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Sticker Shock!

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you just might save more than 30%. One of my Dead Men's Books says these are usually not more than 40% efficient on oil. Realize that the figure the service tech gives you is merely a measure of how well the burner is working- and that one doesn't appear to be doing well at all.

Your mileage may vary, but I think you'll save a bunch no matter what fuel you choose.

"Steamhead"

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  • Angela_2
    Angela_2 Member Posts: 67
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    Is it really worth doing NOW?

    So, 2 bids are in to replace my snowman, and they are both about $10k. The first bid was 9500, and I thought it would be the high one. Then the second bid came in even higher! When I asked the second contractor how much the bid would go down if I stuck with oil instead of converting to gas, he said that he had misunderstood and the bid WAS for sticking with oil! So he was even higher though he wouldn't be changing the vent or running a gas line.

    That's about 4 grand more than I was thinking, and some serious cost/benefit analysis is in order, especially given that our economic system is collapsing around us. We may need that money this winter for food.

    My current boiler is in good working order, needing only an annual service for about $125. Every year, it tests at about 76% combustion efficiency. The service guys say that the overall efficiency is much less, since a lot of the heat goes up the stack and into the basement. And I am heating about 40 gallons of water. One of the contractors whose bid is still in the works, was impressed with the condition of my snowman-- i.e. it doesn't look like it's going to fail anytime soon. And the burner was just replaced last year.

    How can I figure out what I will really, truly save? I burn about 1200 gallons a season with plastic and storms on the windows. If oil averages $5 a gallon this winter (who's to say?) and the new boiler is 30% more efficient than the old one, I see no payback for over 5 years. If it's 50% more efficient, than that might be something. But what if I don't see even 30%????

    Of course, oil could be over $5 per gallon, inflation is likely to be insane after our wacko government finishes printing all this money, but that same inflation will affect gas prices as well.

    Does anyone here know how to do an accurate cost savings analysis on this problem? Boiler to boiler comparison?
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981
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    Try the NORA website.(National Oil heat Research Alliance)

    They have a program there called the FSA (fuel savings analyzer). If you can fill in the numbers from the old, and plug in the numbers for the new, you can get a pretty accurate estimate of your savings and payback. You might be real surprised to find that the payback will be a lot quicker than you think!

    Do you think for 1 minute that the price to replace this beast will be going DOWN? I'd bet NOT on my end. If you can, now is the time to bite the bullet. It ain't gonna get any less expensive. MHO. Chris
  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,479
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    What boilers were bid

    and what efficiency? If they were nat gas mod con boilers the price is in line and they will cut your fuel bill in half if properly installed and sized. Half of 1200 gallons of oil is a lot of bananas. Not a bad payback. More information please. What kind of heat emitters do you have? Is it cast iron radiators or copper fin baseboard? Maybe radiant floors. All of my customers that have switched are happy campers.

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  • Steamhead (in transit)
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    I believe

    this is a steam system.... right, Angie?

    "Steamhead"

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  • Angela_2
    Angela_2 Member Posts: 67
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    Bids are to replace snowman with a Smith Series 8 gas fired boiler. (or actually, oil boiler with a gas burner on it)

    My system is one pipe steam, just under 500 EDR to heat approx 2,500 sq feet. The afue% on the smith is 85.3. DOE is 169, gph is 1.4, ibr rating is 126.

    I don't have this info on my richardson, just that the combustion efficiency is 76%. And it's burning oil.

    50% savings might move me. I'm not so sure about 30%.

    And we are paying cash for this job.
  • Angela_2
    Angela_2 Member Posts: 67
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    And

    when all bids are in (2 are still out), I will go back to my 2 favorite guys and ask them the following:

    will you give a cash discount (for those who take credit cards)
    how much if I remove the asbestos?
    How much if I remove the asbestos and we scoot the snowman into the corner?
    how much if we leave the asbestos on and scoot the snowman into the corner?
    how much if I replace the boiler but stick with oil?
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
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    Angela

    You should see it from our side. We have been getting about six cold calls a day for change overs each getting at least six bids. The home owners do not know any of us from Adam, everyone says they are the best. We have been running into bottom dwellers that low ball most homeowners do not know the difference between a well done 10K refit or a 5K push pull and by the time they find out it is to late.

