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Opinions Please: Jensen Boiler Forced Air or Baseboard?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by ccflier, Oct 26, 2011.

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  1. ccflier

    ccflier New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
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    Loc:
    Central CT
    Hi guys I have been lurking for a while now and wanted to get some perspective/advice on my project. I picked up a Jensen boiler in good shape on CL to supplement the oil burner on my 2400 sf., two level, New England home.

    Plan A: (4 zone Baseboard) run a setup like Simplest design and potentially adding on additional storage sometime in the future. The main challenge with this setup is that the flue for the boiler is on the opposite side of the house (> 50') from the oil boiler. Im concerned the cost of copper will be more than the boiler. I have done some research on thermapex (rated to 200F) but am not 100% convinced that it will hold up to the boiler temperatures.
    Advantage: Controlled zone heating, Hot Water, efficiency?

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-o4NHb-sd7dg/TqhFJb7cZYI/AAAAAAAALUY/QWCI6Oe3ATY/s800/oil.jpg

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-aDnWZRXM54I/TqhFIzAF90I/AAAAAAAALUM/2l_-Ok5Nf5Y/s800/distance.jpg

    Plan B: (Forced Air) Use a radiator to tap into the central air handler. The advantage of this is that the handler is located adjacent to the Jensen. This seems like the simpler of the two setups. Is the duct work for air conditioning the same for heating? Is this a viable option?
    Advantage: simplicity

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-lvc6y1MhjLc/TqhFKr-yYVI/AAAAAAAALUg/QVQah3qKPMw/s800/three.jpg

    What do you guys think? Plan A was what I originally had in mind but the simplicity of B is enticing. I honestly dont know which would be more efficient in the end. Also, I will be doing what limited setup I can myself then contracting a professional to finish it up. Thanks.

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  2. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I vote for baseboard. Then you can add storage later, if you want. Then you could put a gassification boiler in its place when you can afford it down the road. That is what you will want after a while with burning wood. A gasser and your storage tank(s). Just my opinion. You could also do black iron pipe instead of copper. I have seen some used gassers sell at a decent price. Sometimes people put them in and decide later they do not want all the work of burning wood. Or the new home owner does not want it. Etc. Something to think about for the future with this installation. I think you will like your boiler you have now too. Heating with wood will save you some money. And it is cool.
  3. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Neither, it's hard to beat cast iron radiators for comfort. I've never heard anyone say they were sorry for putting them in. You can find them cheap on Ebay & hopefully close enough to pick up. Randy
  4. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    When I saw his existing system it looked like he had water already. So I am thinking the baseboard is already in place. So, easier to go with that. What do you have currently with your existing oil boiler?
  5. ccflier

    ccflier New Member

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    sorry for the confusion.. Currently the oil burner heats baseboards already in place throughout the house. if i went with the forced air, that ductwork is also already in place. Thanks for the input.
  6. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Is your oil burner doing your domestic hot water too? Hard to tell from the pics - looks like some pipes going from boiler to tank but not sure. I would hook into the oil unit - can't comment on pex, but black iron should work OK & be cheaper. Just insulate the bejeebers out of them - but any heat loss will be within the building envelope anyway, so not as big a concern (as opposed to say having lines running thru the ground from outside). Maybe you could use insulated pipes that are usually used for outside installations? I'm ignorant on that stuff too. But if I was hooking up wood, I would want it to do DHW also - so would pick into the existing baseboard system rather than the ductwork, even if on the other side of the basement.
  7. ccflier

    ccflier New Member

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    Yes, thanks for the input!
  8. ccflier

    ccflier New Member

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    Next question: How do I determine the diameter of the pipe to run?
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