Resources

Clanging Pipes and Open Windows

A photo of a boiler room with three scotch marine steam boilers in a row.

Report authored by Steven Winter Associates for the Energy Efficiency for All Project

Key Takeaways

  • No single measure can maximize a steam system’s efficiency – a comprehensive approach must be taken, from in-unit improvements to distribution upgrades.
  • Open-source heating controls that allow communication between apartment thermostats and the boiler and burner respond to the needs of the building.
  • Steam solutions, while not complex, require attention to detail, communication with residents, and buy-in from maintenance staff. Majority of upgrades can be performed in-house by maintenance staff

Executive Summary

Upgrading steam systems represents a smart strategy to meet environmental goals, save building owners money, and provide greater comfort to apartment residents. This report explains the design and operation of steam systems, the causes of their inefficiencies and shortcomings, and technical strategies for addressing these issues. We describe a comprehensive approach that can be applied to any steam-heated building to optimize cost, comfort, and carbon performance. Though not complex, these solutions do require attention to detail, communications with residents, and buy-in from maintenance staff. Steven Winter Associates prepared this report as part of the Energy Efficiency for All Project.

Read the Report to Learn More