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Title: Measure Guideline: Condensing Boilers-Optimizing Efficiency and Response Time During Setback Operation

Conventional wisdom surrounding space heating has consistently stated two things: size the mechanical systems to the heating loads, and setting the thermostat back at night will result in energy savings. The problem is these two recommendations oppose each other. A system that is properly sized to the heating load will not have the extra capacity necessary to recover from a thermostat setback, especially at design conditions. The implication of this is that, for setback to be successfully implemented, the heating system must be oversized. This issue is exacerbated further when an outdoor reset control is used with a condensing boiler, because not only is the system matched to the load at design, the outdoor reset control matches the output to the load under varying outdoor temperatures. Under these circumstances, the home may never recover from setback. Special controls to bypass the outdoor reset sensor are then needed. Properly designing a hydronic system for setback operation can be accomplished but depends on several factors. The first step is to determine the appropriateness of setback for a particular project. This is followed by proper sizing of the boiler and baseboard to ensure the needed capacity can be met. Finally, control settings mustmore » be chosen that result in the most efficient and responsive performance. This guide provides step-by-step instructions for heating contractors and hydronic designers for selecting the proper control settings to maximize system performance and improve response time when using a thermostat setback.« less
  1. Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, CT (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, CT (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Country of Publication:
United States
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION residential; Residential Buildings; CARB II; Building America; gas-fired; modulating condensing boilers; outdoor reset control; night setback; AFUE; right-sizing; hydronic systems; mass storage; ACCA Manual J; boost control; baseboard convectors; indirect DHW system; combustion efficiency; recovery period