Waste not, want not

As proprietor of Holliston Oil Service, a family owned business serving the Metro West Boston area for more than 60 years, Joe Damigella has worked with many different kinds of heating systems over the years. So when one of his clients in a farmhouse, in Sherborn, Mass., started noticing his heating bills going up, Damigella suggested it was time for a change.

“The old system was in excess of 30 years old and it was time upgrade for reasons of energy efficiency,” Damigella said. “It was a longtime oil customer of mine and his usage in the last few years has been excessive. So, I suggested a move to a new kind of system.”

The house was originally built in 1759, so certainly had seen its share of heating systems over the years. The house was heated by two separate converted gravity water systems using two 30 year old boilers. The boilers maintained temperature all year. Therefore, in the off cycle all the heat in the boilers went right up the chimney, wasting a large amount of fuel. For this upgrade, Damigella suggested Dunkirk Excelsior multiple EXB 3-Pass oil boilers. The job was sold through Dunkirk distributor, Mass Control. The installation used two EXB5s, as well as Argo ARM 6P six-zone switching relays and AD4 expansion. In addition, Alpha pumps from Grundfos were utilized.

“We put in some of those new Grundfos Alphas,” Damigella said. “They ramp up and down with usage and are very energy efficient.”

Efficiency was a big part of the new design, which meant designing something with pieces that worked in concert together.

In order to get things right, the installation team turned to the technical expertise of Dunkirk Boilers. They quickly came up with a piping layout that tied both boilers together utilizing primary/ secondary piping. This brought two old separate system into one modern and efficient system.

“Instead of having the boilers working individually, the two boilers work together in sequence,” Damigella explained. “They rotate. One runs today, and the other runs tomorrow. If the temperature drops down below a certain temperature and the first one can’t keep up with it, the second one comes online.”

This set up also adds to the longevity of the system by balancing out the run-time of the individual units. An outside sensor and boiler reset control monitors the exterior temperature and makes adjustments as necessary.

“If the temperature drops down below a certain temperature and the first unit can’t keep up with it, the second comes online,” Damigella explained. “If you had a day when it was 40°F outside, one boiler is going to take care of it. If the temperature drops below 20°F, the first boiler may not be able to keep up with it because there is now a demand for heat, so the second boiler triggers. That’s what the reset control does.”

Damigella said that by working with Dunkirk Boilers to plan out the installation, the job went very smoothly.

“We sat down with Dave Walsh, director of Sales at ECR International, Inc./Dunkirk Boilers and put this together,” Damigella said. “The installation went well. My installer and I worked together and went over exactly how we were going to do it and what we were going to need to start with.”

The job was completed in June and, with a few last finishing touches being applied, is ready to take on the challenge of the coming winter months. The team at Holliston Oil are pleased with the choice of the Excelsior boilers and Dunkirk was there to help every step of the way. For the homeowners, the upgraded, high efficiency system will deliver comfort at a lower price for years to come.

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