Upgrading or improving a boiler system to save money on space heating

An up-to-date and well-balanced boiler system is critical to keeping energy bills low during heating months. In addition to replacing the boiler itself, a variety of options exist for maintaining an efficient system.

Routine inspection and maintenance can be used to identify and repair leaks. A water filter can minimize buildup on the inner boiler surfaces and piping. Even a 1/16 inch layer of scale can reduce seasonal efficiency. For more complex systems, an energy management system can optimize water temperatures and reduce firing cycles.

For central steam systems, installing or repairing steam traps can be a low-cost improvement with big savings potential. Steam traps are generally located after every heat exchanger or radiator and at changes in elevation or pressure.

Thermostatic radiator valves, or TRVs, can be used with both steam and hydronic boiler systems. TRVs replace the on/off valves at the heat exchanger or radiator and allow the user to set a temperature range in which the valve will automatically close and open, maintaining a set temperature. This is a purely mechanical device that works without electricity.

The following incentives are available for boiler system improvements at eligible multifamily properties:

  • High-efficiency condensing boiler with electronic ignition
    • $10 per kBTU if less than 300 kBTU/h with 94% AFUE
    • $9 per kBTU if between 300 and 2500 kBTU/h with 94% thermal efficiency
    • $8 per kBTU if greater than 2500 kBTU/h with 94% combustion efficiency
  • Steam traps
    • $100 per trap
  • Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)
    • $100 per TRV

For more information on boiler system improvements, contact Nate Collins, trade ally coordinator, at 503.278.3075.