Using energy-efficient equipment is a surefire way to cut down business costs. If you’re looking to shrink your monthly bills, you might want to consider how efficient your boiler is. A high-efficiency boiler has a smaller footprint and can save you tons of money.
The costs that go into maintaining your current boiler can tell you a lot about its efficacy. Tackling an old steam boiler can probably cost you a fortune. However, boiler technology has greatly evolved in recent years. New innovations have made it possible to live with smaller, safer, and incredibly efficient boilers.
But this can only be appreciated when we understand what boiler efficiency is. Steam boiler efficiency really depends on the amount of flue gas generated by the boiler. In the ideal conditions, the boiler should only generate the lowest possible amount of exhaust gas at the lowest possible temperature.
As the boiler pulls in cool air, warms it up, and expels it out the stack, a lower temperature will ensure that the heat is being utilized efficiently. If the temperature is high, more energy will escape with the flue gas. Anytime the boiler loses too much steam, heat, or hot water, it’s losing valuable BTUs.
In order to stop that from happening, here are some easy ways to improve the boiler’s efficiency and reduce your monthly bills!
Consider Installing an Economizer
Getting an economizer can certainly help your boiler save fuel. It works by utilizing the wasted flue gas for heating up the boiler feedwater. This way, the temperature of the feedwater rises and the initial energy input decreases.
This, in turn, lowers down the firing rates that the boiler needs to work efficiently. With less strain on the system, an economizer helps save fuel. Economizers should actually be a top priority. They are one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to improve the steam boiler’s performance.
Apart from savings tons of fuel, they also protect the boiler from the dangerous effects of using too much cold water. You can get in touch with a professional to figure out the best way to install an economizer.
Regularly Tuning the Burner
A common reason why your boiler may be using too much energy is that it may not be getting the right quantity of air. The boiler needs a significant amount of oxygen for the efficient combustion of fuel. When there’s too little air, the carbon present in the fuel will not be oxidized completely and instead turn into carbon monoxide.
This means the fuel has burned properly and as a result, less heat will be released. Instead of high efficiency, your boiler will generate smoke, soot, and lots of carbon monoxide. On the other hand, too much air can also negatively affect the boiler’s efficiency.
If you think this could be the problem, you should get your boiler tuned regularly. Regular tuning will ensure that your boiler always has enough airto allow the fuel to burn efficiently. Get in touch with a reliable boiler service in Minneapolis who can supervise your energy system installation. They can pre-empt any issues or problems and find quick solutions before you have to put up with costly repairs.
Check Your Boiler for Structural Faults
As a high-pressure vessel, a steam boiler needs to be well-maintained. Its outer shell is extremely important as it not only regulates the temperature of the flue gas but also contains all that pressure. For this reason, any hidden structural faults can readily reduce the boiler’s efficiency.
In this case, check for any black spots on the boiler’s outer surface. If you can identify some, the boiler shell is probably leaking due to cracks. You should also pay close attention to the refractory. If it looks damaged, get it replaced as soon as possible.
And, lastly, find out whether the boiler’s shell is well-insulated or not. Lack of proper insulation can result in heat loss, severely hampering the boiler’s efficiency.
If you have large boilers, it’s incredibly important to insulate each and every single valve. Since they are large, exposing them to the air can cause massive heat loss. This, in turn, can make the boiler room excruciatingly hot and waste the fuel. Good insulation, on the other hand, will ensure zero heat wastage and optimum efficiency.
Reduce the Stack Temperature
Sometimes lowering down the stack temperature can be a timely solution. By doing so, you can reduce the operating pressure on the steam boiler. You can do this when the climate is mild and tolerable, which is usually in fall or spring. This will eventually save more fuel and reduce your monthly bills.
Giving the Fireside a Good Clean
There’s also a possibility of an excess of soot accumulating at the boiler tube’s fireside. If you’ve been using old equipment, the chances are even higher. This heavy layer of soot can hamper the proper transfer of heat. This is because it acts as an insulator and increases the amount of fuel used.
Eventually, when there’s low heat, the hot gasses move through the boiler without properly heating up the water. This raises the stack temperature and puts a strain on the fuel. For this reason, it’s crucial to get your boiler tubes regularly cleaned and inspected for soot buildup.
By ensuring the minimal presence of soot, your boiler will readily pick up its lost efficiency!
Preheating the Combustion Air
For your boiler to run properly, the burner has to heat up the incoming combustion air. However, if this air is preheated, it would naturally take lesser fuel to generate the same amount of steam. Introducing more heat inside the boiler can help you significantly save up on fuel.
A modest increase of 40 degrees F in the air temperature can take off extra pressure on the boiler and your monthly bills.
To Sum it Up
Ensuring boiler efficiency is crucial for controlling monthly bills and saving up on fuel. Use the tips above to keep your boiler in top-notch condition and drastically improve its efficiency.
If you’re looking for industrial steam boiler maintenance, Campbell-Sevey can provide the right energy system solutions. With more than 200 years of collective experience, we understand each and every aspect of steam system and boiler installation. We can supervise your energy system’s installation with foresightedness to anticipate any potential issues and solve them before they arise. Contact us today!