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1st step that property owners usually overlook is calling in a professional to size the replacement boiler. Many times boilers are oversized up to 300% of what they   should be based upon poor practices and questionable sales ethics.  Calling in a   certified   energy auditor or professional engineer is a necessary.  Know that at   when the boiler was originally installed, most buildings had poorly   fitted, drafty,   single pane wooden windows and the cost of fuel was nominal.  Oversizing heating   equipment was the   law. The attitude was, Bigger is better.  Things have changed   and making the   investment of having an energy audit done on your   building with   a heat loss calculation is a sound investment when looking for a replacement boiler. Installing a small of a   boiler will have less upfront cost and significantly reduce the operating  costs of the   heating equipment over the life of the boiler.

Increase radiator capacity- it is possible to increase the heating capacity of an existing radiator by making some minor changes. Wedge a piece of foil faced fiberglass board insulation in between the radiator and the wall of the building. This will cause less heat to be wasted to the outside of the building and more heat to come into the apartment.

If you are having doubts about your oil deliveries, the best thing you can do is to have A professional look at your heating system. He can determine if the problem is oil shortage or if there is some other reason that your heating system is using an excessive amount of fuel oil. It is possible to have oil tank monitoring equipment installed so you can get real time readings on oil tank levels 24 hours a day. Although this solution has the largest upfront cost., it is actually the best way to keep track of the oil in your tank. With an electronic device installed you can monitor the daily oil use in the building along with being able to spot any discrepancies before the bill even comes in for the delivery.. You can also monitor and track the efficiency that your building uses heating fuel.

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Document the level of oil in the tank on a weekly basis and leave the chart in a  location that is easily accessible to the superintendent and the person making the oildelivery. Have the delivery person indicate the quantity of oil delivered and the  level on the tank before and after the delivery. 

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Every week we upload 5 Tips so that you can understand how to better your energy conservation in your own home or building.  Be sure to take a look below...most professionals would charge for this information...

Bring in the professional- if you have exhausted solutions one through five, bring in  professional to have a look at the individual apartment and figure out why it is colder than the rest of the building. A certified energy auditor will bring instruments to measure the actual heat being provided to the apartment and thermal imaging equipment to see where all the heat is going. 

TANKLESS COIL SIZING - In the case of sizing the tankless coil, bigger is better. You should always go with the largest tankless coil that is available.  The additional cost is nominal and the efficiency gain by having a larger tankless coil results in fewer boiler cycles per day and greater consistency in hot water delivery. This is well   worth the additional dollars for the larger coil. Just to clarify, for the best efficiency – size the boiler to the building by using the services of a professional to conduct an   energy audit and heat loss calculation. Once the size of the boiler is determined,   order the boiler with the largest domestic hot water coil available for that boiler.

The majority of oil companies and delivery people are honest and will make the correct delivery and charge you appropriately for exactly what is delivered. In order to assure that this happens in all cases the property owner must do his due diligence to assure that checks and balances are in place to avoid oil from slipping through the cracks.

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Color Matters-Spray paint the radiator flat black, this will increase the ability of the radiator to radiate heat into the apartment. Color matters and will increase the BTU output by simply changing the color. Painting a radiator silver actually decreases the BTU output.

Next step – check radiator covers to see that they are clear of paint and can pass air easily, make sure radiators are not covered with clothing, bookcases, furniture etc. a radiator must be free of any obstructions in order for it to work properly. Remove radiator cover and thoroughly vacuum radiator surface to remove all dust, pet hair and other debris.

Size Matters - Check the size of the radiator. Generally speaking all radiators in a building should be approximately the same size with slightly larger radiators on the top floor and smaller ones on the middle floors. It is very common that a radiator is undersized especially if the apartment has been recently renovated. Many contractors do not understand that size matters when it comes to heating output, the larger a radiator the more heat it will produce in the room.

The boiler is usually not the cause of heating problems in your building and   replacing it rarely solves any issues. Everything from excessive fuel use, banging   pipes, uneven temperatures in apartments, insufficient hot water, building too hot, building too cold and odors in the basement are blamed on the boiler. More often   than not these problems can be corrected without replacing the boiler.

SEPARATE HOT WATER HEATER  - When purchasing a new boiler serious consideration should be given to whether you want the boiler to produce hot water or you are   looking to a separate water heating system. Although the cost of a separate water   heating system will increase the first cost associated with replacing a boiler, it has   many advantages over using the boiler as a source of domestic hot water heat. The   greatest advantages of installing a separate water heating system are significantly   increased energy efficiency and the quality of life ability to provide hot water for your tenants in the event of a boiler failure. It is been my experience that tenants that   have no heat and no hot water are significantly more agitated than those that have   no heat but still have hot water for bathing.

Avoid automatic deliveries, although this seems counterintuitive the fact that you are never receiving the same delivery twice makes it easy for the delivery person to misplace oil. Instead, insist upon deliveries in exactly the same quantity every time. The amount of oil in the tank should be checked regularly and then the delivery should be called for when the level in the tank is at approximately 25% capacity. 

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TANKLESS COIL-Any new boiler that is installed in a multiple family residential building should have a tankless coil installed in the boiler regardless if the building has a separate   domestic hot water heating system. Although the cost would be a little bit higher,   the ability to switch to the boiler in the event of an emergency as a backup source   for domestic hot water is invaluable. It can turn something that is a disaster into a   very manageable problem

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TIPS & TRICKS

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Obvious – Close all windows, check weather-stripping on all windows, remove window  air conditioners, make sure radiator ready are open, make sure all radiator air vents    are working.

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