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Help choosing the right gas boiler
A little background first. I graduated a 2 year plumbing and heating trade program in 2016 and worked for a service company for about a year before deciding to leave the industry and join the family business. Now I have purchased an old farmhouse in central Maine that needs a ton of work. I am in the process of renovating it now, and I am trying to save some money by running plumbing/heating/electrical myself.
I am going to be replacing windows, and sprayfoaming the walls, and putting blow-in insulation in the attic. I have yet to do a heat loss calc, but I am thinking its going to be a 80k system. I am planning on sitting down with a pot of coffee and doing a full heat loss calculation in the next couple of days. I do know that I will be firing the boiler with gas.
My current dilemma is trying to decide between a modulating condensing boiler or an old faithful cast iron. I wasn't in the industry very long; but long enough to go to a couple trade shows and read some textbooks about the new highly efficient mod/con boilers. I like the idea of using less fuel, but not entirely sold on the fancy heat exchangers being reliable long term. I also don't like the idea of a board going bad leaving me helpless compared to a conventional burner control that is easily replaceable. I am leaning toward heating with baseboard, although I am intrigued by the newer panel radiators. I also will be installing mini splits in the home to aid with heating and provide cooling.
I have been out of the game for a while, and when I was in the game I was sitting on the JV bench. I am looking for some varsity professionals for advice. Am I misguided on my preference toward cast iron? If not what manufacturers are known as reliable? In trade school I liked Burnham and Buderus. Also has anyone had any experience with the panel radiators?
Thank you in advance for your wisdom.