    At this point we have become so frustrated with cold call bids that we send them an E mail with basic price guide lines and information but if they want us out to do calculations it is our standard one hour charge $110.00 plus the standard $10.00 arrival fee (high gas costs) guess how many cold calls have taken us up on the offer.

    Guess on follow up conversations the home owner has either done nothing or went with the bottom dweller.

    Sorry for the rant, but do keep in mind the efficiency tag on your boiler is flame efficiency not over all it is probably doing worse. Most people in the business believe that at some point gas will move up a lot closer in price to oil so conversion simply to use a cheaper fuel should not be the major motive.

    Just my $0.02

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  • Angela_2
    Angela_2 Member Posts: 67
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    I do understand

    there was one guy who said 5-6k without really doing any assessment except a look. after seeing the other bids, I wonder if he meant '+ boiler.' In any case, I didn't trust him.

    I do understand I don't want something just thrown in there. I want my system to run better than it does now, not worse. i think, except for the first guy, that all of the other 4 heating guys who've come are all professionals with good reputations. i'm betting they are all gonna hover around that 10k mark.

    though it is interesting what they look at. the last fellow (whose number is still out), who I know is the very experienced owner of the company, did not look at the chimney. Since the others had all focused on it, I waited and waited and then couldn't resist bringing it up myself as he was heading out of the basement. so i'm not so sure about him. just distracted? or willing to put the boiler in no matter what the chimney is like?

    Um, that's 10k plus chimney work.

    i accept your right to rant. my sticker shock is not a complaint. it's just that, you know, REALITY BITES. I am the last one to want master craftsman to starve. and I definitely don't want to pay a hack, they always cost more in the end, and anger is a destructive antidote. Especially when you get to experience it over and over, everytime you notice the crap you paid for and have to live with.

    this is a round snowman. if I save 50% in fuel costs, that means a lot. i can't even move out of here and rent this place with a 1200 gallon fuel bill, no one will pay it.

    but this will be a tough winter for everybody. I am a waitress, and am already seeing the standard tip % regress about 5%. My husband is freelancing and has been looking for full time work for over a year. His checks flow in big chunks months and months after the work is done. And there is always the risk that they won't pay at all. And of course he runs into the same problem that you all do: he has 15 years in his business but has to compete with juniors just out of college who work for a lot less. So you can understand why we are looking so carefully at how to spend the hunk of money we have right now. there may not be another chunk for a long, long time.

    if I felt confident that the boiler was definitely going to last A LOT LONGER THAN 10 years (30 would be cool), I'd feel better about it. If my bill is really going to go down 50%, that would pay off pretty fast.

    I did really wanna get that snowman out of the basement. but we may really need to keep it in the corner if we can cut out the asbestos/removal guy for a significant price reduction.
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
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    correction

    We do state the $120.00 charge is creditable to the work being done.

    90% of our actual bids fall within the outline sent.

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  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    it would

    be a very bad idea to move the boiler with asbestos to the side. There is 100% certainty that in the move, absestos will be disturbed, become friable, and your basement and surroundings become contaminated.

    Your very first expenditure should be hiring a certified abatement company to safely remove the asbestos, and while they are at it, do any pipes covered with the stuff-boiler changeouts involve pipe shaking and moving. The incremental cost is well worth the peace of mind and erases issues if you ever sell the house.

    This way, you are prepared to continue your quest for a new unit, and in the meantime, if the boiler springs a leak, there isn't a scramble to address the asbestos.

    Keep in mind that boiler will need to be dismantled to remove it and some of the cost involves such.

    Plan on relining the chimney at replacement or soon after oil or gas.

    Don't forget that a new boiler will need at least one return trip to skim oil off the water, and the higher bids may reflect this time.
  • steve_29
    steve_29 Member Posts: 185
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    I don't understand?

