Whether you’re replacing an existing boiler or installing a new Forced Hot Water (FHW) Heating System, the procedure is the same. A plumbing/heating guy moves in with a service truck full of parts and tools, a supply house truck arrives and drops the boiler and sundry parts. Then the game begins …..
The old boiler (where applicable) is removed by whatever means required, the ensuing mess is cleaned up, and the new boiler is moved into the area. Locating and positioning the boiler is the first task and directly determines the effectiveness of the entire installation. The preferences, methods, materials and the heuristic judgement of the installer prevails. Thenceforth the building of the “Erector Set” continues, pipe by pipe, wire by wire, device by device until the task is finally completed. It’s a slow, costly and inefficient process …..
All tradesmen develop their own methodologies, reflecting their pride and workmanship in the resultant. Unfortunately the customer pays a premium for this both initially and throughout the lifetime of his system ….. knowingly or not! We cynically refer to boiler installations as “The Plumber’s Playground”, that last vestige of “free expression” removing us from the daily tedium of “fixing leaks and squeaks”.
Installing or replacing a boiler should be no different than a dishwasher or a water softener, with a few more pipes and wires attached ….. and it can be! Problem is we plumbing/heating guys (ourselves included) continually lag technology. We “Old Dogs have to learn New Tricks”, and brother we have!
Recent technology now allows us to configure a FHW (Hydronic) Heating System as a true appliance! All heating system functions excepting radiation can now be integrated into a “packaged unit”, engineering it for peak performance and value in the process. “Delta-T” (Differential Temperature) Circulation Technology is truly an evolutionary and revolutionary improvement. Developed in the “high-tech” process world, it has now become both practical and economical as applied to Residential Hydronics (FHW Heating).
Mercier Engineering via its website www.BoilersOnDemand.com is the introductory leader of Residential Delta-T Hydronic Heating. The question is not if Delta-T Circulation will out-distance conventional Fixed-Speed Circulation, but when. Evidence the following Pictorials and Details for comparison.
Identically Configured Oil-Fired FHW Installations
|Conventional Oil-Fired FHW System||“Delta-T” Oil-Fired FHW System|
Features Comparison Table
|Attribute||"Conventional" System||"Delta-T" System||Comments|
|Boiler Type||Welded Steel Plate (Example Unit)||Cast Iron "Triple-Pass"||15 years +/- vs. 30 Years +|
|Boiler Weight||270 Lbs.||625 Lbs.||Very High Mass - Durability|
|Oil Burner Type||Various Offered||Beckett NX (Pressure-Fired)||Flexible, stable operation|
|Gas Burner Type||Fixed, Appliance-Specific||Carlin EZ-PRO (NG/LP) (Pressure-Fired)||Appliance-Specific Interchange|
|Circulation||Multiple Fixed Speed Circulators only||A Delta-T Variable Circulator w/ Intelligent Zone Valves||>/ 15% Fuel Savings
>/ 85% Electrical Savings
|Piping/Fittings||Copper (Typically)||All Iron & Cast Construction||Superior Strength/Durability|
|Indirect Water Heater||Various Mfrs. & Types||All Stainless Steel Only||A Lifetime of Service|
|Floor Space Utilization||Installer-dependent||Optimized Package Design||Minimum Space Requirement|
|Energy Performance||Installer-dependent||Optimized Energy Design||Peaked Hydronic Efficiency|
|Component Sources||U.S./Foreign Mix (Typical)||"All-American" (US/Canada)||Quality and Serviceability|
|Installed Cost (Oil example shown)||"Over $10,000" (Oil, as shown)||$7,000 (Oil, as shown)||Price, Performance, Value|
- Estimated service lives are from our and our collaborating serviceman’s actual field experience.
- Fuel & Electrical Energy Performance per Taco, Inc. published testing data.
Reviewing our Comparative System Photos will will confirm many of the suppositions in our “Features Comparison Table” above. The immediate impression is one of excessive plumbing and space consumption of the Conventional System. In fact the “Delta-T” System occupies 1/3 of the space, uses 1/2 of the near-boiler piping (with no copper), with only one (1) Circulator, fewer valves and fittings ….. and with optimized hydronic flow and distribution performance! Flow is so idealized in fact that under certain component fail modes “gravity induced circulation” will continue to provide heating at a reduced level! (Patent Pending)
Arguably a high-mass (heavy) “Delta-T” System will outlast two (2) Conventional FHW Systems with a higher Hydronic Total System Efficiency at 1/3 the “life-cycle” cost.
So when your potential FHW Heating System Installer comes calling, ask him first about “Delta-T” Circulation. If it draws a blank stare, send him home to call Taco, Inc. — and that another “Old Dog” told you to do so. After all, you the customers are deserving of all the “New Tricks”!