Advice for dialing in TT Prestige Solo


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Old 10-09-09, 12:17 PM
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Advice for dialing in TT Prestige Solo

Hi All. I just got a Triangle Tube Prestige Solo 110 boiler installed. The contractor didn't really seem to know a whole lot about mod/cons and outdoor reset curves so he just left everything set to the defaults. Can anyone offer any advice for adjusting the set points? It's setup in a primary/secondary loop configuration with 2 zones. Is there any other info that would be needed to offer advice? Thanks!
 
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Old 10-09-09, 12:54 PM
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Do a heat loss for the house, or go room by room.

Subtract about 25% from that number, because most Manual J type heat loss calcs are overestimated about that much.

Then figure out how much output you get from your heat emitters (e.g., fin-tube baseboard) at various supply water temperatures, with the goal being to match the heat input at the lowest supply temperature to match the loss. It need not be exact. You could use data from Slant/Fin corp (Slant/Fin | High Efficiency Boilers, Baseboard and Radiant Heating). Say you have output of 550 BTU/hr per foot of element at 180F supply water. It might be 250 at 130.

Now say you have 50 ft of baseboard in the house, and the heat loss at design temperature is 12000 BTU/hr. You can provide 12500 BTU/hr with 130F water. Close enough. So now you can set your design temp and corresponding water temp. That's the high end of the reset curve.

For the low end, you might try 70F supply at 70F outdoors.

The MCBA control in the TT boiler has a whole lot of other tweaking you can do. Others will likely weigh in.
 
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Old 10-09-09, 07:34 PM
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For an explanation see this link
Outdoor Reset Explained
 
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Old 10-10-09, 02:52 PM
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Thanks guys. I feel like I understand the concept of the outdoor reset curve pretty well, but I'm finding the heat loss calculation a bit overwhelming. I really don't have any idea what the R values are for the insulation in my house, which I'm sure is one of the most important pieces of the calculation. Without a good heat loss calculation, is there any point in changing the Prestige's default values or is it a complete stab in the dark?
 
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Old 10-11-09, 10:07 AM
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Well, until I can get a heat loss calculation done, I made some educated guesses on the ODR curve. I lowered the low outdoor temp setpoint to -6F since that's close to the design temp for my area, and I lowered the max water temp to 170. I have a feeling I can go lower than that on the water temp, but I want to wait until we get frigid temps to see how 170 does. I left the minimum water temp set to its default of 86 and the high outdoor temp set to its default of 64. With outdoor temps in the lower 40s today, the boiler is pushing 108 degree water and condensing up a storm.

I know I need a real heat loss calculation, but in the meantime do my educated guesses make any kind of sense?

Here are some pics of the install. Anyone see anything that doesn't look ideal? My untrained eyes think it looks good, but I really don't have any idea what to look for. Thanks!









 
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Old 10-12-09, 04:04 PM
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Generaltso, thanks for the pix. Very helpful. I'm in the very beginning stages of researching a replacement boiler. A couple of quick questions: What size expansion tank did you go with? It looks like you have two recirc. pumps (green and black on bottom right of photo inline with copper pipe.) Are they needed with this unit? thx
 
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Old 10-12-09, 05:49 PM
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The expansion tank is 4.4 gallons. The TT installation manual says you have to use an expansion tank of at least 3 gallons.

Yes, I'm using two circulators (one for each zone). My understanding is that this particular boiler can be piped using the pump built into the boiler with zone valves instead of secondary circulator pumps. A lot of people report great success with that direct configuration. But the manual recommends going with a primary/secondary configuration and I already had the circulators in place from my old boiler, so I went that route.
 
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Old 10-12-09, 08:33 PM
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The expansion tank size is determined by the volume of water in the system.

Time's short, can't look at pictures in detail.

What kind of heat emitters are in the house? Fin-tube baseboard? If so, the curve sounds ok to start.

Where is the condensate going? Are you treating it? (It has a pH of about 4 and will quickly corrode any cast iron in your septic system.)
 
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Old 10-12-09, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by xiphias
What kind of heat emitters are in the house? Fin-tube baseboard? If so, the curve sounds ok to start.
Yeah, fin-tube baseboard. Thanks!
 
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Old 10-13-09, 10:53 AM
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I really don't think the heatloss will help you one iota in setting your curve.

There's a spreadsheet at boilerbuff that will help. You need to set your t-stats really high and then adjust the MCBA so that for any particular outdoor temperature that it controls it down to a reasonable number. It's trial and error and needs to be done in November or December. Once the curve is dialed in then there are some other tweaks.

