Guide for evaluating ultimate cost of heating systems Public

Better Building Report No. 7

Deciding which of several energy sources is the most economical for space heating is a problem that must be solved by many architects and design engineers. The problem, always complex, has become even more intricate in recent years because of changes in fuel economics, increased construction costs, rising labor costs, and continuing advances in building construction techniques. Now, improved technology in electrical power generation makes space heating with electricity attractive in many instances, adding a whole new series of variables to the basic problem. There is growing recognition that the economy of a heating system must be judged not only by the amount of money required at the present time to build the plant but also by the amount required to operate it over its expected life (usually 30 to 40 years) . But an energy study that truly reveals this ultimate heating cost requires careful accounting of all the pertinent factors and is not a simple thing to prepare. This Better Building Report provides architects and design engineers with a comprehensive guide for the preparation of all-inclusive and meaningful energy studies and demonstrates the use of the guide in situations favorable to coal, oil, gas, or electricity as energy sources. It will also serve as a checklist for evaluating such studies.

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