direct vent oil or propane?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    2

    direct vent oil or propane?

    I currently have a 10 year old New Yorker oil burner vented through a tjerlund sideshot as well as a Superstor indirect fired water heater and forced hot water baseboard (no radiant heating). The sideshot is driving me nuts. It vibrates and I want to get rid of it. The furnace also gives off exhaust fumes sometimes, even though the sideshot is venting for the highest possble amount of time. My furnace repair man tells me it could be a crack where the furnace is in two parts which would require him taking it all apart and re-sealing it.

    I have therefore considered many replacement options. For a while I was thinking of getting a double flue chimney and having a wood stove as well, but it would have to have been in the basement given the location of the furnace. Option 2 was to install an outdoor wood furnace, but I'm not sure I want to do that either.

    My latest plan is to get something that is direct venting, but I thought that was only available for propane until recently. I like the idea of propane because it's clean, but oil puts out more BTU's and I already have a tank in my basement. I was considering putting a pellet stove on the first floor to offset the oil consumption and to have a secondary heat fuel source. Since these all need electricity I would probably look into getting a generator to power these when needed.

    I guess my question is would you recommend a direct vented boiler, and if so oil or propane? My oil guy says they need to NOT vent on the north side of the house. He recommends a Biasi and he says he can also get a Crown Freeport ODV. He says a chimney would be ideal as the DV oil burners have issues as well (not sure what the issues are). I've also read some other complaints about DV propane boilers like the Munchkin as far as fan noise, system errors...
    recommendations or advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,593
    If you have a New Yorker FR-HGS, that's a pretty good boiler. I've seen FR boilers last over 35 years. They are easy to work on, easy to clean and pretty efficient. It sounds like your whole issue is with the power venter. If you're happy with the boiler, why replace it with an unknown. Just get a masonry or double-wall stainless steel chimney. All of the other options you list will be more expensive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    67,694
    If you go propane. Check into a Weil McLain Ultra, mod/cod boiler.
    A bit pricey, but very efficient, and quiet.

    Not a fan of DV oil.

    A smoke candle will tell your tech where a crack is if there is one.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    654
    Honestly, I've worked on too many power vented units to say your problem is there. Plenty of power vented units run just as good as a chimney vented unit, but they need to be tuned absolutely perfect, actually need to be run lean. Changing to gas will not solve your issue, getting a quality tune with your oil unit is the fix.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    I think the combination of odors and the power venter vibrating enough to drive him crazy is an indication the venter is about to die, and not that the boiler has problems.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    harwinton, CT
    Posts
    58

    yeah

    Quote Originally Posted by bobb25 View Post
    If you have a New Yorker FR-HGS, that's a pretty good boiler. I've seen FR boilers last over 35 years. They are easy to work on, easy to clean and pretty efficient. It sounds like your whole issue is with the power venter. If you're happy with the boiler, why replace it with an unknown. Just get a masonry or double-wall stainless steel chimney. All of the other options you list will be more expensive.
    i'm gonna second this advice... double wall stainless is a relatively quick job.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996

    If you go with 2 seperate flues

    I don't see why one couldn't terminate on the 1st floor and the boiler vent
    continue down to the basement area. If they're double wall, you should be able to simply frame around them, then brick venere or side the box making it
    look like a single large stack.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,829
    Standard Field or Tjernlund power venters are noisey, IMO under the best of cricumstances. I prefer the less mechanical means of exhaust known as a chimney. The only reason power vents are installed is that it's cheaper for the builder. If you're determined to do away with the existing boiler (odors can be conquered, whatever their source) there are currently several oil units on the market that are direct vent. The only one I've got first hand knowledge about is the System 2000. You can direct vent them but even the manufacturer says it's better to use their power vent. I've installed some and their power vent is much, much quieter than the universal ones. The boiler with the energy manager is very efficient given it's got a very low water content and is not a slab of cast iron to heat up. But if you've got radiant heat, I'd recommend in that case a cast iron boiler. To recap, I'd first go with repairing the existing boiler and putting up a chimney of some sort, be it cement block w/masonry liner or an all fuel. I would not recommend moving to propane. It's more expensive than oil.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

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