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Help figuring out boiler quotes, and my needs

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Posted by Dennis on April 29, 2004 at 19:14:34:

I've got quotes for a new boiler from two local reputable companies. One of them does lots of plumbing work at my workplace.

I have a 1-3/4 story house with 950 sq main level, and another 800 +/- upstairs. I am in the country in Iowa without much wind break, we can get windchills down to -80 degrees, and for sure we'll see -50 every winter. The house was built in 1948 and is fairly tight, but has only 1" of fireproof cotton insulation in most of the house. The original boiler (I believe) was an oil fired unit with a rating of 97,000 btu's. It was converted to natural gas before I bought the house. The conversion unit can be set up to go up to 250,000 BTU's but I don't know what it is set at. Neither company did anything but go straight to the basement and size up the situation. One quoted a Weil Mcclain Ultra 230, the other quoted a "Weil-Mclain 90 plus efficient boiler". I called the outfit that quoted the 230 and asked why it was so big, so they asked my square footage and sent me another quote for an Ultra 105.

I would like the vent out the side of the house since the chimney needs to go, and I'd like to purchase the boiler pretty soon so I can install a new power vented hot water heater as well before the chimney comes out this summer. The heating companies might know what they are doing, but I'm not superconfident that I'm getting the proper effort before the sale.

1. What might be the right boiler size?
2. How do I evaluate whether I'm getting the proper product quoted?

Thanks for any input you can give me.

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