    A 30% reduction in fuel usage would save you 360 gallons @ $4 or $1440 per year.

    The saving you get, would pay for a 10K job in 7 years!

    If fuel prices go above $4 it would be even quicker.

    Wouldn't this be a no brainer?
  • Angela_2
    Angela_2 Member Posts: 67
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    It might be a no brainer, except:

    we don't have 10K. just don't have it.

    I thought this would be 6-7k tops. Guess I was thinking of 5 years ago prices, maybe even farther back, when books said you could spend between 3 and 5 k 'or more.' those books are old. and perhaps they were not talking about replacing a b&w.

    a 7 year payback is not so great if the boiler fails in 8 years, or 10. why do I fear such things? I believe I've mentioned that next door in my duplex, there is a snowman in the corner, and then next to it, there is a dead modern burnham that looks a hell of a lot like the current burnham next to it. true, the newer burnham has been in service at least 7 years (since sometime before I got here). But why did the other one fail? did burnham replace it because it was still under warranty? I just don't know. but it doesn't give me confidence in modern technology. i cannot cough up 10k every 10 years. (and keep in mind, this place also has a roof!)

    that a__hole, mr. bush, wasn't kidding the other night, when he kept saying, americans NEED THEIR CREDIT, THEY NEED THEIR LOANS...SO THEY CAN PAY FOR THE STUFF THEY NEED!

    WELL, WE JUST AREN'T GONNA PLAY IT THAT WAY ANYMORE.

    It's true I'm not looking at cheap boilers. i know that the residential price on the boiler I'm looking at is about $3k. contractors get a discount of approx. 30%. so although it is not broken out for me in the bid, about 70% of this bid is labor for the various persons involved. god bless them i'd love to pay them all for their good work. had i the money, that is. And i cannot see buying a cheap product when so much of the expense is installation.

    and if the boiler was the only thing we had to buy, but we still have to pay high fuel costs this winter even AFTER we buy the boiler. what good is the damn thing if there's no money left for the fuel?

    i calculated $5/gallon and a 5 year payback, and it still scares me.

    but the real thing is, we don't have the extra 4 or 6k laying around.

    so tell me how long a well maintained smith really lasts, and if the number dwarfs the payback period, i'll feel a lot better.

    but i'll still need to get that 10k number way down. no main vents (the systen never had them anyway). no old boiler removal. no gas conversion. cash discount. perhaps a less expensive but still american made quality boiler.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
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    You NEED those main vents

    since you could really only get away without them on a coal-fired boiler.

    The reason is, the coal-fired boiler typically ran for 8 hours or more on a single firing. Therefore, once the air was out of the system, it stayed out- so what if Junior's bedroom took an hour to get steam? Once his radiator was hot, it stayed hot.

    With oil or gas firing, even on a converted snowman, we don't have that kind of time. We have to get the air out of the mains quickly. So main vents are key. These would help you save fuel even if you don't replace the snowman.

    If money is that short, you might want to increase the system's efficiency without replacing the snowman this year. Main vents, pipe insulation, TRVs in the bedrooms are all things that will do this. Also insulate your walls and attic, and seal as many cracks as you can if you haven't done so already.

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  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
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    Angela

    Look at it this way.

    1) You are paying at least $1,200.00 extra per year for fuel. The price of equipment and fuel will only go up.

    2) There are low interest loans in my area we have a mass save program. If you get this type of a loan it may well pay for itself and then some.

    3) If that boiler goes in the middle of the winter things will be worse.

    4) It is very rare for a cast iron gravity vent boiler to go in less than twenty years unless it is not properly installed or maintained. Most boilers last longer. Some of the new high tech stuff I can see a concern but not the old basic stuff.

    5) If you can get a reasonable loan then you cannot afford not to do this now while the weather is good.

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  • Angela_2
    Angela_2 Member Posts: 67
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    No loans Mitch. If we don't have it, we can't spend it.

