Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    Boiler Replacement - Options?

    I am looking to replace an older inefficient hot water boiler (200,000 BTUs) that is used to heat a small apartment (3000 sq ft) that I own.

    I am evaluating a number of options and would like the advice of the experts here.

    1. straight boiler replacement - seems like the least complicated option. I have had estimates in the 11K range.

    2. Convert to forced air furnace - cost estimates are around the 10K range. Seems like too much work due to concrete walls, etc.

    3. Is the use of high capacity tankless water heaters an option? These seem to be the most cost efficient but I have read contradictory things as to whether tankless water heaters can replace boilers (lower water temp, more oxygenated water could lead to rusting in the baseboardheaters).

    Thoughts on the third option? is it an option?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,901
    #1

    Get a heat loss run to determine size. Being a rental, don't need to get fancy. A standard 80-84% cast iron boiler would be fine if the chimney is OK. Probably save them a bundle in fuel over a relic. Find someone who knows boilers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    1,105
    Who pays the fuel bills? Where are you located? Gas, Oil, Propane? What type of emmiters? Cast iron, copper fin tube, etc? We need more info.

  4. #4
    I pay the heat bill, which is around 800-900 per month in the coldest months. I'm in Winnipeg, Canada. It is a natural gas boiler. I believe the runs are all copper.

    As for the chimney, it was suggested that given the age of the building, a new liner would be necessary. Hence the 11K quote and why I am evaluating if option three is indeed an option.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,901
    You could go more efficient. You could also meter the system and charge the tenants for usage.

    You can get side vent boilers without going to super expensive models as well, to avoid the chimney liner.

    I just don't see an on demand WH as being the right product for heating an apartment house. That is not what they were designed to do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Balto, MD.
    Posts
    200
    It's more effecent to go with several smaller boilers to replace that large unit. The multiple set up can be staged with heat demand. Special controler are available not only to do this, but to change the lead lag on all the boilers. This is so each boiler gets the same amount of run time. Multiple boilers are also great because if one breaks down there are the others to continue heating the loop.

    But this is just one option to think of.

    Others maybe a more independent system for each apartment, so then the tenants have to pay for what they use.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Balto, MD.
    Posts
    200
    I've also seen a standard water heaters used in small town house apartments with a heat fan coil unit and circulating pump. The water heater is set up alot higher, and a mixing valve is used to prevent scolding water temps on the domestic water.

    I really don't think this would be cost effective for a multiple tenant apartment.

  8. #8
    thanks for the advice guys. Looks like option 1 is the way to go. I like the idea of a side vent, getting away from the costs associated with the chimney. I'll take a look at that route.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2,801
    #1

    Go with a new boiler.

    If your piping is good and other boiler room equip is good, like indirect HW, circulators, pumps etc. , If they are not , you need to evaluate them in this situation also.

    Two baby boilers instead of one full grown one is an option also as well as going up in efficiency like loonie said..... the venting could become a non issue.
    ___________________________________________


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast of Connecticut
    Posts
    4,570
    How about a modulating/ condensing gas boiler. Maybe 2 if you want some redundancy.

    http://www.htproducts.com/products/contender/index.html
    Aire Serv of SW Connecticut- Gas heat, dual fuel and central a/c systems installed and serviced

  11. #11
    That looks like a good option, but may put out less BTUs than my existing. I will have to check.

  12. #12
    That looks like a good option. How do they compare price-wise to non-condensing boilers

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada Occupation:Interprovincial Plumber, Commercial Gasfitter Interests:
    Posts
    2,412
    Be careful with the mod/cons. Depending on how much fintube is in each apartment, you may not get hot enough water. And the pricing sounds good.
    I love my job, but paydays Thursday

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event