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Harman Hydroflex60 - How large of a home

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Dana B, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Dana B

    Dana B Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Loc:
    So. New Hampshire
    I live in NH and have a 2300 square foot colonial that's currently being heated via oil boiler with forced hot water baseboard elements.

    I've been looking into the Harman pellet boilers to tie into the existing distribution system. The idea is to keep the oil boiler in place in case we ever sell the house but not use it once the pellet boiler is installed.

    I have heard some say that the Hydroflex60 can properly and efficiently heat a house my size or larger.

    I wanted to get some opinions on the matter from those of you that might have experience with this unit.

    I'd like to offer a little more info. The house was built in 1999. it's your typical cookie cutter contractor grade colonial that you see everywhere in New England. this winter I noticed the origianal factory weatherstripping on the windows was not doing it's job so I replaced it with some new stuff from Lowes. We have been keeping the thermostat at 64 when using oil to conserve money but I'd like to run it around 67-68 with the pellet boiler for a little extra comfort.

    Also I have an outdoor temperature reset unit hooked up to the oil boiler. Do they make these units to go with the pellet boilers to increase efficieny?

    I hope that the hydroflex60 will get the job done and that I won't have to spend the extra money for the pb105.

    Any advice/info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

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  2. Kory

    Kory New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    Naples, ME
    We have the Harman PB 105 installed in our showroom heating the showroom, They are somewhat new to us, but I have done 3 of the larger boilers the PB 105 and 2 of the hot air furnaces the PF 100 the quality into these seems pretty amazing. I Have yet to touch a Hydro Flex 60 but I cannot wait. According to my installation helper who has serviced and installed oil boilers since 1988 your 2,300 square foot house is capable of being heated with the Hydro Flex but again I have not seen your house and this all depends on age and insulation quality and how well the heating system is set up. Are you looking to install yourself?
  3. Kory

    Kory New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    Naples, ME
    Also yes the pellet boilers do come with outdoor temperature sensors to increase efficiency.
  4. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,108
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    The ONLY way a person could really answer that is to do a heat loss calc on your house. Pay no attention to a salesman who says XXXX boiler will heat XXXX square feet. They are just blowing smoke.
    I've seen 60,000 btu appliances heat 2,500 sq ft with no problem and the same unit struggle with 1,200. It's the structure, not the boiler that makes the difference.
  5. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    1,623
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    ^^^^^^^^ DOUBLE like! The square footage numbers are for comparison only. I can heat my house with 42,000 btu/hr and is 3,200 square feet.

    TS
  6. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    858
    Loc:
    North central Alberta, Canada
    Yes be very wary of anyone that says X unit can heat X sq ft. Standard OWB sales pitch & a sure sign that you are speaking with somone who does not know their stuff.

    Our home is slightly smaller than Taylor's & this season I had no period where I needed more than 40,000 btu/hr for space heating. So whats one to take from that? That our climate is warmer = nope pretty sure the opposite is true. That our home is better built/insulated = doubtful our home was built in the 60's with methods & materials current at the time, Taylor's is a newer home & should have the advantage. Just about impossible to get to apples vs apples when comparing homes.

    Heatloss calc's, manual J calc's, blower door tests, etc cost money? = yes when performed by qualified people, are worth it?..... you betcha. Often when they result in purchasing correctly sized heating units vs oversized ones the payback is immediate.
  7. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,123
    Loc:
    NH
    In the long run, I'd consider the cleaning and maintenance schedule for the 2 units. The PB105 has an enormous ash pan, and is fairly straight forward in terms of cleaning the heat exchangers(pull the handles). The HF60 has a fairly small ash pan and many spirals, and a set of baffles in the combustion chamber to remove and clean.
  8. VT_Bubba

    VT_Bubba Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    Vermont
    Hello DanaB,

    I have owned my HF60 for 3 winters now. We've been very happy with it, with No problems. If you search this forum, you will find many posts from me related to the Hydroflex60 and your question(s). The HF60 is small and will be on the edge, depending on your DHW system setup. I respectfully disagree with Heaterman on doing Heat-Loss Calcs, when adding an alternative boiler to an existing house with no plans for storage. I look at the total heat loading required for the boiler system ==> the worse case BTU need at any one time - Lets just say 100ft of Baseboard @ 600BTU/Ft = 60K BTU/Hr max load that your boiler could ever be required to produce. Even if your boiler produced more that 60K BTU, your radiation could not consume that extra heat, which then causes short-cycles on that over-sized boiler Don't forget to add your DHW to that Max BTU Calc too !

    I also have direct access to Qty=3 PB105 Installs. I used the HF60 for my home, because I had space restrictions that would not accomodate the PB105. I personally would use the PB105 if you can accomodate the physical size of the larger boiler. If you have priority control on your DHW zone and less than 100ft of total baseboard, then you may get by with the HF60, but you will be on the edge. I personally view the HF60 as a 30-40KBTU/Hr boiler. There are also many other newer Pellet Boilers on the market that you should concider, however, most of them require a Chimney. Both the PB105 and HF60 can be directed vented,. which saves a lot of $$$, if you don't have one already available. The HF60 size and Direct Vent was the primary reason I used the Hydroflex.

    JMHO here .... I hope that helps ! Please share with the forum what you learn and decided to do (We all learn from each other). Good Luck !

    VT_Bubba

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