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looking for furnace advice.....

Post in 'The Green Room' started by sailor61, May 11, 2007.

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  1. sailor61

    sailor61 Burning Hunk

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    I'm in need of a new oil-fired boiler. House is approximately 950 sq ft, all on one floor. Ceiling ht averages a bit over 9ft. All the windows - and there are more of them than exterior wall -are new low e insulated glass. Heat will be supplied by cast iron baseboards and two kickspace heaters. Insulation is open cell foam. Primary heat source will be a Woodstock Fireview.

    Following a substantial rebuild of the house, turned on the water and refilled the boiler - which promptly leaked out all over the place from inside the cover. Have spoken to several pros and their opinions are pretty similar; it's either cracked or a flaw in the brand of furnace (Smith) where the castings contract and the connection between teh sections open up when it cools down.
    Either way it will need to be replaced - not willing to keep an oil furnmace hot 24/7/365 when it is primarily used for hot water via an indirect tank system.

    I've looke dat a few of the hi-efficiency units but question the payback considering I use between 100 and 200 gallons of oil per year. What I'm looking for is some feedback on the currently available brands and the experience users have had with them.

    Converting to electric, natural or propane gas is not an option. An oil fired hot water heater is not an option - I need the furnace as back up heat and in case of the possibility that I may sell the house at some point in the future. Thought briefly abouot the possibility of returning the Woodstock and putting in a wood fired furnace but I am in a suburban area and don't wnt to dela with the potential hassles with the neighbors - or with wood burning all summer.

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  2. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Buderus boiler with a Riello burner, but you probably won't see a return on your investment given the fuel you burn. I installed one at my home and saw a significant decrease in fuel usage, but I burned over 1800 gallons per year easily.

    -- Mike
  3. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    I would go with the Buderus...set it up for "cold start" and don't look back...It's a bit pricey, but if you want to save $$$...better be prepared to spend a few "up-front".

    Payback is an added benefit...but if you want a boiler that can "go cold" frequently without worry...go with the Buderus.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    My understanding is that condensing boilers are more efficient than conventional designs, but they require a special stainless steel chimney or liner. When I say "special," I mean a ss chimney or liner designed for an oil or gas condensing boiler.
  5. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    With what your requirements are. you are right the deluxe boiler has no payback for you.

    Paying extra and only burning 200 gallons, In your life time, you may never recoup the extra spent. I mean all posters suggestyed good boilers but you need a decent basic boiler

    First of all forget all builder specials steel boilers, they are crap. You want a cast iron boiler Could be Burnhan Utica Peerless as long as cast iron. The burner part either .. Becket or Carlin

    Not knowing your glass area and room layout or doing a heat take off, I think you need 45, 000 BTUS. Delinitely do not need more the 60,000
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    With that small of an oil use, I would look around for something priced well - any decent cast iron "cold start" or "warm start" boiler should do the job, and the diff between 85% and 88% and 92% will only mean $30 -$50 a year or so.

    Look at Smith, Weil-McClain, and even Peerless. Smith are made right here in the Pioneer Valley.

    Condensing technology may be good, but my tendency is to keep things simpler if possible and go with age-old technology. I think the lower up-front and future costs for maintaining a standard boilers will offset the saving from a condensing unit.
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Basically the Becket Carlin burners will get you to about 82 to 84% efficiency Which is not bad. To get higher you have to go to condensing . but a whole lot more money

    Another factor not mentioned too often today's oil is not the past Texas crude the Imported middle East oil is not as good quality more impurities. In the real world impurities play a large rill <Though not publisised> About the only time you see top effeciency is the first month then the head becomes carbonized and 84 is now 80 %. Also not published is even testing data and the testing instruments are bias Meaning draft and efficiency test results are cooked a. bit


    Good job in making your home more energy effecient
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Elk, Elk, Elk. Time for refinery school. No matter where it comes from, when crude oil is cooked in that big still called a crude unit the various fractions rise and leave the crap at the bottom where it gets a new name.

    Asphalt.

    Where is that Chem. E. when he is needed around here?
  9. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

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    Check out BIASI cast iron boilers with a Riello burner if you want a low-mass "cold-start" boiler.They're compact,efficient, and supposedly not overpriced; which should permit an acceptable payback with your small consumption of oil..The vast majority of boilers werere grossly oversized for heating the average home.Biasi uses an outdoor reset type heat controller to monitor ambient temperature and regulate boiler temp accordingly.This setup provides you with the btu's your home requires versus most boilers which run at 100% to maintain a predetermined water temp.Why burn oil to constantly maintain water at a high temp. that you maymay not use?
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I was able to retrofit outdoor reset to my burnham boiler for 100 bucks.
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    This was quoted to me bya Oil burner service man But again I should have know better and questioned it. He told me oil of today is not as pure or clean as it was in the past.
    Naturally he makes a living doing repairs and cleanings, I also heard that Middle eastern oil is not as high grade as sweet Texas Crude, that it is harder to get higher octane out of it

    BB I know you worked in that industry is there any truth to declining properties of crude? Again thanks for the imput and or correction and knowledge
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Lots of different grades of crude out there. The heavier and more sour (more sulphur) crudes basically make it more difficult to refine.
  13. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

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    Velvet,I'm just curious as to what savings you saw after the outdoor reset install.Has it worked as you anticipated?
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    It actually is an Argo controller, controlling a ~3 year old Burnham V8 type natural draft boiler.
    The set back controller is an Argo DPM-2.
    Here is a link: http://www.argoindustries.com/product_detail.asp?key=61
    I didn't have enough operating experience with the unit to tell, but for a hundred bucks(as I recall, maybe more), payback can't be too long.
    I don't think it is as complex as others but it does seem to work.
    I don't recall exactly, but the unit definately turned off at lower temps, I think 140F, than the usual 180F(?) when it was warmish outside and went to 180F when it was cold outside.
    It just plugged in to the existing Argo control board.
    I have domestic hot water set as priority so when there is demand for hot water, the temp goes up to high, no mater what the outside temp.
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