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.