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Boiler Replacement Recommendations

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Posted by David on August 09, 2005 at 17:34:14:

Here's my current situation. I have a 200-year old farm house with cast iron hot water baseboards & a 50 year old Weil-McClain coal boiler which was converted to oil. The house has brick walls that were covered by mortar & sheetrock, old leaky windows, & needs to have the attic insulation replaced & upgraded(I'll do that this fall). The two-story footprint of the house is 26x35 which is one one zone. At some point, a single room addition of 17x16 was added & put on it's own zone. A second room measuring 21x25 was added at some point as well, altough it's not heated at present. Through the use of programable thermostats & conservation, I've gotten my anual fuel usage down to around 1100 gallons for heat & hot water. I live in central New Jersey

With the rising cost of oil, I'm considering switching to gas. If I assume 50-80 BTUH/s.f. I come up with a BTUH for the house range of 131,000-209,000. As my house is quite old & leaky, and I'd like to have the option of heating that other room I'm leaning toward the high end of the range and am figuring on needing a boiler in the range of 210-250K BTU. I should have a heat loss calculation soon. The Weil-McClain Ultra 230 seems like a good fit, as Weil-McClain & Burnham are probably on the top of my list for manufacturers based on recommendations, but I'm certainly open to suggestions. I'm also looking for advice regarding efficencies & hot water setups. My instinct is to go with a 90%+ efficent system as I plan to stay in my hosue for a while, but I could very well be better served by a lower efficency unit & not know any better. One heating installer recommended a separate hot water heater to avoid shortening the lifespan of a new boiler. Any comments?

Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for your time & help.


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