    That's a tough one, isn't it? For me too, I've been raised the American way also: spend first, pay later. There are just so many good things to spend money on NOW.

    But it's past time for discipline. Look what a mess this mentality has got this whole country into.

    My boiler isn't gonna fail this year. Maybe the burner, though I just replaced it last year (with a rebuilt one).

    I am knocking on wood though.
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,541
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    Angela

    While I agree with your aversion to debt. Going into Debt to buy a boiler that will conservatively save you 25% in fuel costs annually is totally different than borrowing money to buy a 50" Plasma TV or some such toy! In many cases the savings exceed the monthly payment,making it a poor financial decision not to invest in efficiency.

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  • Angela_2
    Angela_2 Member Posts: 67
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    Main vents

    No one REALLY seems to want to put them there though.

    First guy said he will.

    2nd guy said if the system never had them, he doesn't think I should add them because the system works well now. Philosophy: if it ain't broke don't try to fix it, you just may make things worse.

    Another mentioned that it will be difficult, since the pipes are old and brittle and may break. There is no space to put them up 12 inches either.

    It is also unclear WHERE they should be located. two takeoffs to the main appear to rise to the same height and then run around the basement in a circle. so where is the end of the main? the beginning?

    it is possible that one of these takeoffs is slightly higher than the other, but it is impossible to tell with the asbestos insulation. I measured them and any difference can't be more than 1/4 inch-- this could just be variation in insulation thickness.

    The first fellow thought he could perceive a place where the pitch changed, but didn't seem sure.

    I thought my burner was short cycling after it was replaced last year. the oil man didn't want to come back and I made a change to the setback on the thermostat that helped, but didn't totally stop it. no way is it running for 20 minutes before kicking off, except when it first starts up cold. so i think i'm getting a lot of waste here too.
  • steve_29
    steve_29 Member Posts: 185
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    If you replace that boiler with a savings of 30% you will have saved $28,800 over the average life of a boiler (+/- 20 yrs). That doesn't include any increases in fuel prices.

    While I applaude you for trying to remain steadfast for not going into debt, I think prudence should be in order when analizing the real cost of not replacing that old system.

    The real question is how can you afford NOT to replace that oil guzzling beast?
  • Steamhead (in transit)
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    Installing main vents

    doesn't necessarily involve cutting pipe. We routinely drill into the side of a pipe or fitting (the fitting's thicker walls give you more threads) and tap it for 1/2" pipe thread. An elbow then points up to the vent. Never had a problem doing it this way, though it's not in any textbook.

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  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_11
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    Angela - there is an alternative

    Given your budget constraints and your concern regarding operating costs, I'd suggest you consider installing mini-split Inverter heat pumps. Pick the key areas you want comfortable in winter (and summer too!). Chances are that will be the master bedroom and living room. Two mini-split units installed will likely fit within your budget numbers mentioned. Or just one mini-split for the living area with electric blankets on the beds. You can program the mini-split(s) to operate only when the area(s) will be occupied.

    Fujitsu has a wall-hung Inverter model that has 21-SEER and 11-HSPF. Whisper quiet operation and can operate in bitter cold weather without any added back-up heat.

    Now, in addition to providing heating at lower operating costs than even a 95% efficiency mod-con can (at current fuel rates), you'll be able to lower the thermostat setting for your snowman and let the remaining areas of your home idle at much lower temps. You'll need to move the snowman's heating thermostat if it's in the mini-split's area.

    The only heating/cooling system that's more efficient at the present time, is ground source heat pumps, but that's alot more expensive as an option than replacing your snowman.

    While you're enjoying lowered heating/cooling bills with a few mini-splits, you can save up for a new boiler. And, if Frosty the Snowman should expire, you'll not be without heat!

    In the attached Energy Cost sheet, you'll see operating cost comparisons for 24,000 BTU heating/cooling systems using 95% efficiency for the fossil fuel appliances and 11-HSPF/21-SEER for the heat pump(s). As you might imagine, a comparison using your much lower appliance efficiency would be even more dramatic.
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
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    Dear gram-pa

    I do have the greatest admiration to your skill in our trade.

