Choice of 2 new boiler brands that I need advice on

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Old 10-02-12, 02:29 PM
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Choice of 2 new boiler brands that I need advice on

My current boiler in my 2 story house in northern Illinois is a Torridheet and is still working fine but is at least 40 years old. I am trying to be proactive and replace it before it goes out in the middle of winter
1. Good idea or if it ain't broke, don't fix it?
2. I got 2 quotes from 2 different HVAC companies that I know and trust. Both sized it the same at 140,000 BTU, both about the same price.
One is a Burnham 305ANI-G boiler and the other is a Peerless MI-05 boiler. The only reviews on boilers I can find are on furnacecompare.com and this site seems to have bad reviews for these 2 brands and also noticed most ALL brands have terrible reviews. This is a BIG decision and I don't really have any way to research these 2 boilers. Can anyone give me advice on these 2 please?

Thanks,
 
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Old 10-02-12, 03:35 PM
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First advice:

Do NOT allow a 140,000 BTU boiler to be installed in your home unless the contractors can prove that you need a boiler that large by performing a detailed heat loss calculation. MOST boilers installed 40 years ago were at LEAST twice the size they needed to be.

How many square feet is your home?

We'll talk about other stuff later...
 
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Old 10-03-12, 05:08 AM
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It is about 1800 -2000sf with all new windows. It is a 1926 house with plaster walls. It was a much smaller house but since then a first story family room was added and then a master
bed room was added on top of that.
 
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Old 10-03-12, 07:40 AM
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Are the walls filled with insulation?
Assuming the new windows are high efficiency dual pane and well sealed around the unit to prevent draft entry?
Are the doors drafty?
Is the ceiling insulated?
Those are some of the heat loss details you need to gather along with the sq. footage.
 
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Old 10-03-12, 08:24 AM
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1. Don't know about the insulation in the original part of the house as they are plaster walls and no way of telling but it is not cold or drafty in any part of the house.
2. The windows are high efficiency dual pane and well sealed around the unit to prevent draft entry
3. The doors are not drafty
4. I had insulation blown into the attic.
5. We have never had any complaints about the current boiler as far as heating the house.
 
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Old 10-03-12, 12:45 PM
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Is your existing boiler oil or gas-fired? Look for the rating plate which will give the BTU rating and post that figure. Does the boiler run continuously during the coldest weather? If not, approximately how long are the burner on and burner off cycles?
 
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Old 10-04-12, 07:42 AM
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To further NJ Trooper post.... That is a huge boiler for your house.
When you are replacing your boiler, keep in mind that the upgrades in insulation, windows, doors, etc, will drop the size you need big time. This is why everyone says don't replace your boiler with the same size.
There is a sticky thread that explains what to look for and how to do a heat lose calculation.
The Heat lose calc can be a bit of work for a house you just bought, but with a bit of digging, you'll get it done, save tons of $$ on heating, and know a lot more about your own home.
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...nt-boiler.html

Another thing to have looked at is how the existing boiler, pumps and controls are configured.
I know from experience with my house (build 1930's), the boiler system has many retrofits over the years, and it could be setup in a way that is not efficient for how you are using it. Mine for example was setup to keep the water always hot, as it use to be used for domestic hot water. This hasn't been the case for a few years, and has costed the previous owner (and myself last winter) a lot of money on fuel.

The first thing to do, is sit down and do that heat lose calc.
 
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Old 10-04-12, 04:38 PM
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Yes, huge... I just replaced one of that size in my 2000 sq ft home with one rated at 87,000 BTU and that's STILL too large!

Just as a general point of reference...

A 3 story turn of the century Victorian with NO upgrades or improvements, built with baloon framing and no insulation might require 60 BTUH per sq ft to heat, or maybe a little more depending on wind conditions. If that home were 2000 sq ft, then your are talking 120,000 BTUH.

A MODERN well constructed home with proper attention to air sealing and insulation details might only require 15 ( FIFTEEN ) BTUH / SQ FT to heat. 2000 sq ft would only require 30,000 BTUH in this case!

In general, 50's vintage homes will usually come in around 25 BTUH / SQ FT, so say 50,000 BTUH.

Your 20's vintage home would fall somewhere in this range, but you MUST determine how many BTUH you require before investing in a heating system that will (should) last at LEAST 25 years. Who wants to pi55 money away for 25 years?

One more thing... the heat loss sizing is valid ONLY on the COLDEST days of the year. All other times the heat loss is DRASTICALLY less. These coldest days are typically less than 1% of the entire heating season, which means that even if you DO properly size your system, it's STILL too big for 99% of the season.

DO THE HEAT LOSS CALC!
 
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Old 10-04-12, 08:13 PM
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For more info on heat loss follow this link.
Heatloss FAQ
 
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Old 10-06-12, 02:51 PM
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I,m back. It is a gas fired boiler. The old one I am replacing is 140,000 BTU. It does not constantly run in the winter. I have never noticed it to be running long or short cycling during the 12 years we have been here.
 
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Old 10-06-12, 06:51 PM
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The point is though:

DO THE HEAT LOSS!

It is highly likely that your replacement boiler would need be roughly HALF the BTU of the old one and of course it would save you money.
 
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Old 10-24-12, 06:43 PM
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FYI.... Ended up going with a New Yorker 130,000 BTU with a contractor who did a heat loss twice so I am confident. Also, my old one is a 165,000 BTU so it does seem better sized now to my house. Thanks for the advice fellas.
 
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Old 10-24-12, 07:37 PM
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New Yorker 130,000 BTU with a contractor who did a heat loss twice
Well... as long as you are confident, I guess that's all that matters!

I personally have my doubts.
 
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