In the 1920’s, there is no doubt that steam heating was king in apartment buildings and high rises throughout New York and other parts of the country. The boilers were all fired by coal which was abundant, and cheap, if not a dirty and back breaking affair when it came to shoveling it into the boiler or cleaning out the ashes.
But in the 1930’s the cost of coal soared and the switch to oil heating was on. Oil was cheaper, cleaner to deal with (relatively speaking), no damper regulator was required to control the fire, and it worked with this amazing thing called a thermostat, that controlled the firing of the boiler automatically! Magic!
The problem was that in all those buildings designed with vent-work for coal heated systems, oil (and gas) heating behave differently. Coal burns for hours and hours, creating a slight pressure that is constant. With this near-constant pressure, steam was always pushing at the air, nudging it from the main vents and the radiator vents. The only time the pressure dropped was when the coal fire died down which it only did very gradually (if at all). But with oil heating, the thermostat could shut the burner off almost instantly when target temperatures were reached. It shut the burner off before most of the air was out of the steam mains, preventing the ready flow of steam into the system leaving buildings with hot and cold spots.
Fast forward 90 years, and steam heating is still going strong in many older urban buildings across the country though almost all have converted to oil or natural gas or city steam heating at this point. The original problems of coal fired buildings were solved by many innovators with the introduction of concepts like “dry steam,” enlarged main vents, and master venting. With these innovations steam was able to move through these old buildings at high speed, and the resulting systems were balanced with only a few ounces of pressure at the boiler, and the burners did not short cycle.
Taking Steam Heating Efficiency to the Next Level
While hot water may be the preferred heating method for new buildings, recent studies show that over 82% of NYC buildings over 50,000 square feet use a form of steam heating*. Getting these steam systems to work efficiently was (and still is) a long and slow evolution, but now these systems can be made to work well with both fuel oil and natural gas sources. The challenge is that for a given heating load, a steam-based system will consume much more fuel than a hot water system even though it uses both a boiler and external pumps, producing more greenhouse emissions as a consequence.
Thus the next frontier for steam systems, is undoubtedly boiler control using an advanced heating control like the Heat-Timer® Platinum Series MPC, to take boiler and fuel management to the next level while maintaining comfort.
What does the Heat-Timer® Platinum MPC Do?
The MPC Platinum control Series can be configured to operate a steam boiler or a steam valve to using both steam outdoor reset and multiple wireless space sensor feedback. Utilizing the steam cycle concept and the outdoor temperature, the control varies the duration of the steam supply to the building in a cycle based on the outdoor temperature as well as aggregate analysis of space sensors in all areas of the building. The advanced computer hardware and software in this heating control actually “learns” the thermal loss characteristics of all areas of the building and its control software synthesizes this into anticipatory boiler control signals that run them far less often and more evenly than any other heating control system available today. The control also acts as a reporting hub for other sensors like feedwater, sump pump and stack sensors, allowing even better management of alarms and heating issues, heading off problems before they become big problems.
Another major benefit of the internet enabled Platinum MPC, is its complete ability to be monitored and controlled remotely. Preprogrammed alarms hit your email inbox or phone text message. All heating set-points can be easily changed through our internet portal, or mobile app. Reports and tiered alerts can be configured to be delivered to both technicians and management. Standardize your property portfolio around Heat-Timer® controls and you can have one central website portal that shows you all your building locations, boiler rooms, and boilers. Best of all, the control is future proof in the sense that it embraces industry standard BACnet and Modbus protocols for integration to a 3rd party building management system.
Customers using the Heat-Timer® Platinum MPC Control with Internet features have shown monthly savings of 15% to 30%. For a mid-sized apartment building, that can translate into tens of thousands of dollars a month, as well as allowing you to preserve and extend the life of your steam based heating system in a way that is much greener, and lowers carbon emissions significantly.
Bring your steam heating into the 21st century. Contact a Heat-Timer® expert today.
A special thanks to Dan Holohan of Radiant & Hydronics for his wonderful history of advancements in steam heating. You can read his treatment here.
