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  1. #1

    Summer Winter Gas Boiler?

    Hi,

    I have a summer/winter oil boiler in a small furnace room in the center of a circa 1960's split level. The chimney was relined last year. This year I was going to remove the above ground oil tank from the crawlspace and have a new one put in, but with oil prices being what they are, decided to see if I could get gas and what cost would be involved. New oil tank was either going to have to be outside, which I didn't like due to safety/gelling issues (SE PA), or I was going to have to lose a closet in the laundry room.

    Turns out I can have a gas line run fairly cheaply.

    I only plan on being in the house for 5-7 more years so while I planned on getting professional opinions for both standard/HE, I was most likely going to go standard. Venting the PVC is going to be problematic and ugly given the location and I don't see HE being worth the cost.

    First guy comes out and says he can do a summer/winter boiler, gas fired, run the gas line, hook up the new boiler, I need a new expansion tank, and we're done. He went around and measured the baseboard heaters and said the boiler is about 2-2.5 times the size it should be.

    Second guy comes out and says they don't make summer/winter boilers anymore because they are too inefficient. He agreed the boiler was twice the size it needed to be. He said there was no reason to measure the baseboards, it doesn't matter. His recommendation was a standard boiler and a gas fired tank water heater. The complication there is that due to the space constraints in the room, in order to fit the water heater I'm looking at tearing down a wall or partially blocking access to the crawlspace. He didn't look at anything else in the house and left.

    Opinions?

    I've had tank water heaters in the past and actually I prefer the summer/winter hookup.

    Thanks
    Nemo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    There may be tax credits and utility rebates for the HE unit. It might be enough to pay for most of the upcharge. You should be able to run the PVC in a co-axial or similar arrangement up the existing flue pipe that you jsut replaced.

    I'd still get a quote for both. In 5-7 years, having HE will be more the norm, so not having it could be a negative when selling. Having gas over oil will definitely be a positive.

    For the domestic hot water, you could also go tankless on demand. Those are very compact.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,384
    Heat loss calculations will tell what boiler size is needed. Measuring the baseboard gives the information needed to calculate the proper circulator needed.

    Summer / winter is still available. Either using a coil in the boiler or installing a an indirect water heater. Going with one appliance your existing flue can be used either directly for a standard or as a chase for HE.

    You have many options. I suggest calling a HVAC contractor that specializes in hot water heat, not a plumber.
    Climate Control Solutions for your Home or Office

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    798
    boilers aren't as often oversized as people think. Do they exist? yea....but boilers dont put heat directly into your home like a hot air furnace does.....you need to calculate the output of your baseboards vs the water temp vs out put of the boiler....many seem to forget that.
    a plumber can do it....a qualified hvac contractor can do it right.

  5. #5
    I am still looking at HE quotes as well, just leaning standard. These two guys were both HVAC, from two of the big outfits in the area. I had a third coming today but he asked to reschedule due to an abundance of A/C calls.

    Just kind of disturbing as a homeowner when the second guy tells you the first was wrong.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    798

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by nemojones View Post
    I am still looking at HE quotes as well, just leaning standard. These two guys were both HVAC, from two of the big outfits in the area. I had a third coming today but he asked to reschedule due to an abundance of A/C calls.

    Just kind of disturbing as a homeowner when the second guy tells you the first was wrong.
    i wouldnt worry about that....they probably both are

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    955

    I would

    NOT go with a tankless coil in the boiler. I would highly recommend the indirect. Depending on the hot water load (jacuzzi, etc) it may actually be more than the heating load, so the boiler will have to be sized that way. But that is a rarity.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    701
    A boiler with an indirect is a good way to go, but since you have space constraints, Weil Mclain has a gas fired 91% efficient boiler with a coil for domestic hot water.
    It's the model GV-90, you might be interested, and it could fulfill your requirements.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    701
    My mistake the GV-90 doesnt have a coil for domestic hot water.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,006
    Since you're still considering all options, you should at least look at the Navien combi-gas.
    Space heating and domestic hot water all in one. No indirect tank needed.
    Very cost effective.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

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