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Help Choosing new boiler

ten10ten
ten10ten Member Posts: 5
Hi, I'm buying a new boiler for my house and I received 5 quotes from 3 different companies for new boiler with x being about 1.5-2 times the cost I was anticipating paying (no reason - just googled it).

Company 1 (company has 5 years parts & labor):
Boiler Option: Cost = 0.96x PurePro 59kbtu natural draft boiler with 50G Heat-Flo indirect hot water tank
Combi Option: Cost = 1.01x IDEX155C
He was pushing the combi but gave me the other quote when I requested it. He asked about chimney lining and said it would be extra to line the chimney. I said I thought it was lined but wasn't positive (as they had redone the whole house, electrical, etc etc at the time old boiler was bought - I don't think they would have not lined the chimney).

Company 2 (company has 2 years parts & labor):
Boiler Option: Didn't give me one as it he said it cost about 1.17x (guess he thought I would choose cheaper option?)
Combi Option: Cost = 1.02x Lochinvar NKC150N
This is the only company that did a heat assessment, the other 2 didn't. This guy was measuring windows and reviewed the whole house, asked questions about storm windows, etc.

Company 3 (company has 1 year parts & labor):
Boiler Option: Cost = 0.96x Purepro Advantage Gas Boiler AGDV3-HN 60 BTU w/ Bradford White Indirect Hot Water Heather SW-2-40-L 40G
Combi Option: Cost = 1.09x Bosch Greenstart 131 Gas Boiler & On Demand Hot Water KWB35
I told him I wasn't liking what I read about combis and he said that he felt the regular boilers lasted a lot longer. He mentioned that although he could use my chimney as it appeared to be lined he wasn't sure how good shape it was in so he recommended a separate vent to outside (no extra charge) because it would also pull air in - he mentioned the amount of air available in the boiler room (which is very small) might not be enough to pass inspection.

My local utilities also have a combi rebate that will be about 13% of the cost of the unit.

After reading about combis, I'm concerned about a few things but the main 2 things being I don't know how old my piping is (my house was built 1900) and I feel that they don't last as long. Even though only 1 of them did any type of heating assessment, the #s for the regular boilers seem close (maybe a little high) based on what I've been reading.

I'm leading toward the non-combi from Company 1 - all prices were similar but this one had the best parts & labor warranty, but not sure if I should get more quotes and thoughts about whether I should use my chimney or request outside venting.

I live in a ~930SF house with 3 heating zones. It's well insulated with only 1 drafty window that's being replaced. Please let me know if any other information would be helpful. Hoping for some feedback because this is all new to me! Thank you.

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,345
    If it were me I would use a standard boiler and an indirect. and I would use a Peerless or Weil Mclain. But that's just my opinion. I would also line the chimney with a stainless steel liner (versus aluminum) if you are going to stay in the house for a while.

    Get a certified chimney sweep to do this

    An indirect with a stainless steel tank is usually better depending on your water quality
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,775
    Three zones what type of radiation ? Radiator or copper tube base board . What is the heat loss of the house ?
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • ten10ten
    ten10ten Member Posts: 5
    Big Ed_4 said:
    Three zones what type of radiation ? Radiator or copper tube base board . What is the heat loss of the house ?
    Hi, it's baseboard.  Unfortunately the 1 person that did the heat loss calculation didn't share it.  I have not tried to do it myself.  I don't know anything about the insulation beyond that my house holds in heat very well.  I am hoping to have an energy audit soon but the program I signed up for is on hold.  I think when I tried different estimators I estimated my need to be about 45k plus I'm hoping for an addition someday.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,122
    Just a few thoughts... first, the only way to properly size a modern boiler for hot water heating is to actually do a heat loss calculation on the house. Walking around and observing is a step in the right direction, at least... but since heat loss calculations are so simple -- and so critical -- one would think...

    Oh well.

    Second, I'm not a fan of combis. Once in a while you have a house and plumbing where the right size combi for the heating is the right size combi for the domestic hot water. Once in a while. I prefer either a separate water heater or an indirect. Both approaches work well.

    Third, warranties are all very fine. However, this isn't a car, nor yet an iPhone. Quality equipment to begin with is always a good thing -- but a quality job of installing it and getting it set up properly is even more important. Most of the things which a boiler should need for the first decade or two aren't covered anyway -- annual service and maintenance.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ten10ten
    ten10ten Member Posts: 5
    Just a few thoughts... first, the only way to properly size a modern boiler for hot water heating is to actually do a heat loss calculation on the house. Walking around and observing is a step in the right direction, at least... but since heat loss calculations are so simple -- and so critical -- one would think... Oh well. Second, I'm not a fan of combis. Once in a while you have a house and plumbing where the right size combi for the heating is the right size combi for the domestic hot water. Once in a while. I prefer either a separate water heater or an indirect. Both approaches work well. Third, warranties are all very fine. However, this isn't a car, nor yet an iPhone. Quality equipment to begin with is always a good thing -- but a quality job of installing it and getting it set up properly is even more important. Most of the things which a boiler should need for the first decade or two aren't covered anyway -- annual service and maintenance.
    Thanks, yeah, I didn't even realize what the person was doing was heat loss calculation until I looked it up after reading it above.  It's not something I've heard of until this process.  Both the 1st and 3rd companies are very highly rated which is why I was leaning to the 5 years vs the 1 year.  I will of course do my yearly maintenance.  It's not quite clear to me which equipment is quality which is why I posted and asked about the above options and then asked if I should get more quotes.  I have tried to research some of the individual units (not all yet because last quote just came in) but haven't had much luck with finding reviews.