Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Boiler Efficiency: 7 Signs Your Commercial Boiler Is Wasting Energy and Money

Modern boilers are more efficient than those from even a decade ago. That said, property owners can retrofit existing systems to improve annual fuel utilization efficiency. Still, a retrofitted boiler can only improve boiler efficiency so much.

As boilers age, they begin wasting energy and money. At some point, replacing the system is better than investing in minor upgrades, especially in zero-emissions-focused NYC. Discover the warning signs of poor boiler performance in your building.

7 Warning Signs of Poor Boiler Efficiency

1. Age

The average lifespan of a commercial boiler is around 15 years. Property owners can push the life expectancy of their systems with regular maintenance, repairs, and inspections, but at some point, these efforts offer diminishing returns.

AFUE is the standard industry rating for boiler efficiency; it accounts for how much heat a boiler provides versus how much fuel it consumes. The ratio determines an efficiency rating.

The older a boiler is, the lower its efficiency score because of design and wear and tear. Newer boilers incorporate modern technology and designs. A new gas furnace typically has a 95% AFUE rating, and new oil-based models have 85%.

On average, boiler efficiency drops every year. Several factors can affect how well boilers age, including proper maintenance, operation hours, sizing, and feedwater treatment. Still, age is a primary determiner of efficiency, especially with shifting standards and local regulations.

2. Energy Efficiency Rating

Age is not the only factor in determining efficiency in commercial boilers; the system’s design also plays a significant role in AFUE ratings. For example, low-efficiency systems depend on a continuous pilot light and a natural draft. The systems range from 56% to 70% AFUE, making them costly to operate.

Mid-efficiency systems use electronic ignition, eliminating the pilot light. They also use exhaust fans to control combustion processes and are smaller to limit cycling losses. The systems can achieve an 80% to 83% AFUE.

Finally, modern high-efficiency models use sealed combustion processes and possess a secondary heat exchanger for condensing flue gases. As NYC continues toward zero-emissions standards, building owners should consider upgrading to high-efficiency boilers that produce a 90% to 98.5% AFUE.

An all-electric system produces the greatest boiler efficiency, even achieving 100% AFUE, because it has no flue loss through a chimney. Building owners looking to the future and recognizing NYC’s push toward electrifying buildings should consider converting existing fossil fuel systems to electric.

3. Flame Color and Carbon Monoxide

A boiler’s pilot light or flame is blue. If the color of the flame changes, it indicates a change in gas emissions, typically an increase in the presence of carbon monoxide, which turns the flame yellow.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible killer; it is odorless, colorless, and poisonous. The incomplete burning of oil, propane, kerosene, or natural gas produces CO and is responsible for the unintentional poisoning and death of about 170 people in the US annually.

Because pilot lights are not the most apparent warnings of CO emissions, nor is current boiler efficiency, building owners and staff should recognize early symptoms of CO poisoning: nausea, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and shortness of breath. Symptoms become progressively worse with prolonged exposure or significant leaks. High-level CO poisoning can cause:

  • – Vomiting
  • – Loss of muscular coordination
  • – Mental confusion
  • – Loss of consciousness
  • – Death

Carbon monoxide detectors and alarms should meet current UL safety standards. Property owners should ensure the installation of the devices meets existing NYC building and safety codes.

4. Failure To Start, Longer Heating Time, or Uneven Heating

Most boilers, especially newer systems, have built-in shutoff features to prevent pressure buildups and other dangerous issues. If a building’s boiler fails to start or cycle on, it is a sign of efficiency issues, likely a blocked air supply or clogged filter.

Other boiler efficiency issues include longer heating times, uneven heating, or inadequate output. Each problem can relate to dirty filters or debris in the system. Routine cleaning can improve performance.

Inadequate output can indicate a need for cleaning and necessary repairs. Scale deposits or hidden leaks can disrupt performance and require professional inspection and repair.

5. Strange Noises and Odor

While boilers typically produce noises and odors, specific sounds and smells indicate efficiency issues and more significant concerns. Popping noises can indicate sediment or iron deposits in the hot water tank, and whining or buzzing from the pumps is a good sign they need service.

A potent metallic smell indicates a fuel leak, presenting a fire hazard and severe environmental pollution. The odor can also suggest a carbon monoxide leak. If the scent is more like a sulfur aroma, it might indicate a need to replace the anode.

Strange noises and odors are preventable with regular maintenance and inspections. Routine system checks and repairs also ensure optimum boiler efficiency and prolong the life of the system and its parts.

6. Water Leaks or Humidity Issues

Water leaks or humidity issues also point to the boiler wasting energy and costing property owners money. Steam and water leaks can occur on the interior or exterior of the system, and they can cause severe damage, including rust.

Unfortunately, interior leaks are hard to detect without a professional inspection. A boiler may be subject to pressure fluctuations, overheating, and higher fuel consumption until rust or some other outward sign appears.

7. Rising Utility Costs

Rising fuel or utility costs are the most apparent sign of an efficiency problem. If a building operates at a stable or predictable temperature and demand, the operational costs should also reflect that stability.

If heating and cooling costs suddenly increase, it indicates abnormal operations, possibly stemming from a fuel or gas leak. The system requires an urgent inspection to rule out dangerous issues and resolve efficiency concerns.

Improved Boiler Efficiency Is Only a Phone Call Away

Contact Calray Boilers

To maintain boiler efficiency, a property owner must keep up with professional inspections and maintenance schedules. Contact Calray Boilers at 212-722-5506 to discuss annual service plans or schedule a boiler inspection. Also, talk to a representative about retrofitting older systems or upgrading to more efficient models.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of Antler.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with Antler.nyc). We may collect and store the following personal information:

  • Name, email, address, telephone number, and (depending on the service used), move-in dates;
  • Transactional information (such as lease terms, lease parties);
  • Computer sign-on data, statistics on page views, and traffic to and from the Website; and
  • Other information, including IP address and other web log information.

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Antler Pump & Motor Corporation, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Antler Pump & Motor Corporation. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since Antler.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.