    But you are basically telling her to spend money to buy time.

    Sounds same as a loan. Plus she has co concerns on another thread with a possible compromised chimney with this oil and other gas appliances on it.

    Frosty should go and a liner installed.

    Respectfully

    Mitch S.

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  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
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    Angela,

    Sounds to me like this is much more than a "basic" boiler replacement.

    You could probably get a cheaper job from some yahoo with no business touching a steam system who would just "throw in" a new boiler. Poor comfort, nasty noises and little (if any) fuel savings would be the most likely result.

    As others have said, those old boilers were designed to give a relatively small amount of steam over a long period of time. Modern steam boilers hold FAR less water and are designed to give a LOT of steam FAST. This requires changes in the near boiler piping and main vents. If you've used "Find a Pro" here, they'll likely want to install what's called a "drop header". They look simple, but trust me--they take considerable skill to install.

    Believe me--I understand why you don't want to go into debt for such a thing but for 2-3 thousand paid in a year or two you'd likely save far more in fuel than you would pay in interest--even credit card interest.

    Your old snowman may well stay working--inefficiently--for decades but the time does come to stop throwing good money (like for a new burner) after bad. Use the best steam man you can find and if budget will at all allow, use a Burnham Mega Steam (oil only at present). Never before have I heard so many accolades regarding a boiler from both installers and homeowners.
  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_12
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    Maybe I missed something, but...

    she said ole Frosty was doing well. Well, that is - if 76% eff is well. CO concerns and CO spillage/spewing are entirely separate matters. Chimney liners are an obvious remedy if there is a need, but at 76% (optomistic projected eff for Frosty), it's doubtful there much in the way of sustained flue gas condensation taking place in that chimney. Indications are she's not inclined to go in debt to replace Frosty. I can resect that and fully understand her reluctance - in spite of very good arguments demonstrating the wisdom of borrowing money to obtain an excellent ROI.

    So, if Frosty is to remain, and it sure sounded that way, then what are her alternatives? I simply tossed out an alternative for consideration. Others may have alternate thoughts, although I'd skip that Amish heater being touted heavily(G).

    I'm offering an alternative that gives her what she's looking for - saving $$$$ on fuel costs to stay warm this winter while staying inside the budget boundry lines she established.

    Maybe we're hearing things differently from the messages posted here.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
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    Dave,

    You have my utmost respect, but I must respectfully disagree. I won't debate the efficiency of the mini-splits (it's freaking high), but it sounds like solution that will require a significant change in comfort, convenience and lifestyle. If they're accustomed to a reasonably functioning one-pipe steam system--no matter how inefficient--they're also accustomed to "good" heat.

    Setting the thermostat for the steam system "low" will likely only reduce system efficiency when controlled by a typical wall thermostat. How about a "customized" thermostat with plus/minus 5F swing? At least the poor old snowman might be able to run long enough to get tolerable system efficiency.
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
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    Grand pa

    Angela has also posted on a thread I started about "explaining co to the home owners" (if you can read my starter there and reply it would be appreciated).

    She has in addition to frosty one gas boiler (unknown efficiency) and two gas water heaters on the flue. She also has a pie plate that she wanted to vent the range into. But as Tim has stated her range does not have a heater and would not be a style vented into a flue. A vent hood to the outside would do fine.

    Combine the two threads and you may be persuaded more my way.

    May be we should all take a road trip and see this ourselves :)

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  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_2
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    Figures don't lie.....

    I hate to stray from the comfort wet heat provides, especially the radiant comfort given off by standing cast iron rads, but the numbers don't lie. We're at a point in history where the costs for fuel are in a state of turmoil and high efficiency heat pumps rule while other fuels drool!

    Here's the thing, she (or any other customer) can have the best of both worlds - hydronic heat and a secondary source of heating via the mini-split(s).

