View Full Version : boiler upgrade
03-04-2010, 11:21 PM
I have an original hydrotherm 125,000 btu boiler - 40 years old - not a problem with it. do i replace with something more efficient or ........if it ain't broken - don't fix it. I've researched new hydrotherms, munchkins, bunderus, crown, dunkirk, triangle tube.....and most user forums have nothing good to say about any of them, which makes me nervous. so........stay with my "not so efficient" hydrotherm, or get a more efficient unit and possibly kick myself for not staying with my old reliable hydrotherm. If I'm not going to stay in my home for more than ten years, does it pay to spend extra on a 95% efficient unit, or spend less on 80% which is still probably 25% more efficient than my 40 year old hydrotherm.
Do some more checking on the Munchkin.Design is about 20 years old should be no bugs left in it.
Before doing anything do a load calc as that will save you the most in the long run.
03-07-2010, 05:37 AM
If your not going to increase efficiency above 80%, stay with what you have.
03-07-2010, 08:21 AM
I am not a big fan of replacing equipment only to improve efficiency. If you do the math on it, even if you save 25% of your gas bill (including heating only not cooking or domestic water) it takes a long time for payback at 25 cents per dollar. That being said talk to local realitors to see if high efficiency euipment is a selling point in your area, if you intend to sell. I would also look into the Locinvar Knight boilers. I have not seen one yet but have heard nothing but good about them. I did some checking because they are the design basis for a building we will have going up in the next year or so.
03-08-2010, 08:27 PM
The personal gain from a HE boiler is not as significant as 10,000 units, all incrementally better than what came out. So if you're heart is in the right place, then replacing with a HE boiler is the way to go. Having said that, we've installed many of the ones mentioned. I could name good and/or bad about any of them and work on them all. What contributes most to the reliability is really the installation. If the installing company cuts corners, either knowingly or throug ignorance, you're more likely to have problems. Attaching a new, HE boiler to an old system requires proper piping and proper protection. How efficient it will be depends on of what your distribution system is comprised. For radiant products, including floors, panels and cast iron, I'd highly recommend a modulating/condensing boiler with outdoor temperature reset. If you've got finned copper baseboard, the mod/con willl still save money, just not as much. Either way a heat load analysis needs to be done to properly size the boiler. If you're lucky, you might qualify for a Triangle Tube Excellence, which provides both heat and domestic hot water in one package, using a small (14-gallon) indirect within the jacket. It's a very nice, reliable package and can be purchased with a 10-year part and labor warranty if you're skittish about problems. Research your installing company carefully and you should be fine.
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