If you don't know how to access the advanced parameters PM me. Parameter 4 in the meantime can at least keep the max temp capped.
 
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Old 10-13-09, 12:12 PM
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Thanks Who. I do know how to get into the advanced parameters, but any changes that I've been making aren't really based on anything but educated guesses. I just want to make sure that I'm not doing more harm than good at this point.

I looked around on boilerbuff, but couldn't find the spreadsheet that you were referring to. I'm sure it's right in front of my face, but would you mind sending a link?

With this shoulder weather, I've definitely noticed that recovery time with the cooler water temp is much longer than it used to be. For example, I have the thermostat programmed go up from 60 to 67 about an hour before I get up in the morning. That worked fine with my old boiler, but with my current settings the temp only makes it up to about 64 by the time I wake up. So if I wanted to get around that issue, would I be better off changing the curve to use hotter water or just adjusting the thermostat program to start warming an hour earlier?
 
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Old 10-13-09, 03:35 PM
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Do you want condensing or deep setbacks?

You'll have to unlearn about setbacks. I'd stay under 2* for a setback and I'd only start playing with them AFTER the curve is dialed in and the first few tweaks are done, such as post pumping and reduced max fan speed if you choose to do that.
 
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Old 10-13-09, 04:00 PM
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So are you saying that with a condensing boiler I'm better off just leaving the thermostats at 67 all the time even when nobody's home or everyone's asleep? If that's the case, I'm definitely going to have to unlearn some things!
 
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Old 10-13-09, 05:26 PM
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Well, once you have your curve all dialed in and the boiler tweaked then sure... do maybe 1.5*F setback at night and maybe mid morning, with lots of lead time for recovery.

Essentially you're trying to keep the water temp in your heating system as low as possible. It takes very high water temps to bring a house up 7 degrees in a few hours.

Between the reset curve and reducing the max fan speed, you're going to take most of the heating power away from your boiler. Under very low load conditions you'll get the best condensing.

It's a tough concept to get accept. I really struggled it.
 
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Old 10-13-09, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by generaltso
I looked around on boilerbuff, but couldn't find the spreadsheet that you were referring to. I'm sure it's right in front of my face, but would you mind sending a link?
Tips and Tools > ODR Curve Plotter
 
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Old 10-13-09, 06:06 PM
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Looks pretty good! I might have gone ahead and put a piece of plywood behind the boiler... and that condensate pump perched precariously on the precipice of those two concrete blocks... be careful ya don't knock it over.

Does look like the installer actually read the book too!

One thing I noticed that has absolutely nothing to do with the boiler... is the main gas line in your house REALLY like 1-1/4" pipe? that's HUGE!
 
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Old 10-13-09, 06:33 PM
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Thanks Trooper. The installer said he put the condensate pump on the blocks to "get it off the floor". I think the real reason was that he put the electrical outlet so high that the cord wouldn't reach from the floor. It's actually pretty stable, so I'm not going to worry about it too much. There's no condensate neutralizer on it though. Do you think that's a big deal?

I think the gas line is actually 1". All of the people who gave me quotes commented that it was quite large, but when they did the math several of them said that it may not be large enough because of the long run and all of the other gas appliances hanging off of it, the biggest of which is a 77,000 BTU direct fired water heater. Speaking of which, do you think it's worth switching over to an indirect water heater off the boiler?
 
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Old 10-13-09, 08:36 PM
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If it was mine, I would go ahead with the neutralizer. They're easy to build from PVC pipe and marble chips. Maybe someone can point you to some plans on-line... or just Google it and I think you will find.

If your existing water heater still has a few good years of life in it, I don't really see the point of changing over right away.
 
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Old 10-13-09, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper
If your existing water heater still has a few good years of life in it, I don't really see the point of changing over right away.
Well, the existing water heater was just put in about 4 years ago, but it's rented through the gas company for $18/mo. The gas company will come and replace it with an indirect SuperStor but the rent will go to $33/mo. Or I can have them pull it out and I can have my own indirect installed, but that will cost me around $2000.

Do you think I would see any drastic savings in fuel usage by switching over to an indirect?
 
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Old 10-13-09, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Who
Tips and Tools > ODR Curve Plotter
Thanks, I'll definitely check that out!
 
