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Advice on Oil Boiler Replacement
I am an average homeowner replacing a 52 year old tankless oil burner, Burnham Jubilee, with a high efficiency option. Heating is forced hot water, 20 linear feet of contemporary baseboard in the basement, and 110 linear feet of cast iron baseboard, 6” and 9” tall, in the first and second floors. Current boiler is vented through a 6x12” clay lined flue within a three sided chimney, about 30’ high. House also has two fireplaces (one in basement, the other in first floor), and almost never used. House has 2774 total sq. ft, includes basement. One heat loss calculation, which includes a 15% fudge factor) put the result at 63,000 btu/hr.
After a recent weatherization project, the blower door test result is 1830. Although a natural gas line is only 525’ away, I am resigned to using oil for warmth and hot water, though would like to make a smart purchase of a vessel where the burner could be swapped out if the gas line ever makes it up the street.
I’ve talked with several contractors, who generally offer either System 2000 EK1 or a Buderus G115/3. Those that swear by the System 2000 point to its low mass, low water content. It is offered with the System 2000 heat exchanger tank or a Superstor tank. They also purport that the System 2000 is more reliable and less finicky than a Buderus, and does not need an outside reset.
The Buderus proponents point to its cast iron construction and it being a better match with the cast iron baseboard. Their advice is that the Buderus would be able to work more efficiently with the cast iron baseboard by operating at a lower temperature and by maintaining the heat within the distribution system longer. The SuperStor tank is proposed with the system. Proponents say that if it is correctly installed, should work fine with few if any problems. They also say the System 2000 Digital Manager can be fussy and is a proprietary part. Would also like opinions about whether the G115/3 is the right size for the house.
I am also concerned about the potential for condensation in the chimney flue with either system, and whether it should be lined to a smaller dimension up front, or wait and see what might happen after a replacement is installed. Or would a smarter move be to direct vent to the outside?
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