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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Balto, MD.
    Posts
    200

    Boiler and domestic hot water

    My girl friend will not run here heat due to it being only a 60%afue boiler. Extreamly high energy bills! She uses Nat. gas fired space heaters in only two rooms. It's a really old duplex house. No insulation and original windows. The place is about 100 yrs old.

    I'm getting her a new boiler most likely a Burnham condensing boiler 94%afue. A big Christmas present! I'm tired of freezing in her house, and worried about the pipes freezing also.

    My question is since the boiler has reset controls and modulates, Would she save even more on her energy bills using the boiler for indirect water heat, over using a stardard water heater?

    I could shut down the call for hot water when the house is empty by using an electronic thermostat and an occupied relay, to deactivate the water heat loop on the boiler.

    I haven't check the controls on this boiler yet, it may already have an option for this.

    What do you guys think about this? Or any other advise. Maybe a better boiler?
    I have only checked prices of a residential Lochivar and Utica boiles so far. unbelivable!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,090
    Check out the Weil McLain Ultra.
    But be sitting down when you receive the price.

    An indirect can save you money over a standard gas fired water heater.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,285
    Radiators or baseboard? Wet heat or air?

    Most of the high efficiency units have an outdoor reset controller built in with the capability of running an indirect water heater with them. Some guys are getting tanks with TWO coils in them, and piping the coils in series on a single loop to get the condensing return water temps. Get the right pump, though. Heats FASSsssssttt.

    Timer's a great idea.

    Noel

    Laars Heating.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996

    New windows

    Might be a better gift. If the current boiler is not in bad shape and the WH not ready to be replaced, I'd work on insulating and window replacement first. Replace boiler and get an indirect after you can properly size the new unit to the new heat load.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    290
    Old 60% boiler eh... does that boiler have nice white-ish looking insulation on the boiler piping by chance? Ultras are wonderful boilers and indirect water tanks are a good add to them. I wouldn't put an indirect tank on a natural draft boiler if you go that route. I only say that in your application.

    I'm with the others, insulate the house as much as possible, replace windows. Heat loss from windows/walls/attics is a major factor.

    You could get a heat load for the house now without insulation and have heat loss of 60,000. Say you insulate just the attic/crawlspace, and replace single pane windows, you may end up with 45,000. Just throwing numbers out there.

    With an Ultra, being able to knock down to the next size will save you some big $. If you add the indirect tank technically that boiler needs to be sized to handle that tank load, so when it's -5 out you still have hot water. It's a duplex so I would think if you insulate the smallest Ultra would probably do it all with no problem. Size doesn't matter much when your working on them, just diffrent parts.

    Insulate, in the meantime you could get some quotes and tell them to do a load calc with what type of improvements your going to make.

    What is the cooling season situation? I always think outside the box.
    "Yeah I can figure out whats wrong with it, but you were here first and there isn't room for two, plus it's cold up here, I'll be in the van"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    First, you need to know what the connected load is. That is, what is the distribution system? No sense putting in a 150,000 Btu boiler if the connected load is only 90,000.

    Next, get out a pad of paper and list your priorities. Start with your budget. How much are you willing to spend? You said it's your girlfriend so you may or may not be in a long term relationship here so knowing how much money you're willing to throw at it is a good start. Then decide what efficiency you want. AFUE is NOT the whole story on efficiency. If your girlfriends home has cast iron radiators, then she's essentially got a radiant heat system already in the home. That allows a boiler with outdoor temperature reset to be used to its full capacity, meaning the connected load will deliver heat based on the water temperature flowing through it and on warmer days, the water can be cooler. In an ideal world, the boiler would fire initially when the outdoor temperature drops to some magic number and then never turn off until spring. Continuous, 24/7 operation is the best operation for efficiency.

    In selecting a boiler, AFUE is one efficiency but you should also consider the boiler materials. Some are cast iron, very heavy, take a lot of time to heat up. Burnham, Weil McLane, Smith are all cast iron kings. Buderus has cast iron but also a new wall hung that's got an aluminum block, 98% AFUE at low water temps. You need to connect an indirect to it for DHW. Likewise the Lochinvar Knight boiler. The Trinity boiler on the other hand has a combi unit that makes both heat and DHW through a flat plate heat exchanger. That eliminates any water storage. If you get sticker shock at the prices, then I'd recommend you consider a low mass, atmospheric boiler like a LAARS JV series. You'll still need the indirect but just going to the low mass will make a huge difference in the gas bill. Several years ago we replaced a Burnham 8-section boiler with a LAARS low mass, 225,000 Btu input boiler and cut the gas bill by 40%! Mind you, the boiler must be piped properly but it's a great way to go on a low budget to get excellent results on gas consumption. lol
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,090
    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post


    In selecting a boiler, AFUE is one efficiency but you should also consider the boiler materials. Some are cast iron, very heavy, take a lot of time to heat up. Burnham, Weil McLane, Smith are all cast iron kings. Buderus has cast iron but also a new wall hung that's got an aluminum block, 98% AFUE at low water temps.

    The Weil McLain Ultra is an Aluminumn block boiler. 98% AFUE at low temp.
    15 Year limited warranty on the block.
    .
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Balto, MD.
    Posts
    200
    The House uses cast iron radiators.

    I suggested new windows, but she likes the original glass. I know I would X them myself!
    There is no way to insulate the house without major renovations, or foam srayed into stud cavities. Still not a DIY project.
    No attic space either. I tried getting her to insulate the roof before that was done. Not the best way to insulate but it would have made a differance.

    No cooling in the house either! One window shaker in her bed room, and she stays at my place when its to cold or hot. The only way she would put A/C in is if all the radiators where replaced with power fan coils, and adding a package chiller. So that will never happen.

    Thanks for all the advise.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    290
    get married, move her out, save yourself $$$$ lol

    Good luck!
    "Yeah I can figure out whats wrong with it, but you were here first and there isn't room for two, plus it's cold up here, I'll be in the van"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    The Weil McLean Ultra oil boiler is cast iron.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,090
    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    The Weil McLean Ultra oil boiler is cast iron.
    Yes it is.

    But she has gas. And the Ultra gas boiler is aluminum.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    So. NH
    Posts
    746
    Quote Originally Posted by cjcargo View Post
    The House uses cast iron radiators.

    I suggested new windows, but she likes the original glass. I know I would X them myself!
    There is no way to insulate the house without major renovations, or foam srayed into stud cavities. Still not a DIY project.
    No attic space either. I tried getting her to insulate the roof before that was done. Not the best way to insulate but it would have made a differance.

    No cooling in the house either! One window shaker in her bed room, and she stays at my place when its to cold or hot. The only way she would put A/C in is if all the radiators where replaced with power fan coils, and adding a package chiller. So that will never happen.

    Thanks for all the advise.
    Old houses ARE insulated every day, not necesarily with major renovations. A good contractor with the know how can help you. Find one before you call it impossible.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Balto, MD.
    Posts
    200
    Quote Originally Posted by keepyoucool2003 View Post
    get married, move her out, save yourself $$$$ lol

    Good luck!
    LOL,
    She lives in a better part of Baltimore then I do. My neighborhood has gone down hill. Crime rate up! After all this is the murder capitol of the world, and the city that bleeds. The city has these stupid little signs saying "BELIVE" all around the place.
    Yes! Belive if you come to Baltimore you might get your ass shot!

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