Upgrading and maintaining your building’s heating system is essential for consistent comfort and optimum efficiency. However, as a building owner or manager, it may not be a subject with which you are very familiar. Here, we will provide answers to the questions we are asked most often.

When is it time to replace an older boiler?

The time to replace an older boiler is when there is a good enough reason to do so. There are a number of good reasons to retrofit an old boiler such as saving on fuel costs, getting better performance, to comply with safety requirements, or if the boiler has reached the end of its useful life. These reasons, combined with the customer’s requirements, should be analyzed in detail when determining whether or not to change a boiler(s).


How much will it cost to replace my boiler?

The cost of a boiler replacement is, of course, dependent on the scope of work being proposed. The requirements of any commercial boiler retrofit project must be determined by experienced individuals such as engineers, consultants and approve contractors. Regardless of who analyzes the system, the process is the same. The building’s information is collected, the customer’s specific needs are discussed, the mathematics are applied and a scope of work is produced. From there, costs for a project can be formulated.


How much can I expect in fuel savings?

When choosing a new boiler or optimizing an existing one, fuel savings should be noticed. An existing boiler that is controlled to modulate correctly and is properly maintained to operate at its maximum efficiency will show a reduction in fuel usage. It is not uncommon to find that upgrading to a properly sized, high quality, condensing boiler, can result in fuel savings of 20 to 35 percent. Results will vary with each system, but it is safe to say that replacing an old or inefficient boiler with a new high efficiency boiler will definitely result in noticeable fuel savings.

Are there incentives/rebates available and can you help in the application process?

Ram Mechanical Ltd. will be happy to help and take it as our responsibility to assist customers in maximizing the benefits of available rebates. Rebates can come from governments, utilities and manufacturers, but are often time limited. FortisBC offers a variety of rebates for gas appliances and BC Hydro offers rebates for booster pump retrofits on a case by case basis.

How do I select the right contractor?

Selecting the right contractor for your heating system servicing and upgrading is essential to having a system that operates well and is cost effective. The first questions to ask a contractor are: Are you certified for commercial boiler retrofits and what experience do you have? In BC, contractors who install commercial boilers must be registered as Boiler Contractors with Technical Safety BC. These contractors will understand the installation and administrative requirements of this process. Next, find out how long the contractor has been doing similar work and ask for references. To operate efficiently, boilers must be installed and configured correctly. Even the best boiler will not work well, or fail prematurely, if it is not installed correctly. Ram Mechanical Ltd. has extensive experience in commercial boiler retrofits and is able to provide references from our satisfied customers.

Will the building be without heat or hot water during the retrofit process?

A reputable mechanical contractor is always concerned with the comfort of its customers with respect to available heat and hot water during the retrofit process. The main focus is to minimize disruptions in the supply of domestic heat and hot water. One option is to set up a temporary boiler system to address the demand for heat and hot water during the retrofit process. Ram Mechanical Ltd. owns and operates a portable mechanical room. This “boiler room on wheels” can be quickly set up to provide services during the retrofit project.

What is the selection process for the proposed equipment and how does it compare to other equipment?

Ram Mechanical Ltd. will choose equipment based on the requirements of your building. The goal is to meet the demand for space heat and hot water without oversizing the system. Equally important is to provide you with a system with a proven track record for reliability and longevity.

What maintenance requirements can I expect after the installation?

A preventative maintenance plan is essential to protect the new installation and extend the life of the equipment. Your system should be serviced annually by a qualified contractor who is knowledgeable and experienced in working with your equipment.

Why is there such a price difference in the quotes I’ve received, and how do I compare them?

As with any equipment purchase, you will find that there are many options available on the market. Some are economy oriented and others are made for longevity and durability. Also, the installation process can vary from contractor to contractor. Ask for a detailed list of what your contractor is proposing to provide you.

What is the warranty, and are replacement parts available locally?

Choosing a contractor that stands behind their installations and is using equipment that is locally supported is an important decision. The installations should be of the highest standard and should be supported by a written warranty from your contractor. Check to see that the equipment manufacturer has local representation for replacement parts and offers a written warranty on their products.

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