    Chust depends on the circumstances, the customers' desires, budgets, and how we present the options. From my perspective, I want to give my customers the choices - along with reasonable arguments for the best options - and then let them decide. It's their money, their choice and I want the sale. A heat pump installed by a hydronics guy or gal is far better than a heat pump installed by someone who hasn't really studied and learned comfort-related issues and IAQ. Might not necessarily be a bad thing to 'feel' the difference between a heat pump and Frosty's steam-delivered standing CI rads(G).

    Satisfy the current needs and you'll most likely be back when money is no longer the main issue and comfort once again trumps price. However, with the current economic conditions and politics being what it is, I suspect that's off in the distant future - I'd give it three years minimum. By then, we'll be mired in yet another presidential campaign. The very folks who rely on pork are going to craft the bailout & cure?!? BS. No doubt they can & will print enough money to stabilize the system, but the cure will be carried on the backs of hard-working folks - just like all of us - not the fat-cats currently claiming they're coming to 'our' rescue.

    And, who's in a better position to help affect real change? You are if you're in the trades. From water conservation to fuel usage and truely renewable energy systems - it's you. Not some politician or presidential hopeful - you - the lowly underappreciated PHVAC guru who can lead the general public in the right direction.

    Frosty is, let's face it, a dinousaur that ought to be put out of our collective misery. Same goes for 80+ appliances being installed in new construction. The argument that not everyone can afford 90+ units is a fallicy. The truth is, they can't really afford the 80+ units. Those who can least afford the 80+ units are being saddled with fuel bills that help keep them in lower income brackets.

    Our government has its collective head stuck where the sun don't shine where mandated appliance efficiencies are concerned. They have billions to bail out chowder-heads - then let's bail out the folks stuck with underperforming fuel-guzzling appliances. JMHO & 2-cents.
  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_2
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    Angela could serve as the poster child

    for every customer who needs that road trip visit from properly trained tech(s) who can drill down through the issues to deliver the promise of what our trades can offer. A 90+ eff appliance connected to a 60% eff system will be a 60% dud. The rating sticker currently affixed to appliances should be printed on toilet-paper so it could be put to a better use!

    Unfortunately, there are far too few who can answer the call. We've been wallowing and slopping in the trough of cheap energy and lax efficiency challenges for far too long and our leaders have not the will, or intestinal fortitude, to stand up and be counted.
  • Phil_17
    Phil_17 Member Posts: 178
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    A vote for the MegaSteam

    Hi Angela,

    I live in central MA and had my boiler replaced a year ago with a MegaSteam. The house is much more comfortable (the formerly cold rooms are no longer cold), heat comes up quickly and the whole system is wonderfully quiet. Before we bought it, our home was using 2300-2400 gal/yr (according to the oil co.) and we got that down to 1800 by insulating the attic and replacing the windows. After the MegaSteam last winter was about 1600, but that doesn't really account for the fact that we were heating probably 30% more house, and the whole house was heating evenly and was noticeably more comfortable. The tech who did our annual service last month commented that the boiler was so clean he could have gotten away without doing anything (but being a quality tech he did the whole job right).

    If you have a limited budget, I'd make sure that you have done as much as you can to tighten up the envelope of the home first, and insulate everything you possibly can (insulation is relatively cheap, and with no moving parts it can be expected to last virtually forever). After that, get your current system working as well as it possibly can (i.e. add those vents), and finally bite the bullet on the boiler when the situation allows.

    Just my 2¢
    -Phil
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    it's scary

    almost how we think alike,Dave.

    If'n you'd told me "heat pump" as little a 4 years ago, I might have choked, but it's a whole new world nowadays, and some pretty good stuff has showed up at our doorsteps. I am meeting with the Acadia folks this week.

    Maybe that perforated radiant floor ala air hockey is not so out there anymore :)
  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_2
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    I constantly

    have to keep pinching myself to make sure I'm not sleep-walking! Like you, a heat pump was a curse, not a blessing in my climate zone. Inverter units do not share the same constraints or operating flaws brought on by cold damp weather and we're selling tons of the rascals. Customers are delighted with the results and this will be the fourth winter for some.