* From the Greener Greater Buildings Plan at http://www.nyc.gov/html/gbee/downloads/pdf/greener_greater_buildings_plan.pdf
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/single-pipe-steam-heating/
Everyone has purchased something with an irresistible mail in rebate. Sometimes that product is even free after the rebate. Yet, the Wall Street Journal has estimated that about 40% of mail-in rebates are not redeemed. Many sources say that the number is well over 50%. According to the research done by the Wall Street Journal and others, many people forget to mail it in within 30 days of their purchase. Or, they lose the receipt. Others actually receive the rebate check and forget to cash it. These customers are literally leaving money on their kitchen table.
Do not leave money on the table when it comes to upgrading your heating system this summer. Both Consolidated Edison and National Grid are offering rebates to their gas customers who upgrade their boiler controls for their multi-family or commercial building. These utility rebates will pay property owners to purchase an energy saving internet boiler controller with apartment sensors. Adding an internet boiler controller like the Heat-Timer® Platinum Series Controller will reduce heating costs for years to come while giving you complete visibility into your building/portfolio from anywhere.
Get paid today for saving money tomorrow
Adding a boiler controller with space feedback like the Heat-Timer ® Platinum controller has been shown to reduce heating costs from 15% to 30%. Yet, some property managers procrastinate and don’t lock in those annual savings because those cost savings are tomorrow, while the controller installation costs are today. Fortunately, both National Grid and Con Ed understand people’s reluctance to spend money today for savings tomorrow, so both are offering substantial rebates for the installation of an internet boiler controller for customers with gas fired boilers. The rebate sweetens the deal because it reduces the payback period, meaning those savings show up faster on the bottom line.
Going Green, doesn’t have to cost you any Green
Con Edison multi-family customers who pay a firm gas rate are paying a “systems benefit charge” each month on their heating gas bill. This charge contributes to the energy efficiency rebate fund for New York State. Those same customers who contribute to the fund are then eligible to receive lucrative incentives towards energy efficiency upgrades such as upgrading their existing Heat-Timer® to become a real-time Energy Management System. The rebate process is simple, prescriptive, and is based solely on the number of units in the multifamily building. For example, a (42) unit apartment building in Manhattan would receive $8,000 from Con Edison towards this capital improvement. A (112) unit building in Westchester receives $18,000.
National Grid also offers these incentives on Heat-Timer® boiler control upgrades. A (35) unit building in Brooklyn was incentivized $4,500 for their upgrade, whereas a (196) unit apartment complex in Queens was granted $13,600. This simple rebate process can often render the building a cost-free upgrade. National Grid offers Heat-Timer® upgrade rebates to both “firm gas customers” as well as those who pay “Temperature Control” rates.
Call Heat-Timer® today to find out more
Don’t be one of those people who leave their mail-in rebate check on the kitchen table. Talk to Heat-Timer® to find out how to apply for a rebate for a Heat-Timer® Platinum Boiler controller and wireless sensors today: (973)-575-4004
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/get-rebates-for-boiler-and-control-upgrades/
In many organizations, it’s common practice for IT to standardize equipment. It might seem that this policy only benefits IT, but everyone in the organization wins. By doing this, technicians only need to learn to configure and troubleshoot one type of system, over time familiarizing themselves and improving service. When there is only one supplier, it reduces compatibility problems that leave two suppliers pointing fingers at each other, while the technician and users are left without a solution.
Similarly, large manufacturers will specify the same brand of equipment in all factories worldwide. A technician can walk into a factory in Shanghai, Tennessee or Germany and know how to operate and repair the equipment. Cost savings discovered in one plant can immediately be used in the other plants, maximizing efficiency worldwide.
Most building managers don’t have properties located all over the world, but wouldn’t it make life easier if an HVAC professional could walk into any building and know how to operate and repair the heating system? Or learn how to optimize the heating system in one building and then be able to apply what they learned everywhere? While every building and every boiler is different, getting cozy with one heating control manufacturer is possible. Why not then learn the most versatile, and advanced heating control in the market so that you can be sure you’ll have a product that works in all kinds of applications both complex and simple? Heat-Timer® can indeed allow HVAC techs to live the dream, through its series of Internet Heating Controls.
