Electric boiler seems expensive to run

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Originally Posted by ram_man
I bled all the heaters as well as the system tonight a couple of them definitely had a lot of air in them the system itself also had some air . However and I don't know how big a deal this is but I'm hopeful it'll make a difference. I found out that the previous tenant. Was a rental house had left the water pipe valve going to the wood stove on. This house has the electric boiler and has a back up wood stove to heat the water as well. So the wood stove was getting the hot water circulated through it and it was enough to make the stove very hot to the touch. The stove is out in the garage with the boiler so in essence it was heating a very uninsulated and very cold part of the house. Granted the thermostat is in the house and says when to kick on and off, I would still imagine taking water away from heating the inside to run it through something that isn't needed and can be bypassed would be somewhat of a waste.
Bingo! Well, that certainly would create an issue, cooling your boiler water off in the garage, in a wood stove with a heat exchanger. Wow, never would have imagined
 
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AZjeff

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The reason for the wood stove boiler is the cost of running the electric boiler. Closing that valve will make a noticeable difference but using the wood fired boiler would make a much bigger difference, even part time. Is there a reason you aren't burning wood?
 

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Originally Posted by AZjeff
The reason for the wood stove boiler is the cost of running the electric boiler. Closing that valve will make a noticeable difference but using the wood fired boiler would make a much bigger difference, even part time. Is there a reason you aren't burning wood?
Yup, this!
 

ram_man

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The misses is a little skeptical of wood. I grew up with a wood stove. I told her if I couldn't make the electric boiler way more efficient I was going to use wood though. I'm going to read the meter in a bit and see what effect my work has done for usage.
 
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The air bleeding will help as you will have more BTU to output as air obviously a poor conductor of heat. The critical item is your freezing cold wood stove was cooling down the hot water from the boiler and your energy consumption is higher. Only open the wood stove valve up once it is running. I think you may notice a gain from both. Using hot water/radiant heat is superior to cruddy Force Hot air that stirs up dust, dries your skin out and while heats up fast/quickly cool downs too. I love my massive 8 radiators from 1910 that heat our home.
 
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ram_man

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Originally Posted by madRiver
The air bleeding will help as you will have more BTU to output as air obviously a poor conductor of heat. The critical item is your freezing cold wood stove was cooling down the hot water from the boiler and your energy consumption is higher. Only open the wood stove valve up once it is running. I think you may notice a gain from both. Using hot water/radiant heat is superior to cruddy Force Hot air that stirs up dust, dries your skin out and while heats up fast/quickly cool downs too. I love my massive 8 radiators from 1910 that heat our home.
I wish this house had the radiators like yours vs the base board heater style. Some of those old radiators are very pretty and neat looking.
 
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Wait, so you have a liquid floor board heater and you use resistance heat to boil water for it? That's of course expensive (likely worse than resistance floor heating). Can you switch to HVAC heating instead? That should be the way to go for non natural gas heating. Also they started making heat pump water heater and heat pump laundry dryer too.
 
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Originally Posted by PandaBear
Wait, so you have a liquid floor board heater and you use resistance heat to boil water for it? That's of course expensive (likely worse than resistance floor heating). Can you switch to HVAC heating instead? That should be the way to go for non natural gas heating. Also they started making heat pump water heater and heat pump laundry dryer too.
Hot water heating is fine just the heat source (electrictty$ is very costly here. Normally natural gas, heating oil or propane is used to heat a HW boiler. I never heard of an electric boiler. Really too bad because Well McClain made extremely high quality boilers years back. Mine which is oil fired is approaching 40 years old.
 
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Originally Posted by madRiver
Originally Posted by PandaBear
Wait, so you have a liquid floor board heater and you use resistance heat to boil water for it? That's of course expensive (likely worse than resistance floor heating). Can you switch to HVAC heating instead? That should be the way to go for non natural gas heating. Also they started making heat pump water heater and heat pump laundry dryer too.
Hot water heating is fine just the heat source (electrictty$ is very costly here. Normally natural gas, heating oil or propane is used to heat a HW boiler. I never heard of an electric boiler. Really too bad because Well McClain made extremely high quality boilers years back. Mine which is oil fired is approaching 40 years old.
That's actually about the normal lifespan of a boiler. Typically 40-60 years. Less for steam. There are some old boilers out there known as a snowman boiler that are covered in asbestos that have been around since the 40's that are still going, makes them 70-80 years old. OP should switch to a gas boiler ASAP. I've put them in for about 5k, they're usually in the 2k range for a boiler, but by the time you get all the additional piping, permits and other parts plus labor you're up to the 5k range or more.
 
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I've used electric water heater when I was a kid, they are not the always on model, and you turn it on and wait for the water to warm up before shower, then turn it off afterward, they are also very small, like 10 max, so you don't want to just stay in the shower for too long. I've seen people in Taiwan keep their water heater hot via propane, maybe that's another cheaper than electric option. They are also "on demand" instead of always maintaining a ready to shower temperature. It would be super expensive to use a storage water heater 30 gal or bigger, and keep it always hot.
 

ram_man

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So as a little test I tried heating the house for a whole day with space heaters. The usage went down substantially. They're expensive to run as well but the usage was almost cut in half. Certainly that isn't normal? I had 4 space heaters going. I can't imagine the boiler is that inefficient but maybe it is? Thoughts?
 

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Originally Posted by ram_man
So as a little test I tried heating the house for a whole day with space heaters. The usage went down substantially. They're expensive to run as well but the usage was almost cut in half. Certainly that isn't normal? I had 4 space heaters going. I can't imagine the boiler is that inefficient but maybe it is? Thoughts?
Call an HVAC guy and get a quote on a gas boiler.
 
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Originally Posted by ram_man
So as a little test I tried heating the house for a whole day with space heaters. The usage went down substantially. They're expensive to run as well but the usage was almost cut in half. Certainly that isn't normal? I had 4 space heaters going. I can't imagine the boiler is that inefficient but maybe it is? Thoughts?
I'm thinking you must be losing heat someplace, electricity turns into heat very efficiently, but perhaps you are somehow heating the crawlspace. Or perhaps with your space heater usage is aiming the heat where you need it, and not the whole house. Might be an easy fix, leave the boiler at min temp and then use space heaters where needed (or install new heaters in each room, on their own zone).
 
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I presume an electric boiler has some sort of coil in it to heat the water. Possibly it is half working. I know when a hot water heat element dies the cost of running it goes way way up as it not optimally running despite using far less power but I guess running more often. On a hot water boiler with oil/gas you have low and high sets (eg 140F and 180F) to turn on/off heat source. What are they set at on your boiler?
 

ram_man

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Originally Posted by madRiver
I presume an electric boiler has some sort of coil in it to heat the water. Possibly it is half working. I know when a hot water heat element dies the cost of running it goes way way up as it not optimally running despite using far less power but I guess running more often. On a hot water boiler with oil/gas you have low and high sets (eg 140F and 180F) to turn on/off heat source. What are they set at on your boiler?
It appears to be set at 200°
 

ram_man

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Originally Posted by AZjeff
Have you checked your usage with the wood boiler bypassed?
It went down some. Probably 20kwhrs per day.
 
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