    The Acadia is a fascinating beastie and a good stepping-stone to our future Inverter technology that's now poised to over-run central-system equipment. Once the Inverter technology gains a solid foothold across central-system mfgrs, there will be no turning back. Imagine a 27-SEER, 4-COP GSHP utilizing Inverter technology - it'll be like the best system currently available on steroids!

    In the coming years, as electricity becomes deruglated, the topsy-turvey fuel costs we now see will be somewhat righted - unless the world demand for fossil fuels continues to out-strip production, in which case, electricity may well continue to be the most economical fuel of choice. In my 37+ years in the trades, I never thought I'd be saying that! I still choke on the words.

    I had a friend in the PA DEP who sent me an e-mail from a "tree-hugger" friend of his who stated that the GSHP systems being sold today will be no bargain when electricity is deruglated by 2010. So, I crunched the numbers for him using the current rates for gas & oil vs the inflated .20-cents a kWh we've been told we'll see in 2010. Never minding that gas & oil will cost more by then & the GSHP still beat them all for operating cost while using current costs for fossil and the inflated cost for elec! Best thing is, the GSHP is a great match for low-temp radiant heating so we get to stay wet and be the most efficient. A happy ending.

    Keep yer eyes open, yer head low & brace for making some dough! Flex fuel cars got nuttin on flexible PHVAC systems.

    Installed some 1.28-GPF WC's and .5-GPF self-powered urinal flush valves the other week. Look ma, no batteries needed - ever! How low can we go?!? Kermit's looking a pale green next to the dark-green-trend in the trades(G)!
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
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    grand pa

    English please. I got an A in philosophy but could not tell who you were chastising.

    Given the limited info of both threads. what do you think

    Again word it for us peasants.

    Mitch S: ;)

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  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    I know I'm

    getting off topic but just wanted to say I've put in a bunch of Fujitsu inverters and man o man, they are sweet.

    Of course, no one told me the service port wasn't compatable w/ Mr. Gauges. The wholesaler didn't even have or know about the adapter. I carry two onboard now:)

    I don't know about PA but CT mice LOVE to take up residence in them, especially on the PC boards. That must feel good.....once.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,929
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    You don't really intend to remove the ASBESTOS

    yourself...do you Angie? If so, very foolish! You and your family's health is more important...Mad Dog

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  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_2
    Options
    same here!

    Yep, the service port was a surprise! Gawr-dang - the little beasties are nothing short of amazing. Our customers can't get enough of them.
  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_2
    Options
    Ranting & panting.....

    Sorry bout that. I get carried away at times. When I see the DC politicians stating they are curbing the wall street gang's greed and avarice, I see red. Truely a case of the fox guarding the hen house if ever there was a case.

    First & foremost, I'm chastizing the DC gang. My BS meter broke weeks ago when its needle swung way to far off the scale. Second comes the greed from wall street & the banking community & then comes the folks who got suckered into variable-rate and pick-a-pay sub-prime mortgauges. Then comes the rest of society who basically say you can have my old inneficient fuel-guzzling 2-MPG SUVs, heating appliances and 4-SEER A/C units when you pry them, and my $2.50-a-bottle-water, from my cold dead hands! We're to blame too (as a group) for promoting the installation of low-efficiency appliances when we know full-well that there are better options - if only we'd make the effort to be better at selling those upgades that, in reality, better serve our customers' (and the world's) better interests.
  • Angela_2
    Angela_2 Member Posts: 67
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    Thank you all

    I love reading all these 2 cents, by now I must have a whole dollar or two! It is, however, worth a whole lot more to me personally than it is on the open market.

    Granpah threw me for a loop today with the whole Fujitsu inverter thing. Never heard of such an appliance in my life. I did spend an hour trying to figure out what it is, how it works. I was thrown a bit by the focus on air conditioning, which I don't give a damn about and wouldn't pay for. (I assume I could just turn it off in the summer when I don't want it.) It also sounded like they are not exactly made for heat in all climates. Granpah had said otherwise, and this product lit mentioned some modification for cold climates. I came away not sure what such a system could do for sure in regard to just heat.

