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New gas boiler efficiency standards how soon?

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Hi. Last month in the news were articles that the government is proposing new regulations to
make gas boilers much more efficient. I have a
rental property with a gas Burham furnace for
hot water heat that is maybe 20 years old.
Works fine. I'm wondering should I replace it
soon? I do not want one of the high efficiency
models. Will I still be able to get a standard
80-85% efficient model installed a year or more
from now that chimney vents? I live in Conn.
But there is no talk of any state changes here
in near future. Thank you.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-admin-preparing-target-americans-gas-furnaces-amid-stove-crackdown

Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    That news organization isn't known for their accurate reporting. They like to create panic for various reasons. You might want to check out other sources before making a decision.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Mad Dog_2PC7060
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    None of the news organisations is exactly all the news that's fit to print, @ethicalpaul . Tox is no worse than the rest, and better than some. In this case, the group to keep an eye on, if you can find any accurate information (good luck with that) is the EPA, which is proposing -- but has not yet enacted -- new regulations requiring much higher efficiencies for new equipment. It is not clear whether that applies to replacements in kind, but it may.

    I would point out that these are regulations, not laws, and thus can and may be changed from proposed to in force with very little notice.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaulMad Dog_2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,775
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    None of the news organisations is exactly all the news that's fit to print, @ethicalpaul . Tox is no worse than the rest, and better than some. In this case, the group to keep an eye on, if you can find any accurate information (good luck with that) is the EPA, which is proposing -- but has not yet enacted -- new regulations requiring much higher efficiencies for new equipment. It is not clear whether that applies to replacements in kind, but it may.

    I would point out that these are regulations, not laws, and thus can and may be changed from proposed to in force with very little notice.


    That's the first time I've heard them called that, and it's funny.
    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
    GGrossPC7060
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 611
    edited July 2023
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    Con Ed/National Grid still providing distributor incentives until the end of the year



    And there will be no sudden ban on sales/installation without, at minimum, a 1-2 year notice ahead of time.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,068
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    Federal efficiency requirement changes take a long time to materialize, we have loads of history to back this up. I remember "R22 is going away" in recent history, everyone said was the last year, then you continue to use it for a decade until it actually goes away. There are updated A/C standards once again ready to come into play, distributors have had over a year now to get ready for that, manufacturers have been working on it much longer, we are still selling equipment from the last update.... Once the changes take place my company will still have the old equipment for likely over a year after the change takes place, we will probably still be ordering that old equipment for a few months as well. There isn't really a strong precedent that federal efficiency standards for HVAC equipment are enforced on residential homes with very little notice, at least not during my lifetime. There is always years and years of warning, and even then we are allowed to install the old stuff until it runs out.
    ethicalpaul
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,883
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    Will I still be able to get a standard 
    80-85% efficient model installed a year or more 
    from now that chimney vents? I live in Conn.
    But there is no talk of any state changes here
    in near future. Thank you.
    Try reading the rule - it’s proposed, to start in 2029. That’s 2 presidential elections from now. I assume it includes boilers too (which you have) but the press release I saw only mentioned furnaces, which wouldn’t apply to you. 
    ethicalpaul
  • steam_nutmegger
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    Thank you for all the responses above; they were helpful.

    The rules have been finalized but they don't show the actual rules, LOL.


    DOE says "furnaces" but do they mean that generally? Cannot find actual efficiency standards anywhere.

    I am replacing a Navien combi in a rental that has been nothing but trouble over the past nine years.

    Contractor wants to install a Burnham X-204N gas boiler for hot water heat plus an AO Smith hot water tank.

    Any opinions about these two brands or models?

    Also, in my own house I have a fifteen year old Weil McLain gas fired steam boiler that I hoped to
    keep for another ten years at least.

    Is there such a thing as a high efficiency steam boiler? Will these rules apply to steam boilers?

    If I decide to replace it in three years, any suggestions on reliable & durable brands?

    Thank you all greatly!!!

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    If by high efficiency you mean over 85%, no, there are no high efficiency steam boilers -- simply because the high efficiency is obtained by operating the boiler or furnace in the condensing range, which means reducing the exhaust gas temperature to well below 140 F. This just isn't feasible in a steam heating system, since the volume of presumably cool returning condensate is nowhere near enough to do it.

    It is, perhaps, worth noting that high efficiency hot water boilers often don't achieve those efficiencies in real life, as the return water temperature isn't low enough. Hot air furnaces can, in principle, do it pretty consistently.

    All provided they are running on LP or natural gas. The gain in efficiency from condensing with oil fuel is much less (built into the thermodynamics of combustion), although the normal operating efficiency on oil is higher (assuming the burner is adjusted properly and matched to the boiler...).

    Now whether the rules will apply to hot water boilers -- most likely. Will they apply to steam boilers? Hard to say. That will depend on whether the folks who actually know what they are doing in the regulatory agencies can convince the political folks that steam boilers are different from hot water boilers, and neither one is a furnace. There is a real gulf between engineering and thermodynamics reality and politics; based on the current track record I'd bet on the politics.

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
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    A hydronic future where systems are designed to operate between 90 and 120f will get you into 90% range

    A snowmelt powered  by a mod con puts you in the mid to high 90%

    So it is more about the application
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    PC7060
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,173
    edited October 2023
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    hot_rod said:
    A hydronic future where systems are designed to operate between 90 and 120f will get you into 90% range

    A snowmelt powered  by a mod con puts you in the mid to high 90%

    So it is more about the application
    Good advice, glad I listened when I converted my old gravity system. My SWT range is 90-120F but typically runs at less than 100F.