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Old 10-14-09, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by generaltso
Well, the existing water heater was just put in about 4 years ago, but it's rented through the gas company for $18/mo. The gas company will come and replace it with an indirect SuperStor but the rent will go to $33/mo. Or I can have them pull it out and I can have my own indirect installed, but that will cost me around $2000.

Do you think I would see any drastic savings in fuel usage by switching over to an indirect?
Or... buy the tank and DIY. Beer 4U2

Is the old tank and conventional center flue?
 
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Old 10-14-09, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Who
Or... buy the tank and DIY. Beer 4U2

Is the old tank and conventional center flue?
I wish I could do it myself, but I'm more of a computer guy than a mechanical guy

The existing tank has a PVC flue coming up out of the center, so I guess that would be conventional?
 
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Old 10-14-09, 07:33 AM
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Figure out your ballpark gas use for the direct water heater.

I'm gonna guess that what you currently pay just in rent ($18/mo) is pretty close to what you'd pay for the gas to run an indirect.

Figure out your payback from there. IIRC, the TT has some good DHW features that allow it to make domestic hot water quite efficiently.
 
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Old 10-14-09, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by xiphias
Figure out your ballpark gas use for the direct water heater.
I've got the gas company coming tomorrow anyway to inspect the new boiler, so I'll see if they can help me estimate how much fuel I'm using for DHW.

On another note, I've noticed that there is a light tapping noise coming from the pipes when the upstairs zone is operating. The noise doesn't seem to be there when only the downstairs zone is operating. It's almost like somebody is lightly tapping out morse code on the pipes. It's most noticeable in the piping near the boiler, but I can hear it coming from the baseboard piping in some of the rooms upstairs also. It continues the entire time that the zone is operating, so I know it's not just temperature expansion. Do you think that's anything to be concerned about? Should I have the installer check it out or is that a normal noise when you're circulating water?
 
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Old 10-14-09, 10:28 PM
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If it's PVC then you either have the wrong venting or its high enough efficiency that I wouldn't bother changing it.

I'm a computer guy too, but twisting pipe is like assembling Lego... except the added tape and dope! LOL
 
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Old 10-14-09, 10:31 PM
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The light noise might be expansion. What temp is your supply? Is the ODR wire on it?




[crap i hate that 180 second rule - i'm wasting 90 seconds just to help someone ]
 
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Old 10-15-09, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Who
If it's PVC then you either have the wrong venting or its high enough efficiency that I wouldn't bother changing it.
The gas company installed it, so I'm assuming they used the right venting material. It was installed about 4 years ago, so I'm sure it's not overly inefficient. If I owned it, I wouldn't even consider replacing it. But, since it's a rental, I don't have any money invested in it. On the other hand, if it's efficient enough that the gas savings with an indirect would be negligible, then it's probably not worth the hassle. Here's a pic:

 
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Old 10-15-09, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Who
The light noise might be expansion. What temp is your supply? Is the ODR wire on it?
I was initially thinking the noise was from expansion, but the zone was running for over 3 hours and it was still making the noise fairly constantly. I'm currently pushing 114* water.

Do you mean is the ODR wire physically on the pipe? It's not. The ODR wire is routed up and out through a hole without touching any piping.

If I put my hand on the piping for the upstairs zone, I can feel each clickety clack. I tried putting pressure on the pipes in different places to see if any of them are moving, but it didn't seem to have any effect. As far as I can tell, the noise is coming from inside the pipe. Would I hear something like that if there was air in the line? I was thinking it's probably not air since the noise is only there with one zone.
 
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Old 10-15-09, 03:48 PM
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I'd hang onto the old water heater, that's a pretty efficient design. I don't think you'll save $15 . month and it still has a useful life. Most modcons actually aren't all that much more efficient for DHW production unless the water is set at a "legionnaires" type temperature (120).

My ODR comment was even simpler. I was just verifying that it was physically wired. Otherwise the boiler could go up to max temp even on milder days depending on how the MCBA sees the delta progressing.
 
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Old 10-15-09, 03:55 PM
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My first thought would be a check valve making a little noise, but I didn't see any in the pics...

Second thought was that you had a little ball of solder inside the pipes, and it's sitting right at an elbow, bouncing around every time the pump runs... I have one of those in my system, but it's at the boiler in the ute room and you can't hear it in the house. Sounds like an irregular 'tinkling' noise, sorta... definitely not sending "CQ CQ CQ" in morse code though.

I think that is a high eff water heater... what's the brand/model?
 
