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A little bit of education is indeed a dangerous thing. In the process of picking a contractor to replace the old hot-water oil boiler in our 80-yr-old house CI-heated house,I'm contemplating 3 heat loss numbers. 77,280 BTU's calculated by one contractor, 97,850 by an energy audit rep. and 94,900 by me with HVAC-Calc (which apparently doesn't have a buffer-factor). None of these include the unheated basement.
My question is: should I be matching the heat load to the D.O.E. heating capacity or the IBR ratings? Our mains are insulated with intact asbestos.
Any advice is appreciated