Last edited by Chuck Thoits; 05-03-2009 at 06:00 PM.
It could be worse You could be on fire.
I have a couple of Burnham boilers, a hydrotherm boiler and a Hamilton Boiler (Lochinvar)
The Hamilton boiler is my favorite
Also look at Weil-McLane boilers.
Look for a sealed combustion chamber, stainless steel burn tubes, you want to get efficiency up over 90pct, but that comes at a price.
Also multiple stages within the boiler. On the small ones that might not be possible
One other thing, make sure the boiler installers place shut off valves on both sides of all your pumps, i.e. cicrculator loop pump and zone pump(s). When those pumps need servicing, the service work is neater and easier when you can close off the boiler on each side of the pumps.
Point of use works well, but its expensive, especially if you go with a sealed combustion system and draw air from the outside. We just replace our old water heater, the cost for the water heater with a sealed system was $1100 vs $1900 for a point of use system with outside air for combustion.
Just a few thoughts from our experiences.
We have a Weil-Mclane unit (15 years old). It has served us well with only two shutdowns - both due to igniter failure. The power vent was also replaced. (Bearing noise indicated it was going south, so it was replaced before it failed.)
No matter what unit is going to replace the old one, it will either need a chimney liner, or be vented out the wall. Unless there has been some newer technology/revised thinking recently, the higher efficiency units are very hard (corrosive) on masonry chimneys.
If she has been OK with the combination of hot water and boiler I'd stay with it. It should make installation less costly than adding the on demand unit. My wife grew up with a poorly performing set-up and wouldn't even consider a combo unit.
I can't help with the fuel source. We're natural gas which is going up, and I know my parents and inlaws are also taking a hit with propane costs. I think price hikes are pretty universal.
Chuck, is she using fuel oil right now? Just wondering if it's an underground tank?
One of my friends just had to have their tank replaced, and apparently, swapping out an underground tank can be a nightmare if it had developed a leak...
Talking state regulatory agencies, hazmat, etc....
Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
"A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.
Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
Custom built boats and Kits
We put in a new Weil-Mclane oil boiler with domestic hot water 2 yrs ago it's 89& efficient & has saved us some serious dollars compared to what we did have before the total price was just under $5,000 that includes removal of the old one & install of the new one & it was done in about 7 hrs total time.