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Castle Oil offers winter fuel efficiency tips.

With a drop in temperature and the predictions of an unfriendly winter by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, heating costs remain a "hot" topic of discussion. "As we enter into the peak heating months, we encourage building managers and property owners to review their boiler room operations with our staff to ensure proper working order," said Louis Romano, senior vice president of Castle Oil Corporation. "Basic maintenance will lower fuel costs, reduce breakdowns, and extend the life of the equipment," he continued.

The following maintenance tips apply to commercial boilers with air/oil atomizing burners only and should be performed by qualified technicians:

* Inspect the boiler room for oil or water leaks; Examine the oil level in the air compressor or gear housing and fill if necessary with the correct lubricating oil.

* Observe sight glass on the pre-heater to make sure there is no oil present.

* Look through the observation port of the combustion chamber to see if there is any carbon build-up or smoke.

* Check all burner linkages to ensure there has been no change from their original marked position. If there are any changes, the linkages need to be tightened.

* Verify the water level in the boiler. Excessive loss may mean leaking boiler tubes or a leaking steam or return line.

* Check the oil strainers daily and clean when necessary.

* Review the domestic hot-water temperature.

* If using #6 oil, check the fuel-oil temperature gauges.

* Monitor consumption by checking the oil gauge daily to ensure proper inventory.

* For rotary burners check the atomizing cup and air nozzle daily. If damaged, replace the cup or nozzle.

In addition, once a week qualified building personnel should be encouraged to:

* Open the blow-down valve of the low water cut-off while the burner is running. The burner should shut down when the water level drops in the glass, showing that the low-water cutoff is operating properly. This also removes rust and dirt from the float chamber.

* Check the weather control settings.

* Inspect and clean air filters.

* Examine the boiler sight-glass and clean as necessary.

* Visually inspect operating controls.

* Make sure the cover on the boiler doors is kept closed.

* Flush the below water line pre-heater.

* Observe the operation of draft controls.

* Monitor the burner operation.

* Review the accuracy of the oil tank gauge by comparing it to a stick reading.

"At a time when energy costs are climbing, there are simple, cost-effective ways for tenants to control their energy use," said Louis Romano. In an effort to help building owners reduce heating costs, Castle offers the following suggestions for occupants.

* Set thermostats to a lower temperature when no one is in the space.

* Consider installing programmable thermostats.

* Check the ducts for air leaks and patch them with duct tape.

* Put a coyer on window air conditioners to keep heat from escaping.

* Keep drapes and blinds shut at night to reduce heat loss.

* Use weather stripping around windows and doors.

* Operate ventilating fans as little as possible. Kitchen and bath fans can quickly remove the warm air from the unit.

* Apply caulk around windows and doors to seal up cracks.
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Article Details
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 27, 2000
Words:524
Previous Article:'Tis the Season.
Next Article:Levien & Co. is pleased with progress.
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