into the system, and how to safely bypass it during a failure in order to get the heat back on.

    Good luck.
    Respectfully submitted,
    Mr.Ed




    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,177
    Steamhead said:

    Depends on what it's hooked up to.

    Remember, most steam systems originally had coal-fired boilers. These required powerful chimneys to pull air through the coal bed on the grate- I've seen some that could pull pets and small children up to the roof. This is way more draft than a modern boiler needs, and the draft continues after the burner shuts off, which can cool down the boiler between cycles, requiring the burner to re-heat the boiler on the next cycle. This is why dampers were invented.

    So if the chimney is original, a damper will help, even if it's been re-lined.

    Agreed. I have a 10 inch flue going into the original tall chimney the coal burner was on. Huge draft, cooled the boiler down quickly. Many minutes lost in time to steam every cycle. I think it is a big deal for efficiency. Every minute of reheat that doesn't need to be there is in fact a dead loss.

    As for longevity how close to the boiler makes a big difference. Mine is 4 feet from the boiler on the other side of a wall. I Installed mine about 1996 and have had no issues. 4000 cycles a season anyway. Finally bought a spare motor just this year to have on hand.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329

    @Steamhead has been watching a little too much Mary Poppins. Chim Chim Cher-ee

    I believe that the stack damper on oil heat was oversold in the 1970s. They caused many problems and most were bypassed, made inoperable, or removed after the burner operated with the damper closed. This happened on a no heat service call and the repair person did not understand that making the burner run with the damper closed was a problem.

    The case that @Steamhead is referring to, is one of the exceptions that actually saved on fuel. If you have such a system, then by all means I would try it ... But be cautious when having service and maintenance completed. Be sure the technician understands the purpose and how the system is supposed to operate, and the safety lockout designed into the system, and how to safely bypass it during a failure in order to get the heat back on.

    Good luck.
    Respectfully submitted,
    Mr.Ed

    I haven't seen that movie since my parents dragged me to see it when it first came out. They loved Julie Andrews..... yes, I really am that old.

    I had a Flair stack damper on my Burnham V-14 until the motor unit died. Until then it worked flawlessly. Of course, we didn't skimp on maintenance so the boiler didn't soot up. The burner was a Sunray FC, which for those not familiar, is a flame-retention unit. I can see where a damper would be a problem on an old-style sootmaker burner.

    I have a Field OVD sitting around somewhere, but always seem too busy to put it in.

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Motorapido
    Motorapido Member Posts: 285
    My anecdotal report: When I replaced my wide-open, broken damper with a functioning damper, my entire basement temperature increased about 8 to 10 degrees. That heat formerly rushed up the chimney, and the air flow up the chimney continued to cool the boiler water. Now, the heat stays in the basement where much of it travels up through the floors and into the living space. Plus the boiler makes steam faster on each new call for heat since the water in the boiler stays hotter between calls for heat.
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,177

    My anecdotal report: When I replaced my wide-open, broken damper with a functioning damper, my entire basement temperature increased about 8 to 10 degrees. That heat formerly rushed up the chimney, and the air flow up the chimney continued to cool the boiler water. Now, the heat stays in the basement where much of it travels up through the floors and into the living space. Plus the boiler makes steam faster on each new call for heat since the water in the boiler stays hotter between calls for heat.

    Absolutely right. The biggest mistake is putting them right on top of the boiler which bakes them to death. Move them away at all and the ROI is a no brainer.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,882
    If you have a oil burner with an automatic air damper like on a Riello the stack damper would be redundant ...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all