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Looking for a good propane boiler

nss Member Posts: 3
Hi. I live in CT and am looking to replace my oil fired heating system with a propane boiler. I have baseboard heating. A couple of contractors came and looked. One of them suggested two options - a) Peerless Mi-06 gas fired boiler with intermittent ignition (82% AFUE) and b) Quietside DPW -120 B gas fired wall mounted boiler (upto 90% AFUE). The second guy suggested Alpine Condensing gas boiler - 150MBTU ALP150 from U.S.Boiler.

My house is 2500 sq ft and my current boiler is about 35 years old..a real ancient specimen with gargantuan bills each winter. My hot water is thru an electric water heater that also gets some pre-heating from the oil fired boiler.

Am looking for a reliable and economical replacement. I can't understand why the contractors choose one brand over others and whether these are any good.

Appreciate advice.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,433
    Are you locked in

    to using propane?  I would be just a wee bit careful of the cost comparison; natural gas is a good bit cheaper (just now) than oil, but I'm not so sure that propane is.  It's worth looking into that.

    That said, there are a number of very good mod-con boilers in natural gas, and I would suppose that most -- if not all -- of them can be converted to propane.  Oil, no; modulating oil burners are a bit thin on the ground.  However, a good modern oil burning boiler, properly set up, will run in the mid 80s on efficiency -- and should save you a good deal of money on your oil bills.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766

    as you are aware is substantially more than oil . You would do yourself a great service by having a proper heat loss calculation done for the home in its present state before making any decision . If a contractor does not know how to do it you don't want him performing the work in your home , PERIOD . Measuring the existing baseboard or looking at the size of the existing are not proper heat loss calc methods either . He should measure the home , windows , exposed walls , doors , ceiling heights and DO THE MATH . This is the guy you want to hire .

    Either of the following Buderus boilers would be a good oil to oil replacement , they have a HQ in Londonderry NH . Very old and TOP quality manufacturer .  You could partner these up with an indirect tank and you will be good to go for quite some time . The first model link is a mid / high 80% and is quite reasonably priced as far as oil boilers go , the second is 90+ and is a bit more costly . Don't know what your budget is .




    If you are still thinking of Propane this next link is the very best buy for your dollar in my opinion . Remember that 90+ efficiency mod cons gain their efficiency from low return water temps which may be hard to do if your baseboard radiation was installed properly and there is not an excess of spare feet which would allow you to run low temps and be warm .In other words the mod con you are talked into buying may short cycle , reach efficiencies only in the mid 80% range and be a general PITA .   This unit easily is convertible to propane , the orifice comes with every unit , the water in the tank can be stored at up to 185* and mixed down for domestic , Taco 5000 mixing valve is included . The heat exchanger will only use as many BTUs as are required and it utilizes outdoor reset .  VERY EASY install , and would quite possibly end up costing in total less than the other options you will hear about . I have installed several of these and have tracked the efficiencies on them and they do not disappoint . They have so far been very reliable , don't require alot of maintenance and they are made just NE of you in Ma.


        Hope this helps you out
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573

    If natural gas is not an option, I am not sure you are going to save save any money.

    If you plug in your energy prices http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_wfr_dcus_sct_w.htm

    Into this speadsheet  www.eia.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls‎

    You should have your answer.

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • nss
    nss Member Posts: 3
    Limited to propane or oil for now

    Thanks everyone. I am limited to oil or propane since I don't have natural gas on the street yet and don't have any idea on when that will happen. I am just worried at the age of my oil boiler and the cost - I spend about $700 every month in winter to heat my 2500 sq ft home and we try to be pretty even on temperature settings (around 65) thru the year.

    Also, am I better off with a boiler and an indirect heater or a contraption that is 2 in 1 ? The first contractor who suggested peerless and quietside, said these boilers come integrated with a water heater. I am a bit skeptical of machines that try and do too many things instead of doing one thing well.

    In terms of budget, I am quite flexible...would prefer to get an excellent product upfront vs. spending money on troubleshooting and repairs later.

    Thoughts ?
  • nss
    nss Member Posts: 3
    Are there propane boilers available that can be converted to nat gas ?

    sorry, missed another question I had. I mentioned that I am limited to oil or propane for now. Is it possible to get a propane boiler that can be converted to take natural gas later ? I'm hoping, at some point, my street would get nat gas and I could convert at that point.

  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356

    for both LPG and fuel oil frequently make the newest generation of air source heat pumps look good.  Spreadsheet above is an excellent tool.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Converting LPG to NG

    Is do-able on most all modern boilers.  Some cost a bit more than others, so worth asking along with your bids.

    Still think you should consider an ASHP like the Daikin Altherma.

  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Vitodens 200

    The Viessmann Vitodens 200 can be used with either propane or nat. gas without changing the gas valve. The LP conversion takes under 2 min.(boiler comes set up for nat. gas).
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