    One thing I never revealed was that I am a woman who likes her heat. One of those whose hands and feet get ice cold if the thermostat dips a half a degree below 70. I keep it at 72 actually. So there is, um, a lot of room for burning less than 1200 gallons just by suffering. This may well be the year we all start suffering more than we're used to, and I think that Granpah's estimate of 3 years of economic pain is very light. It will probably be longer. Especially if printing enough money is all they come up with. Printing too much money, spending it, and having to pay interest on it, are a big part of what got us into this mess.

    We need to get rid of the Fed once and for all. The private owners of our central bank are gonna screw us all good. Just like they did during the Great Depression. I was thrilled that the bailout failed today. But they will be back with another bad plan any minute. Save the system! Jesus, the system sucks-- how about a new one! That's just my 2 cents.

    And that, quite incidentally, brings us back to this other obsolete system that I rather adore, but which apparently sucks.

    I am intrigued about the inverter, but I need to understand it better. True, it won't match my decor at all. But neither do space heaters and fans and refrigerators, and I plug those in when I need them. I think I could find a place for the unit where it would not attract too much attention.

    I am concerned about its ability to make an area toasty warm-- can it??

    Here I spent all this time learning about steam heat, my little piece of American history. All so I could make that system as efficient as possible. Don't know that I'm ready to give it up altogether.

    Is there anyone in the Providence area who knows these inverter systems? I think I should learn more.

    Is there anyone who still burns coal in their designed-for-coal steam systems? It's starting to sound like that is the most efficient fuel for steam.

    And by the way, I'd make a great poster gal!
  • Angela_2
    Angela_2 Member Posts: 67
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    Asbestos Removal

    is not complicated. Just tedious. I have read about it, and there is not a hell of a lot to it. In fact, I worry that the guys I could hire would not do the job I want.
    My basement is already contaminated, and there is a lot of really cool stuff in there that needs to be cleaned/washed off in addition to pipes and boilers and floors and walls.

    Do I want to do it? Hell no! But there are a lot of things I never wanted to do, like learn all about steam heat.

    Asbestos removal involves buying a crapload of appropriate grade plastic sheeting, taping it up everywhere until the area is completely contained, putting on a bunnysuit, booties and mask, and spraying/soaking the hell out of everything with water and a wetting agent. Then once it's all wet mush, you keep it that way while you remove it and put it in double plastic bags. The stuff that it was applied to has to be wire brushed clean. You use wet sawdust on the floor to try to get it all. In my state, I can dispose of these for free at the hazardous waste disposal.

    The part that bugs me the most is the problem of having to leave and reenter the area to go to the bathroom, eat, or in my case, to nurse a baby. If the bathroom was all of it, I wouldn't be so worried. But I shouldn't be going in and out to nurse a baby, there'd be too much cleaning up involved everytime, and this would make the whole thing really inefficient right now.

    I hate those freaking masks too.
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
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    Did I read you are removing your own asbestos.

    if so I do not think I nor should we help any further. This is a Forum of tradesmen. The asbestos regulations are there for our protection to. A person that would knowingly take on such a task is foolish and short sited.

    There is more to asbestos removal than mushing it up and throwing it in the trash.

    If the above is true, LAST POST ON THIS THREAD

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  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    don't

    minimize abatement. Done wrong is worse than not doing it at all. There is more to it than you think. Take this from someone who is HAZMAT trained and attends re-up classes every year. Please don't casually dismiss this procedure as "not complicated".

    Cerified guys know the right removal and containment techniques, site isolation with negative air pressure, Proper decon and handling of the decon offfall, and sealing of surfaces remaining. And, two separate air samples taken along w/ state registration-at least here in CT.

    We aren't talking about about taking off a little clump on a pipe here.
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    thank you mitch nm

This discussion has been closed.