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My Gut Job need a New Oil Boiler and looking for recommendations

dsclaw88
dsclaw88 Member Posts: 9
So I recently purchased a gut job of a home (it was from a Horder). I have put significant renovations into the home and its time for a new boiler. I reinsulated all the exterior walls to R-15. I re insulated half the house ceiling to r-38, the other portion will be converted in the future. I replaced the old windows with newer more energy efficient windows. The house is 1650 square feet but there is going to be an extension of the master bedroom of 150 square feet to such that there is a proper master bathroom and closet.

The old boiler was a Axeman Anderson Boiler rated for 106,000 btuh (seems oversized)
My energy calculation using one of the online calculators estimates I need about ~70,000 btuh for the current house (assuming large leaks since its an older home).

The house now has a significant amount of radiant hydronic floor heating, ~1700 feet of 1/2" tubing.

So there are two questions

1) What oil boiler would you recommend and how much bigger btu wise would you go for the smaller extension?
2) Would it be wise to get a second indirect storage tank responsible solely for the radiant given the volume of fluid I need for the radiant heating?

I wanted to get the Viessman Vitola but it appears they no longer make it.

I read about the Buderus 125 BE, but I tried contacting Buderus but they have not gotten back to me whether it is still being used, on their website there is no information regarding it.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.

Comments

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,836
    edited August 2020
    indirect tank for radiant? all you need for radiant is a mixing valve and separate circulator for a small zone, on a larger scale you can use an injection pump or modulating mixing valve with a controller of some sort.

    There is a lot of interest in the Energy Kinetics brand on this forum. I only installed one in my time and I liked it. I worked on several and found them very pleasing to service and great tech support. Look at the new oil Fired Combi boiler.

    depending on your hot water design, you may need to size for Domestic Hot Water (DHW) which will make the boiler larger than needed for the heating load. I believe that EK has an answer for that in their new model line. BUT YOU WILL NEED A SERVICING DEALER CLOSE TO YOU. Not everybody will like to work on them.

    You will find a lot of different answers to your Query about how to get 2 separate temperature zones from one boiler on from this forum. Most of them are good ideas, but I like simple. A mixing valve is simple and once you get it set, you can forget it. You see Im an analog guy in a digital world.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • dsclaw88
    dsclaw88 Member Posts: 9
    Ed,

    Thanks for the quick response. It appears everyone seems to like Energy Kinetics on here. There are only two outfits besides major oil distribution companies (which I have not had pleasant interactions) that install them. I will see what they price it out at.

    I know everyone seems capable of installing Buderus (except for the model I am talking about which supposedly has a 90% efficiency).

    I am aware I need a mixing valve to reduce the temperature to the radiant loops, but I read if you have a significant amount of radiant floor heating the boiler may need an assist with a storage tank given how much additional fluid is in the heating circuit. Not sure the truth behind it.

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,689
    dsclaw88 said:

    Ed,

    I am aware I need a mixing valve to reduce the temperature to the radiant loops, but I read if you have a significant amount of radiant floor heating the boiler may need an assist with a storage tank given how much additional fluid is in the heating circuit. Not sure the truth behind it.

    There are other strategies to that as well such as a thermostatic bypass that keeps the return temp to the boiler high enough to keep the boiler from being in a sustained condensing mode.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,807
    1,800 sq ft at 70K is over 25 BTU per sq ft. Could be right but it seems a bit much considering all the upgrades you've done. 
    The downside is, with oil, you're limited on how low you can go BTU wise. Even a Weil McLain GO2 has a net of 75K.
    The upside is you can look into an Energy Kinetics EK-1 Frontier or Resolute, with their water heater.
    You will need a buffer tank for the radiant but EK has that covered in the manual and can set you up (through a certified EK dealer) with that. 
    The BE is no longer available in the U.S. It's a shame too because they're superior burners.
    Download the free Slant/Fin heat loss calculator and see where your numbers are with that.
    STEVEusaPA
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,590
    I like the little Weil McLain boilers on oil. They have been made for years, nothing fancy, proven design, and have a good track record. Parts are standard and readily available and any competent tech can service them.

    If I needed a boiler those factors would count for me
  • dsclaw88
    dsclaw88 Member Posts: 9
    So I guess another option to consider is going Propane which would allow me to place a system generator in the house. But the tank is humongous and my circuit breaker is on the completely opposite side of the house from the boiler and I would have to figure out a way to run the gas conduit through a slab then.... unless I run the line through the attic.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,689
    edited August 2020
    What about burying it and bring it in to the house near the equipment?
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 293
    What is wrong with the Axeman Anderson boiler?

    If it still runs I would consider keeping it and spending the money on insulating the rest of the house. You may need to do some piping work to accommodate the radiant zones, but that should not be too difficult if you are handy.
  • dsclaw88
    dsclaw88 Member Posts: 9
    The Axeman Anderson boiler is original to the house which makes the boiler 50 years old, way beyond its expected lifespan. The rest of the house will be re-insulated (only the ceilings inthe bedrooms left) when the addition occurs because it will give me easier access to the two of them. There is still insulation there its just only R-11, which I am guessing is all they had in the 1970 when my house was built.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,807
    You could convert to propane. You can look into mod cons. Installed correctly and a boiler with a wide turndown ratio will get you less BTU's than oil. Personally if I had to do it, I'd go with an EK Frontier gas or a triple pass with a Carlin conversion burner.
    But I dont have to. So my heat and hot water is from an oil fired boiler. My range and dryer are propane. And I'll never convert. But that's just me. 
    SuperTech
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,420
    Do your math on fuel costs. Per BTU -- not per gallon. LP may be less expensive, or it may not (it's not where I live -- quite a bit more expensive per BTU).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 293
    edited August 2020
    dsclaw88 said:

    The Axeman Anderson boiler is original to the house which makes the boiler 50 years old, way beyond its expected lifespan. The rest of the house will be re-insulated (only the ceilings inthe bedrooms left) when the addition occurs because it will give me easier access to the two of them. There is still insulation there its just only R-11, which I am guessing is all they had in the 1970 when my house was built.

    That makes sense, I did not realize the boiler was that old.

    To add to Jamie's comment about propane pricing, most single family homes do not use enough propane to buy it at a price competitive with oil. Oil pricing is fixed once you get over the minimum delivery quantity. Propane pricing is based on annual volume, and in my area the price does not favor propane until you get over about 1500 gallons per year.

    If you do decide to go with propane for heating, I would also considering using it for cooking, clothes dryer, etc.
  • dsclaw88
    dsclaw88 Member Posts: 9
    I decided to stick with oil, Propane in the Long Island (NY area) is about a dollar more currently. I am going to get a quote for the Energy Kinetics system in the next few days.
    HVACNUTSuperTech
  • Roger
    Roger Member Posts: 171
    Thank you all for your kind words, and thank you, @dsclaw88 - I appreciate your decision to consider an Energy Kinetics heating system for your renovation and upgrade! Please let us know if we can assist in any way. Our territory manager for the Long Island area is John Hachmann and we can be reached at (800) 323-2066.

    Best,
    Roger
    President
    Energy Kinetics, Inc.
    Robert O'Brien
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