Fuel prices keep rising, and with them, consumer interest in how to save energy. Building owners, in particular, are looking for ways of making their facilities more efficient. Because space heating is the largest end use of fuel in commercial buildings, an obvious place to look for savings is at the boiler plant.
Depending on the geographic area, space heating energy costs in a typical commercial building can account for between 25% and 30% of the total energy costs. This percentage is obviously much smaller in warmer climates, where large commercial buildings require little space heating. It is estimated that half of all space heating systems use natural gas, with a typical efficiency of around 70%, although many newer commercial boilers now have efficiencies greater than 90%.