Return condensate as soon as it is formed. Holding condensate in collection tanks reduces the condensate temperature via radiation losses.
A practice is seen across many plants where condensate is recovered but is stored in a condensate tank before being sent to the feedwater tank. Due to this practice large quantity of condensate is held up until a level is reached to switch the pump on. This is usually a requirement while operating with electrical pumps.
In such a case the held up condensate looses substantial heat via radiation before it finally reached the feedwater tank. Thus the increase in feedwater tank gets curtailed. This diminishes the returns from the effort put in to return condensate.
The fact that most of these tanks are open to atmosphere and uninsulated, increases the loss. Open tanks vent the useful flash steam to the atmosphere.
Condensate hold up is a requirement for electrical condensate pumps to protect against dry run. However, new age steam operated pumps are not affected by dry run and do not require condensate hold up.