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
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.
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
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.
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
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
OH..BTW..just my $.02 ;o)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.