I did not see any reference to my question and would appreciate a response as soon as possible, as due to medical situation, have to make a decision soon. We own an OLD house with 13′ ceilings in a large part of the home and 11″ ceilings in the LV/DR and BR. We are oscillating on where to place the ducts….Floor or ceiling. It appears to be counterproductive to me to put the duct work in the ceiling since it will have so far to go. We are looking for the most cost effective, not upfront cost but operating cost, solution. In addition, we are considering DF heat pumps. The house will need 2 or 3 to be zoned correctly. Please let me know about the duct placement and thank you for your help? Continue reading “Duct Work and High Ceilings” »
There are many different types of boilers in the boiler room today in a variety of heating applications. There are two main categories of boilers among the different types of boilers and those two categories are steam and hot water boilers. Either of those categories can be fueled by oil, gas, or electric (although electric is uncommon for steam boilers). They have different designs and piping configurations as a steam boiler system is designed to turned the water into steam and uses gravity and pressure to deliver the heat and the hot water boiler systems are designed to simply make hot water to be circulated (by a circulator or pump) through a piping system to provide heat. Typically, hot water boilers are more efficient than steam boilers for a few reasons. First, there is less heat loss throughout the hot water piping and the shell of the boiler because the hot water boiler operates at a lower temperature than the steam boiler. This means there is less heat loss throughout the entire boiler and piping system. Secondly, because the hot water boiler operates at a lower temperature, it requires less fuel or energy to convert into heat. What kind of boiler do you have in your boiler room?
There are two types of expansion tanks used on hot water boiler systems. The steel expansion tank and the bladder type expansion tank. These expansion tanks are used to provide a cushion for the expansion of water when it is heated. Without this cushion of air the pressure in the boiler system would rise and exceed the setting on the pressure relief valve causing the pressure relief valve to open and discharge water to relieve the pressure. It is necessary to for an HVAC technician to understand how these expansion tanks work in order to properly troubleshoot hot water boiler problems which may occur as a result of an issue with an expansion tank. One of the first things to check on a hot water boiler system when the pressure relief valve discharges water excessively is the expansion tank. Continue reading “Hot Water Boiler Expansion Tanks” »
Air Handler Unit Components: Hot Water Coil Heat
Hot water coils inside of air handler units combine a boiler system or a special capacity hot water heater and forced air to provide forced-air heating. The concept is simple and used a lot in commercial and some in residential. Commercial systems almost exclusively use a boiler to provide hot water to the hot water coil inside the air handler unit while the residential systems use mainly special capacity hot water heaters to provide hot water to the hot water coil inside the air handler unit. On a call for heat a pump is energized to begin the circulation of hot water from the heating source to the coil. The air handler unit blower motor energizes and air begins to move across the coil. Heat is exchanged from the hot water coil to the air and the air is delivered to its appropriate destination through the ductwork.
I have lots of my boiler pipe under the house in a crawl space and some in the basement and none of this pipe is insulated. I just bought the house last year and this past winter my gas bill was crazy high. Can I increase efficiency by insulating these pipes and what are some other ways to keep the gas bill lower by optimizing the my boiler system?
Thanks and I look forward to your answer……….Bill – Pittsburgh, PA
This is not a normal commercial boiler stack in this boiler room. It has a bypass stack for an commercial hot water economizer. All boilers have make-up water to make up for water lost in the systems especially for domestic hot water use. This hot water boiler system also served the domestic water needs for the local community where these boilers provided heat. Notice the dampers on the stacks (both the vertical and the horizontal stacks). These are controlled by a direct digital controller, located in the boiler room, and cause the hot gas to be diverted to an commercial hot water economizer instead of outside. Inside the boiler economizer were coils where the cold water supply water from the city was routed. This cold water supply was for domestic hot water use. Domestic hot water use is hot water for showers or the sinks for washing dishes or your hands. The water supplied from the city was typically fifty degrees Fahrenheit. After running through this cold supply water from the city through the boiler economizer the water was almost ninety degrees Fahrenheit. This system saved the organization money by using the heat from the gas stack gases. Instead of dumping it outside where it would be dissipated into the outside air it was routed through the commercial hot water economizer where it pre-heated the cold water supply for domestic hot water use. The commercial hot water economizer will help pay for itself and many other things by making the boiler room more efficient. Continue reading “Commercial Boiler Stack with Economizer” »
Boiler piping zone valves are used for zoning hot water systems where multiple zones are needed. Hot water system zoning can also reduce energy cost because hot water heat zones which are not needed can be shut down thereby reducing boiler run time to provide hot water heat for those specific zones. Zoning a hot water boiler system can be done by using these zone valves and separate thermostats for each zone. The hot water loop is separated using zone valves on a manifold type system with each zone originating at the manifold. The manifold is piped directly to the hot water boiler. Continue reading “Hot Water Boiler Piping Zone Valves” »
The boiler aquastat controls the temperature of the water inside the boiler jacket. The boiler aquastat is a device to a boiler like a thermostat is to an air conditioner, heat pump, or gas/oil furnace. The boiler aquastat controls the temperature inside the boiler just as the thermostat controls the temperature for an air conditioner or heat pump. The boiler aquastat will turn the burners on and off and also controls the circulator pump on a hot water boiler system.
Almost as if by rote many maintenance departments begin their annual boiler maintenance in late summer to get ready for the cooler weather. Does your department understand how important the code is or do they take all this for granted? Do they understand that if an accident were to occur all these maintenance procedures will placed under a microscope especially if someone is injured or worse, killed? Along with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and local code enforcement not to mention private firms hired to investigate an accident someone or something will be held responsible for the accident. You don’t want this person or thing held responsible to be you or your department so it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules, codes, and regulations pertaining to boiler maintenance. Boiler maintenance is serious business and a wise organization will take the steps necessary to train and familiarize their personnel to the rules, codes, procedures, and documentation necessary to ensure that boiler maintenance was completed by the book whether it was written by ASME or a local code agency. After all, the code was written for a reason. That reason you may not understand but someone somewhere learned a valuable lesson and they contributed that lesson to the code book to prevent future accidents from occurring. Know the code and actively comply with boiler maintenance and you will sleep a lot better.
The boiler pressure relief valve is a safety valve designed to relieved an excessive build up of pressure inside the boiler. The is a pressure vessel designed to handle a safe amount of pressure. If the pressure were to build up beyond the safety limitations as set forth by the design specifications the boiler system needs a safe way to vent the pressure to prevent an explosion. The boiler relief valve is this safe way to vent excessive dangerous pressures inside the boiler. Continue reading “Boiler Pressure Relief Valve – Boiler Safety” »