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cold climate boiler (long post)

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Posted by Jen on July 15, 2008 at 20:14:00:

I need to replace the boiler for a 1970 duplex in Anchorage, Alaska. Hot water basebord with 4 zones. 1 up and 1 down for each side. Only one meter so I pay heat for both sides. Currently running a Hydrotherm HC-145 gas-fired, input 145k. Probably installed around 1980, but may be original to the house. 2 hot water heaters. 40-gal 40k input for tenant, 50-gal 63k input for my side. I definately want 2 meters and the system somehow split so both sides pay per usage. I like the idea of 2 "boilermates?" for the hot water tanks due to 2 less exhausts. I had a home energy efficiency audit done about a month ago and can provide itemized specs if needed. It's awful, 22 air changes/hr at 50 pascals and lousy insulation in an unvented flat roof, but I'm making improvements. Do you have any recommendations on how to proceed? Any advantage to having 2 different boilers for the 2 different systems? My tenants use a LOT of hot water. I thought condensing was the way to go until I read about the loss of efficiency in my type application. What is an outside reset? I'm told my current boiler operates at 63% efficiency, so anything is an improvement, but I want to do this the best way possible and don't want a contractor taking advantage of my ignorance, even if unintentional due to his own knowledge limits. Thanks for enduring the long post. I'm pressing enter now.

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