Ask Brownstoner

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Question: I have an ancient boiler and heating system in my two-family brownstone. What can I do when I upgrade to create the most energy-efficient system?

Good question given the time of year. First, some tough love: Replacing an old boiler is a 20-year-or-more investment. While today’s boiler technology provides greater efficiency than in the past, the piping from the boiler also plays an important role in how efficiently the boiler and system work together and how long the equipment, new or existing, lasts. The distribution piping immediately exiting the boiler (commonly called the near-boiler piping), if not done correctly, can have the effect of a blocked artery, forcing the heart of your system to overwork in its attempt to get the fluid to where it’s needed, at the radiators. The thermostat in your living space will be telling your boiler, “Come on, more heat”, your boiler will obediently respond, but the main beneficiary of the flaring burner and the accelerating rotations of your meter will be the toasty warm rodent in your utility room.

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There are two new posts today on the Renovation Blogs:
Water Problems with the Extension [Crown Heights Reno]
Picking Colors for the Bathroom [Bed Stuy Reno]

Meanwhile, here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Dumb to Buy Gorgeous Apt with No View?
Seeking Someone for Minor Plumbing Fixes
Need Someone to Install Exterior Doors in Our Basement
Are There Really Bed Bugs at 616 E 18th Street?
Repairing Damage to Original Brownstone Doors?
A Good Rental Broker in Prospect Heights?

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.

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Here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Dealing with Sidewalks and Bulging Tree Roots
Trying to Find an Old Iron Fence Like This
Will Screwing Stop the Noisy Squeeking?
Are There Hepa Filters for Heat Registers?
Adding Moisture to Forced-Air Furnace?
Tax Deductions When Buying a New Condo?

Meanwhile, there are three new posts today on the Renovation Blogs:
Rental Apartment Done Just in Time! [South Stuy Reno]
…And On To Painting [Bed Stuy Reno]
Tile Shopping and Selection [Gates Reno]

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.

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Here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
1920 Building – No C of O Needed?
Licensed Plumber Needed for Sprinkler Testing
What To Do About Gas Spillage?
Feedback on Original Windows from Flushing?
Someone to Strip Paint from Fireplaces?
Rights of Renter if Building Is Sold?

Meanwhile, there’s one new post today on the Renovation Blogs:
Help From Our Friends [Bed Stuy Reno]

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.

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Here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Code for Location of Electrical Switch in Bathroom?
Safety and Quality of Life on 26th Street?
Is a Fire Escape Needed on the First Floor?
Need Someone to Restain Kitchen Cabinets
Small Stoves that are Wider than Deeper?

Meanwhile, there’s one new post today on the Renovation Blogs:
Kitchen Cabinets and Knobs Revealed [Windsor Terrace Reno]

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.

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Here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Converting to a Rental – Costs Deductible?
Decorative Arched Steel/Wrought Iron Doors
Need a Good Locksmith Recommendation
How Much to Replace Floors and Beams?
What’s the Best Source for Brooklyn Listings?
Free Commercial Boiler Up For Grabs
Can a Broker Lie About Other Offers?

Meanwhile, there’s one new post today on the Renovation Blogs:
Grouting the Bathroom Floor [Bed Stuy Reno]

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.

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Here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Condensation Inside Double-Pane Glass?
ISO Someone to Do My Kitchen Ductwork
Need an Upholsterer for Large Items
Average Gas Bill for a Brownstone One-Bedroom?
Why I Don’t Do Any Renovation Work Myself
How Long for Argon to Leak Our of Windows?
Can I Put Recessed Lighting in Tin Ceiling?

Meanwhile, there are two new posts today on the Renovation Blogs:
Happy to See Me or Central Air? [Windsor Terrace Reno]
Grouting the Shower [Bed Stuy Reno]

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.

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Here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Any Way to Stop Neighbor from Building Extension?
Is There a Mass Exodus from Milk Factory?
Have You Ever Used New York Heating Corp?
Best Way to Investigate Property Violations?
Relationship Between DOB and ECB Fines?
Impact of Neighbor’s Disrepair on My Property Value?
Need Specialist to Repair Plaster Frieze
Place to Repair Vintage Lamps?

Meanwhile, there’s one new post today on the Renovation Blogs:
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Shower Curb Complete [Bed Stuy Reno]

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.

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Here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Is Ditmas Park “Fringe”?
Extracting Fireplace Tiles from Cement?
“Value Spillover” from PLG to PLG South
New Landlord: How Much Security Deposit to Keep?
Can Someone Recommend a Reliable Oil Company?
Cost of Removing and Replacing Stairs?
Cost to Build Stairs to Backyard??

Meanwhile, there are three new posts on the Renovation Blogs:
Grouting “Sort of a Pain in the Ass” [Bed Stuy Reno]
Contractor Almost Tosses Old Clawfoot [Windsor Terrace Reno]
Treasures from the Excavation [Crown Heights Reno]

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.