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2022 incentives for new boiler?

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kcal
kcal Member Posts: 3
I have about 125 feet of baseboard radiators in a 1960 rancher heated by an oil combi boiler that also supplies domestic hot water. 
I’ve gotten quotes for converting to a high-efficiency gas combi. Is there an electric boiler option that I should consider instead? Are there incentives in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act that would apply if I convert to a high-efficiency gas system? 

In_New_EnglandAlan (California Radiant) Forbes

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  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,906
    edited August 2022
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    “Electric boiler” has been usually interpreted to mean an electric resistance boiler, which would be very inefficient. But in terms of using electricity to heat water for central heating, an air to water heat pump can do that using about a third of the electricity, as well as provide cooling. When compared to a “high efficiency” gas boiler, the heat pump will be more efficient. However, they are pretty rare in the US, so finding an installer may be a challenge. It’s not insurmountable, but currently air to water heat pumps output cooler water temperatures. This may or may not be a problem for your house.
    kcal
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,767
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    @kcal

    Check with your local gas utility for rebates and gas availability before you do anything. Get an installer that knows what he is doing and do a heat loss of your house. You probably need 40,000 btu's and an indirect water tank instead of a combi.

    Electric boilers are available and convert 100% of the power to heat. But electricity is expensive. Check your rates.

    Heat pumps can work depending on your location. Not so good if your outside winter temp is below 25

  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,404
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    An a2w heat pump is probably not going to work with baseboard. They generally need 160-180 swt. Far beyond what a heat pump can currently do. You would have to make a lot of other changes. 

    One possibilty is to go to a heat pump water heater instead of a combi or indirect tank. That would allow you to turn off the boiler in the summer and provide a little bit of cooling/drying during the summer as well. In the winter it would basically be stealing the heat from the boiler. They are also a bit slower to recover and you need to have the space in the breaker panel. There are both 120v and 240v versions available. But the 120v can be much slower under heavy demand.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,396
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    Www.dsireusa.org is where you will find state, federal and local rebates
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,906
    edited August 2022
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    Heat pumps can work depending on your location. Not so good if your outside winter temp is below 25
    This is incorrect - mine performs just fine at 10. People have installed them successfully in much colder climates than mine. There’s a good case study of an air to water heat pump installed in VT. Regardless, you have an existing boiler - just keep it as backup! It might run 5% of the winter. No big deal. Since the heat pump can provide AC, it’s getting two appliances in one. 
  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 130
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    I had the exact same question as @kcal .

    I have 87' of baseboard in our 1400 sq ft house with an oil boiler.

    In my case I signed a contract back in April to migrate from Oil to gas, but the gas Co. hasn't made it to my house to dig the line yet.

    I did wonder if I should try mini-split heat pumps and retire the baseboard heat but most people I spoke to said they had gas/oil heat as back up.

    I don't know if our house is tight enough for heat pumps in Boston winters and the optimal head positioning on the second floor could be problematic.

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,396
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    I had the exact same question as @kcal .

    I have 87' of baseboard in our 1400 sq ft house with an oil boiler.

    In my case I signed a contract back in April to migrate from Oil to gas, but the gas Co. hasn't made it to my house to dig the line yet.

    I did wonder if I should try mini-split heat pumps and retire the baseboard heat but most people I spoke to said they had gas/oil heat as back up.

    I don't know if our house is tight enough for heat pumps in Boston winters and the optimal head positioning on the second floor could be problematic.

    This Idronics walks you through the steps to see how an A2WHP fits your hydronic application. And it happens to use Boston as a location for the BIN data.

    87' of baseboard at 140F supply would get you 29,000 btu/hr.
    What is you heat load for 1400 sq ft>?


    https://www.caleffi.com/sites/default/files/file/idronics_27_na.pdf
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 130
    edited August 2022
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    hot_rod said:


    87' of baseboard at 140F supply would get you 29,000 btu/hr.
    What is you heat load for 1400 sq ft>?

    Digs out heat loss calcs. At 9F outside (happens very rarely) It's 34864.
    I suppose it could work. Might need space heaters on the coldest days.
  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 241
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    Baseboard heaters are frequently installed around the perimeters of rooms for aesthetic reasons, leading to wild over sizing. Mine is between 6x and 4x too big for the heat loss for my house.

