Choosing a boiler...
I'm purchasing a home in Duluth, MN. The existing oil fired boiler has issues and needs either to be repaired or replaced. I'm considering scrapping the unit and installing an LP system, since natural gas is not available in the area... yet.
The boiler feeds a baseboard system. I believe there are two or three existing zones.
I know I really should have a full blown heating test done. But, for now, I'm just looking for a solid estimate. The current oil boiler is 127,000 BTU. The house is 1800 sq feet. It's a split level. The split level (majority of sqft) was an addition, added in 1984.
I also want to add an indirect hot water heater. It's currently electric. I may opt to add this later though due to budgetary reasons.
After researching online, my gut is telling me that I'll need between 72,000 and 90,000 BTU.
I'm leaning towards the Weil-Mclain Ultra 105. It seems to have a lot of nice all-inclusive features. It's reasonably priced too. I'm also considering Buderus and Peerless, but am open to suggestions.
My main concern with the boiler is the type. I want to make sure I'm getting the correct specs. Based on a telephone call with one contractor, I'm somewhat concerned about aluminum. He was definitely suggesting stainless. He noted issues with premature leaking and start-up leaks. Anyone have similar concerns?
I guess my questions right now are:
At the ~90,000 BTU range, is it safe to say I'm close?
Does anyone have experience with the Weil-Mclain Ultra 105 in cold climates such as Duluth, MN?
Are there other brands/models/types of boilers I should be considering?
We don't get as cold as you. But the Ultra does fine at our low temps of 0 or just under.
If your baseboard is sized to heat your house at water temps under 200°F, the Ultra will work fine for you.
As you probably saw, it comes with OD reset as standard.
It can be programed to do a quicker or slow water temp increase as the application needs.
As far as problems with the aluminum block. Nope. The Ultra comes with a 15 year warranty on the block. Most SS are 10, and 1 or 2 are 12 years.
Is it possible for me to determine whether the baseboards are sized for water temps under 200F myself?
Originally Posted by beenthere
Yes and no.
One way, is to see what temp the current boiler is set to.
The other way, would be a heat loss, and then measure the amount of elecment.
First, you need to know the lengths in each room.
Then you need to know the heat loss in each room.
Divide the BTUs by the number of feet in the room, to get BTUH per foot required.
Look up YOUR baseboard model for BTUH per foot at each water temperature, and select the temperature that matches your load.
p.s. I don't work for Slant/Fin (anymore, I moved back home).
Thanks for outlining the process. Unfortunately, I don't live in the house (or even the state) yet. But, this will be the first thing I do when I get there. One question: is it easy to tell the make/model of baseboards? I have never dealt with them before.
Originally Posted by Noel Murdough
It's interesting that you mention Slant/Fin. My bother-in-law was touting Slant/Fin to me last night. Should I consider them? Are they all wall hanging? Or, do they have free standing boilers? The current boiler is freestanding next to the chimney. I figure it will be easiest to replace with a similar freestanding unit if I want to reuse the venting and plumbing as much as possible.
No mod/con boiler can reuse the venting of your existing boiler.
They can't be vented into a regular chimney.