How many boilers can fit into one boiler room?

 24 boilers in one boiler room!

24 boilers in one boiler room!

This picture was sent to me over the weekend by my friend from a boiler room he went into. The owner of this boiler room thought it would be wise to buy 24 boilers and 24 water heaters so the tenants could pay their own heat and hot water. That's right - 24 BOILERS and 24 WATER HEATERS! This person thought they were being smart because the tenants would pay their own heat and hot water.  What he didn't realize is that 24 boilers and 24 water heaters means 48 problems at a time!

I get this question all the time, "would it make sense to just install individual boilers and water heaters so they can pay their own heat and hot water " the answer is always, NO. Absolutely not. There are several reasons for that. One is, who maintains these units... that's a maintenance charge for each unit. The money you have saved in not paying their tiny gas bill (if the system is installed properly) is wasted in maintenance costs alone. Not to mention that it's the same as installing one unit but times 24! 

Aside from the terrible expense it is and future head ache, like for example, what if all 24 break at the same time, these units are not sized for individual apartments. They are sized for homes and multifamily buildings. That means that they are not only inefficient, they are short cycling and dying slowly. This increases the likelihood of them dying all together exponentially. If this person was to install ONE high efficiency unit he would be saving not only on the install, maintenance, and future repairs/installation but also on his bills. He could heat this entire building for what most people pay for their home heating bills and make money from his heating system!