conversion from a steam system to individual systems in a 23 unit apartment bldg

I'm new to this - never posted a message to a group before - but I am hoping for some helpful advice. I have a 23 unit apartment building in Michigan that currently has a central steam boiler w/radiators heat system. It's expensive, inefficient, and since I pay for it tenants don't have much incentive to keep heating costs down. Basically, I would like to replace this system with individual units in each apt. which the tenant would pay for. Each apartment currently has 60 amp electrical service and cooking gas service (3/4" line, I believe) that the tenant is billed directly for from the utility company. The city inspectors want a heat source in each room of the apartment, I believe, and the building is entirely concrete & brick construction (the only wood in the building are the doors - it is used, rightfully so, as a bomb shelter for the area). -- Any suggestions??? Thanks
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I suspect that any solution will be an expensive and difficult one. Gas forced air will need to vent the exhaust and run duct work. Gas fired hot water might be adaptable to the existing rediators. But you still need to vent the exhaust. Any solution is going to be thousands per unit so that 28 times that. It will take you quite a while to recoop. Do you expect to be able to continue to charge the same rent even though heat is no longer included? If so then your rental rates are not competitive and you probably would be better off just raising the rent and doing what you can to make the existing system as efficient as possible.
John wrote:

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How big are this apartments can you use Electrical baseboard heaters if possible this would be you cheapest solution from Dido

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AKS wrote:

I think he could burn the place down cheaper then installing electric basebord heaters. :)
His question cannot be answered here. There needs to be a comprehensive analysis of the present system and building.
Steam heat does not have to cost a arm and a leg. A important component of a steam system is the lowley steam trap. The correct type, placement, and operation has a huge effect the overall efficiency. Faulty steam traps cause huge wastes of energy. If you see steam coming from the condensate receiver vent, picture dollar bills floating to heaven. There have been cases where utility costs have decreased by thousands of dollars a year just by repairing bad steam traps.
There could be control issues that can be addressed such as outdoor reset options, there could be efficiency issues with the burner, there could be building issues, there may indeed be a better design option. You cant see any of that from here he needs to have an on site assessment like Pj said.
Electric baseboard heat, while 100% efficient, is also the least cost effect and to suggest its use is a bad suggestion. Especially with the buildings limited description.
You know dito, Respectfully Bob has a point. You should stick to what you know and not advise on unfamiliar turf.
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You should quit your day job, (whatever that might be..you already admitted you're not an HVAC tech...) and go fulltime as an advice columnist !!
--
Respectfully, Bob

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Why don't you learn word imbeciles because you qualified for anything ales Mr. Respectful
wrote

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It all depends on what YOU really want and what the tenants will REALLY pay. You will be loosing tenants when they find out that you are going to individualize the utilities and they pay instead of you. We have done this many times for landlords, property owners and real estates. Take out the hot water or steam heating systems and radiators and then install individual heating and in most case cooling systems. (all tenants want A/C) Yes it will be expensive. What is a good idea is tell us or get someone to look at the building and size each apt....they would (I think) be approximately the same size....you will probably have to upgrade the electric. Because I suggest electric....then the tenant only has ! utility bill instead of 2 and with the price of gas going up....electric has become the cheaper heating way to go.
23 unit building....my guess would be $33,000 to 37,000 a year for gas...now...so if you put 150,000 to 175.000 in to the building the pay back with no gas utility...except for domestic hot water would pay back in 5-7 years...all speculation
OH..BTW..just my $.02 ;o)

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Sell that piece of shit.
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