Recently, I have heard stories in the media about fast-food restaurants serving super-sized burgers, fries and soda. New York City has passed a ban on super-sizing soda, and you may also remember our nation’s First Lady making statements regarding this subject. All of these objections to super-sizing are in the interest of health for both the young and the older generation.
With that said, how does super-sizing fit into our own daily lives when it comes to selecting a boiler? I know, as do you, that we also have had a large menu to select from and making the right choice can have a great affect on the operation cost, serviceability and most of all comfort to the occupants.
Recently, many of you have decided to move into the commercial boiler and service business in an effort to diversify your company and obviously gain more revenue. I can only applaud those of you who have, as I have written about the value of diversification in a past article.
However, this can be quite a challenge when you are sizing boilers for churches, schools, apartment buildings, just to name a few. Many of these same buildings probably date back into the 1940s and have one super-sized boiler that could have a Btu rating of more than five times that of the residential boilers that you may have installed over the years.
Many of the commercial boilers of yesterday have the same problem as the smaller residential boilers. They are often oversized, have a greater stand-by loss and are inefficient. As energy costs have become more financially noticeable to the commercial property owners, they too like the residential customers are looking for a way to cut their heating costs. This now becomes another business opportunity!
There are several challenges when sizing a new commercial boiler and many areas to take into consideration. Some examples, time of the year and down time, the challenge of oil or gas, operating and service costs.
I would suggest that on large jobs, such as those mentioned above, that you think about a multi-boiler design. There are several good reasons to consider this idea and to name a few, if you have one boiler and it goes down, the whole building suffers, which could mean a loss of production, a nursing home could require total evacuation, or a education facility may need to close for more than one day.
In the case of the multi- boiler modular system that is sized correctly, chances are very good that the system will keep up with the occupant’s demands, should one boiler fail. Also in the case of module boiler system, it is very likely that a part failure will be easier to address and possibly not require a commercial burner technician to be called for service.
The real key to consider is the proper sizing, and if you are new at this, it would be wise to call on a commercial factory representative. This way you can be sure that you not only selected the correct boilers, but the pumps and piping also. This representative will also explain to you the value of lead/lagging the boilers, another important topic.
To that end good luck and remember not to SUPER SIZE and keep an eye out for the new soda vending machines that will give you a calorie count!