Why should you change to a single boiler control supplier?
Modern boiler control systems are a complex network of old and new technology. A boiler technician has to understand how a controller connects to burner controls developed decades ago, while also being able to install wireless equipment developed more recently. Then there are settings for sensors, outdoor reset and alarms, and the parameters used to control dozens of control elements accessed through some kind of a menu structure. It’s no wonder so many HVAC techs are looking for an EZ button here.
Even an experienced professional can take a long time to configure and optimize an unfamiliar boiler controller. That is learning time that the contractor or building manager is paying for. If the contractor only works with that brand of controller occasionally in one building, then re-learning needs to take place every season. Any person who occasionally needs to switch between an Android and Apple smartphone phone knows the time and pain of re-learning.
Perhaps the most important benefit of standardizing your boiler automation systems around Heat-Timer® Products, may be economic. Other controllers tell you what they save as compared to before they were installed but Heat-Timer® self-learning controls are the only ones in the world that have data showing we can save as much as 20% additional energy costs over an existing boiler outdoor reset based control system. That’s because our boiler management software “learns” the unique heating characteristics of your building, its hot spots and cold spots, and can anticipate how to get acceptable comfort, for the least amount of fuel.
Heat-Timer® has a controller for every heat and hot water configuration found in a commercial building. Period.
It doesn’t help to select a single heating controller supplier if they don’t cover all the bases or just cover them a little. Because we are the industry’s largest and longest manufacturer of heating controls, our ability to save money on energy through sophisticated boiler control is unmatched. While some competitors brag about their 2nd or 3rd generation control, our evolutions are well into the double digits. Starting in 1937 with the first outdoor reset control.
Whether maintaining one or ten systems, a building manager needs a control that can handle all the possible steam heating or hot water configurations within their buildings. You need centralized management of multiple boilers, multiple boiler rooms, in multiple buildings. Our Platinum series controls in conjunction with our BuildingNet website/mobile app, and wireless sensors, were designed for this purpose. Heat-Timer® Platinum Series controllers can manage steam and hot water boilers in every configuration, including condensing, non-condensing, staging, and more, as well as integrated control and monitoring of domestic hot water.
In addition to the boiler controllers, Heat-Timer® makes pump controllers, electronic tempering valves and a variety of wired and wireless sensors. All of these components are engineered and tested by Heat-Timer to work together. Sometimes, it’s good to stay in the family.
Getting cozy with Heat-Timer® means getting cozy with BuildingNet
BuildingNet is the Heat-Timer® control online portal. It allows building managers and HVAC professionals to monitor and control every aspect of operation from anywhere there is a web browser. If you’re a phone guy, then download our free mobile app where you can monitor alarms and sensors throughout your building.
You can stay cozy on your couch when you get cozy with BuildingNet. Building managers initially choose Heat-Timer® controls for their energy savings, but the experience of our remote internet and mobile app management of those controls brings a quality of life benefit that is just as compelling. The operational benefits are endless. You just have to live it for a while.
Heat-Timer® means peace of mind
In the end, the advantage of going with Heat-Timer is peace of mind. No more worrying whether your control is really saving all the money it could or should be. No more worrying whether you’ll remember how to adjust the control. No more worrying that you’ll need a midnight trip to the boiler room to diagnose or fix an issue with heat in the middle of winter.
Standardizing on one heating control manufacturer is the right move for your commercial HVAC business. Cozy up with Heat-Timer®
Contact us today for more information on your heating control needs. Visit https://www.heat-timer.com/
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/get-cozy-with-one-heating-control-supplier-heat-timer/
Heat-Timer® corporate office and manufacturing facility is conveniently located in Fairfield, NJ. Here, Heat-Timer® manufactures its electronic controls, sensors, valves and actuator products using specialized computer controlled equipment and automated testing systems.