    @EBEBRATT-Ed - heat pumps that use a scheme called Enhanced Vapor Injection (EVI) can operate with reasonable COPs down to sub-zero temperatures. These are frequently called “cold climate” heat pumps. 
  • Greening
    Greening Member Posts: 10
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    I don't know if our house is tight enough for heat pumps in Boston winters

    MA has among the highest electricity rates in the country so that is an inconvenient factor even with generous heat pump subsidies.
    And...MA heating rebate schemes are anti-hydronic, focused on hot air systems. Furnaces vs. boilers.
    Some newer heat pumps work at lower temperatures but start getting (very) inefficient so can be expensive to run during cold snaps. You will need to determine if supplementary heat would be required on the most extreme days.
    I have lived with (split-system) heat pumps in less brutal winters in Europe & Asia; my sense was that heat pumps heated fine, and that the variable speed compressors were neat technology. The summer AC always function was the super-performer.
    Heat pump water heaters can be excellent in the summer if you want some "free" cooling and dehumidifying in the basement. They are a bit of a double edged sword, as they cool the house in the winter, which your home heater will need to fight against.
    It is difficult to decide on a new HVAC system, particularly with skyrocketing energy prices and no coherent national energy strategy.
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,483
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    Baseboard heaters are frequently installed around the perimeters of rooms for aesthetic reasons, leading to wild over sizing. Mine is between 6x and 4x too big for the heat loss for my house.

    I will go for too big than too small. It all has to do with the BTU output. More baseboard means that it can operate at a lower supply water temp, a big savings.
  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 241
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    @HomerJSmith - I agree, but you get a lot of comments about baseboards 'needing' ~180F water when their output at that SWT might be 4x the heat loss of the house at the design temp, especially when talking about retrofitting heat pumps with low maximum temps. I think my house would probably be okay with ~120F water at the design temp.
    Hot_water_fan
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    Baseboard heaters are frequently installed around the perimeters of rooms for aesthetic reasons, leading to wild over sizing. Mine is between 6x and 4x too big for the heat loss for my house.
    I think they do that for ease of installation, no? Do your rooms overheat with all that BB or do you have a thermostat in each room?
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • kcal
    kcal Member Posts: 3
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    Anyone have ideas about how feasible it would be to wait for this high-temp a2w heat pump system to become available? One concern about waiting is that chimney should be relined to continue with current oil-fired burner.
    https://electrek.co/2022/01/05/these-new-affordable-electric-heat-pumps-can-easily-replace-gas-boilers/amp/
  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 241
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    @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes - the floor with the bedrooms (with the thermostat in the largest room) is pretty badly unbalanced. The smaller two rooms wind up 10F warmer than the room with the thermostat during a call for heat.

    @kcal - the hard part is always finding someone to actually install and service it (and get spare parts if they need it). Definitely do a heat loss calculation and evaluate what your existing radiation’s heat output would be at lower temperatures to see what kind of requirement you need to meet - most of the ones that do seem to be available in the US seem to top out at 130F from just the heat pump, and then use either an electric boiler or a fossil fuel boiler if you need higher water temps 
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,396
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    kcal said:

    Anyone have ideas about how feasible it would be to wait for this high-temp a2w heat pump system to become available? One concern about waiting is that chimney should be relined to continue with current oil-fired burner.
    https://electrek.co/2022/01/05/these-new-affordable-electric-heat-pumps-can-easily-replace-gas-boilers/amp/

    I think the better plan would be to increase heat emitters or add some to get SWT down around 130F with an A2WHP. While it is possible to run at higher SWT both COP and output drops on the HP, for now anyways..

    Use the hours of occurrence tables to see how many days you would want to switch on backup, oil boiler or whatever to crunch your numbers. It may or may not pencil out to try and use a HP for high temperature required systems.
    And of course the biggest unknown is fuel costs to add into your calcs.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • kcal
    kcal Member Posts: 3
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    For whatever it's worth, I have decided to go with a high-efficiency gas combi boiler from Bradford White, model BMFTCW199NA1XN. Heat pump is just too iffy at this point.
    I did find out that the high-efficiency boiler will qualify for incentives after Jan 1, 2023, so I am holding off on installation until then. If the IRS clarifies that the Inflation Reduction Act applies this year, I will get it installed sooner. Meanwhile, I can get a gas line run to my house so it's ready to go. (I currently heat with oil)
    Here is a link to the best info I've found on the applicable provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
    https://evergreensmallbusiness.com/inflation-reduction-act-tax-credits-for-homeowners/