Need help on a steam heating question

Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Normy On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:22 pm

Hi,
Maybe an informed plumber or heating expert can answer a steam heating question for me?

It's important to mention that this is a natural gas boiler with one zone using a programmable therostat. It doesn't heat DHW. This is a 5 room apt approximately 925 sq/ft with one castiron steam radiator in each room.

The question is what is the most efficient way to heat the place with the programmable thermostat? When home a comfortable temp would be 69-70 deg. My Son works from 3pm to 11pm. He would go to sleep 4am till about 12- 1pm.

The apartment is on the 1st floor with only one floor above him and the boiler is in the basement. The radiators have only one pipe going to each.

With city gas and steam is it best to keep the settings a few degrees less than 69-70 or let it drop say 62 or so and make it run longer to get up to temp (remember we are talking a steam system)?

Anybody have a good idea what would be best?

Thanks for you help

Normy
Last edited by Wood'nCoal on Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moved to "Gas Heating" heading.
Normy
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Pacowy On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:34 pm

My amateur vote would be to set it way back when you don't need the heat. The boiler can rest at a comparatively cool temperature ( minimizing stand-by losses), pick-up losses are minimized and heat loss from the dwelling to the outside is minimized. As long as you give it enough time to come back up to the temp you want, I would expect that to be the fuel-minimizing approach. In the very long term it may put more fatigue on the boiler.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Normy On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:35 pm

Pacowy wrote:My amateur vote would be to set it way back when you don't need the heat. The boiler can rest at a comparatively cool temperature ( minimizing stand-by losses), pick-up losses are minimized and heat loss from the dwelling to the outside is minimized. As long as you give it enough time to come back up to the temp you want, I would expect that to be the fuel-minimizing approach. In the very long term it may put more fatigue on the boiler.

Mike


Thanks for your input! I just don't know. I question this because it has to convert to steam before you feel any heat.
Because it's gas is it a lot different from oil or ccoal units.
Normy
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520


Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:54 pm

I think the general rule is to only set back 5 degrees. Any more than that uses more energy to reheat than you saved. Assuming the set back is in the 8-12 hr time frame. If you're going away for a week, set it back all you want as long as it's not so cold the pipes freeze!
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Normy On: Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:28 am

Carbon12 wrote:I think the general rule is to only set back 5 degrees. Any more than that uses more energy to reheat than you saved. Assuming the set back is in the 8-12 hr time frame. If you're going away for a week, set it back all you want as long as it's not so cold the pipes freeze!


5 degrees, I'll give that a try.

Thanks
Normy
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:37 am

Carbon12 wrote:Any more than that uses more energy to reheat than you saved.


I'm not really following that. All of the time the house spends at the lower temperature is time when it is experiencing reduced heat loss. If you try to maintain a higher temperature, you lose more btu's.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Freddy On: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:48 am

Any time you lower the temperature you are saving fuel. As far as warming an area the only difference between steam & some other type of heat is that steam may have a longer recovery. If it does, then factor that into your programing. The idea is: You want it comfy when you get home, or when you wake up. Set is to drop to what ever temp you deem for when you away or asleep. Have it drop 1/2 hour before. Then set it to come back up 1/2 hour before you get home or awaken. If it's not quite up to heat when you want it to be, change it to 45 minutes before. If that's not enough try longer. Once you get it dialed in you will be saving as much as possible....unless you decide you can live with it cooler.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:22 am

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/grho/grho_002.cfm

Of course lower TT settings save fuel however, it's not always that simple, especially with steam.
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Normy On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:20 pm

Carbon12 wrote:http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/grho/grho_002.cfm

Of course lower TT settings save fuel however, it's not always that simple, especially with steam.


These were great articles to read, thanks for the link!
Normy
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Normy On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:32 pm

Freddy wrote:Any time you lower the temperature you are saving fuel. As far as warming an area the only difference between steam & some other type of heat is that steam may have a longer recovery. If it does, then factor that into your programing. The idea is: You want it comfy when you get home, or when you wake up. Set is to drop to what ever temp you deem for when you away or asleep. Have it drop 1/2 hour before. Then set it to come back up 1/2 hour before you get home or awaken. If it's not quite up to heat when you want it to be, change it to 45 minutes before. If that's not enough try longer. Once you get it dialed in you will be saving as much as possible....unless you decide you can live with it cooler.


Thanks Freddy, My Son is doing a similar setting but you brought up a good point about setting back a 1/ 2 hour before he leaves or goes to bed, I don't think he is doing that. As far as recovery time, it is currently at 1/2 hour before which isn't enough time to reach setpoint for when he returns. Probably 45min or longer time is needed.

Thanks again!
Normy
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Normy On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:46 pm

Pacowy wrote:
Carbon12 wrote:Any more than that uses more energy to reheat than you saved.


I'm not really following that. All of the time the house spends at the lower temperature is time when it is experiencing reduced heat loss. If you try to maintain a higher temperature, you lose more btu's.

Mike


Hi, according to the article Carbon12 linked it was a bit more % savings having a longer recovery time from a deeper setback then not as deep, assuming less cycling times in setback. The test houses were well insulated and good windows. My sons place has old leaky windows, tall ceilings, and who knows what wall insulation (it does have something).

At least this is how I interpret their findings.

Thanks
Normy
Normy
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:23 pm

Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Normy On: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:38 pm

Carbon12 wrote:A good article against setbacks:

http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-buil ... t-Setbacks

A good response to the above article:


http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-buil ... u-re-Wrong


Aahh, just when I thought I had it figured out¿¿¿ :-)
Normy
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:37 pm

Normy wrote:Aahh, just when I thought I had it figured out¿


Don't pay too much attention to those articles... I read every word and all the comments just for kicks. The author is speaking his opinion as if it were fact. He does not understand everything he knows. (not that I do! But this guy is stretching) He compare apples to oranges & thinks he's making sense. ( He's talking furnace, furnace, furnace, then tosses in radiant heat to compare) Pretend you never read it & you'll be doing just fine. Some of the replies are valid, but it's just too much trouble to separate out the good ones.

Let's get back to the simple facts of science.... lower delta T (difference between inside and outside temps) means less fuel. Period.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Need help on a steam heating question

PostBy: blrman07 On: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:05 pm

Set backs of 8+ hours will save you some fuel. Be sure and leave at least an hour for reheat to make sure it's where he wants it when he walks through the door. Drop it down 10 degrees and you'll probably save 1% for each degree setback in excess of 8 hours. Just don't set back too far or you'll burn up your savings trying to recover to the set point you want.

Rev. Larry
New Beginning Church
Ashland Pa.
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Econo 1 stove
Coal Size/Type: Rice in the LL and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.