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I am a new homeowner looking to replace a 20 y/o slant/fin oil boiler. I live in new england and my home is a 1930's cape with living space of about 2500 sqft.
The house has baseboard copper fin units on the first floor and cast iron radiators on the second floor. My current hot water heater is a gas fueled unit installed in 2009. My home has had some insulation done. A blower door envelope procedure was done to improve heat loss, however the basement and attic have minimal insulation.
Over the course of the last 2 weeks I've been receiving estimates for direct venting, high efficiency condensing boiler (95+afue)with an indirect hot water heater. I have also received quotes for traditional boilers with afue of 83%.
I have yet to decide between the lower or higher efficiency options. It will be necessary to reline our chimney if we opt for the less efficient option. I am attracted to this option for the low initial cost and the ability to use heat and hot water during power outages.
As I understand the benefits of the high efficiency models are $ savings through less fuel usage and the ability to avoid the cost of lining my chimney.
I have been given prices for Weil-McLain and Utica boilers with around 83% afue.
The high efficiency models I've received quotes for are a Weil-McLain WM97+, a Burnham Alpine and Buderus GB142.
I am leaning toward the high efficiency option but not ruling out other.
Unless someone has a good argument to stay with a conventional ~83% afue boiler... Which of the three condensing boiler models would you recommend?
Thanks very much for any input.