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Old 10-15-09, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Who
I'd hang onto the old water heater, that's a pretty efficient design. I don't think you'll save $15 . month and it still has a useful life. Most modcons actually aren't all that much more efficient for DHW production unless the water is set at a "legionnaires" type temperature (120).
Thanks Who. I'm still on the fence about the water heater, so I guess I won't do anything for now.
 
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Old 10-15-09, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper
My first thought would be a check valve making a little noise, but I didn't see any in the pics...
There actually is a check valve on each zone. The guy from the gas company agreed with you that it's one of the check valves that's causing the noise. I called the installer and he said that he can probably just reduce the speed of the circulator to make the check valve be quiet. Does that sound right? Those check valves have rust on the top of them, so they definitely weren't replaced as part of the boiler install.

I think that is a high eff water heater... what's the brand/model?
The water heater is a Bradford White. It holds 75 gallons and runs at 76,000 BTUs. The Model# is MIITW75T6BN12. The guy from the gas company said that it's probably around 80% efficient.
 
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Old 10-19-09, 06:28 PM
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The installer came and reduced the speed of the circulators last week. As expected, that didn't make the chattering go away. He's going to replace the check valves at some point this week. I sure hope that makes the chattering stop because it's been driving me nuts!
 
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Old 10-20-09, 04:27 PM
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I know I'm basically talking to myself in this thread at this point, but just in case anyone is wondering, the installer came back today and replaced the flo-check valves. The chattering is gone, so one of those valves was definitely the culprit.

I do have a new question. Does anyone know if there's a way to make the zone circulators continue to run for a while after the call for heat is satisfied? There's a function in the MCBA controller to adjust the Post Pump Time (parameter 32), but that only seems to affect the primary loop. I'd really like to get as much heat out of the water as possible before it stops flowing through the house even if the thermostats are satisfied.

Thanks everyone! I've been learning a lot from this forum!
 
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Old 10-20-09, 07:19 PM
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If the call for heat is satisfied, you can drop the curve down a bit and circulation should continue with lower-temperature water. The ideal is continuous circulation with a water temperature that just meets the heat loss.
 
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Old 10-21-09, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by xiphias
If the call for heat is satisfied, you can drop the curve down a bit and circulation should continue with lower-temperature water. The ideal is continuous circulation with a water temperature that just meets the heat loss.
I'm having a really hard time with this concept. I'm used to big thermostat setbacks, and continuous circulation doesn't really allow for that. I know the correct thing is to leave my thermostats on the same temp 24/7 and let the boiler modulate as it needs to to meet the heat loss. But it's imprinted on my brain that I'm supposed to have the thermostats roll back to 60* at night and when nobody's home in order to save fuel. Unlearning that is proving to be very difficult.

When I do eventually get it tweaked properly for continuous circulation, am I likely to see any noticeable increase in my electric bill from 3 circulators running all the time?
 
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Old 10-21-09, 11:12 PM
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Unlearn. Unlearn. Unlearn.

You are heating using an entirely different strategy now to achieve high efficiency.

Your circs each draw about 75 watts. Maybe you'll see that in your electric bill, maybe not. Depends on how much your monthly use varies, how much you usually use, etc.

What additional you spend on electricity you will more than make up in saved gas.
 
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Old 10-22-09, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by xiphias
Unlearn. Unlearn. Unlearn.
I'm trying I think the hardest part is going to be at night because we're more comfortable with cooler temps when going to sleep.
 
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Old 10-27-09, 05:37 PM
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Can anyone explain what the Boost Feature Setting and Parallel Shift Setting are used for? The manual says what their default values are, but doesn't explain what they do.
 
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Old 12-08-09, 08:52 PM
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Hey guys, not to hijack this thread but I came here with nearly the same questions so I hope you don't mind me adding to it.

I have a newly installed TT Prestige Solo 110, and I'm looking for some parameter settings to use as a starting point. My contractor left everything set at the defaults and the house is a few degrees too cool right now, plus I'm sure the system isn't running anywhere near proper efficiency.

I'm in North Jersey, across the Hudson River from NYC. I believe my design temperature should be about 12 degrees based on a chart of surrounding towns I have.

I don't know my heatloss. The house is a 1930's colonial on a smallish suburban lot, pretty typical for this area. We're heating two modest sized floors of living space plus a recently finished attic and a basement den, for a total of four zones.

We have Slant/Fin baseboard radiators, and the boiler is also feeding a new TT Smart 40 DHW tank.

Any thoughts?
 
 

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