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High Efficiency mod/con or natural draft?
<span style="font-size:12pt">I am converting from an old oil boiler to natural gas. The question I need help with is should I go with a high efficiency, mod/con, boiler (such as Buderus GB142/24) or a mid-efficiency, natural draft boiler (such as Burnham ES2 or Peerless MI). This is for a 90 year old house (twin) that has about 1200 sq ft. It has large cast iron radiators the supply and return piping is the large black pipes that seem to hold a lot of water. I plan to have an indirect Hot Water tank attached to the boiler for the DHW. We have had several estimates and the recommend size boiler is 80,000 to 110,000 BTU. There is a chimney that would need a liner if we go the natural draft route. It is possible to install PVC venting out the side wall if the Buderus is used although it would be more appealing to vent through the chimney and not have the white PVC pipes come out the side of the house.</span>
<span style="font-size:12pt">The pros for the high efficiency are lower annual energy costs and no chimney liner is required. The cons I have heard are that the heat exchanger will go bad in about 10-15 years, the yearly maintenance is more complicated and costly, and there is more that can break and require costly repair on the high efficiency boiler. On the other hand, with natural draft, the energy cost is higher but the annual maintenance costs are lower and the boiler is simpler so there is less that can go wrong over time. I expect to have the house for 20+ years so I would like a boiler that has a lower cost for the long term. </span>
<span style="font-size:12pt">Any thoughts or recommendations on what type of a system to get would be appreciated.</span>
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