Why the new era? What changed? Your boiler did! Before we get to that, understand that steam cannot go where air is. Lots of folks think about where the steam is going (or not!), when they should be thinking about what the air is doing. Air is the enemy. Air can’t heat your home, but it sure can prevent steam from heating it! Which makes air very expensive to keep. Air is why things won’t heat, why things are unbalanced, and why your heat is so expensive. Where is it? It’s in your pipes, radiators and convectors, and there’s only one way to get it out: Venting!
Back to your boiler: When your system was first installed, venting wasn’t much of a concern because your early system was coal fired. The name of the game with a coal fire was vacuum, not venting. Vacuum is better than venting, but it requires a constant fire (coal), as opposed to an intermittent one (gas or oil), so it is no more…
The end of the coal era was the end of the vacuum systems. That should have ushered in the venting era, because the need now was for constant and massive venting. But that didn’t happen. Until now that is!
You’ve found the steam vent masters! We install massive main steam vents to increase efficiency and aide in steam system balancing. Radiator vents to tweak the balance even further, and TRVs to tame a steam radiator that is too hot. The faster we get the air out, the faster the steam gets in. The faster the steam moves, the less the boiler run-time will be. Additionally, if the steam is really moving, all areas of the home will receive it before the heating cycle ends: Balanced steam heat!