The energy used to create heat accounts for more than 30 percent of energy use from large buildings in New York City, and almost half of the energy use from a typical large multifamily building. Upgrades to the heating system — combined with proper operations and equipment maintenance — can significantly reduce energy use, save money, and help residents feel more comfortable.

Central Heating Systems

Central heating systems include a centralized heating source, typically a boiler, and a system of pipes or ducts to distribute heat throughout the building. Addressing the heating system as a whole instead of individual components allows for greater efficiency and cost savings over time.

Boilers are the most common type of central heating equipment in New York City buildings. Boilers burn fossil fuels, typically natural gas or heating oil, to create heat.

  • Tune up your boiler to ensure it is operating efficiently.
  • Retrofit existing controls or install new ones, and add heat sensors to regulate the boiler.
  • Upgrade to a more efficient boiler, such as an ENERGY STAR® boiler.
  • Install a linkageless burner and draft controls to increase the efficiency of the boiler.
  • Convert away from heavy heating oil to a cleaner fuel.

There are additional high-impact, low-cost measures to address the efficiency of the heating distribution system.

  • Install temperature sensors to better monitor and balance heat distribution.
  • Install smart thermostats that automate temperatures for more balanced heat distribution.
  • Install pipe and boiler insulation to reduce the loss of heat through pipes.
  • Install variable speed drives to reduce fan and pump speeds.

Learn more about steam heating upgrades

Technology Primers