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Boiler vs. Tankless for Home & Radiador Heating

First, I'd like to thank those who have helped with input on finding US sources for new radiators other than Burnham or Gloverale (who I can confirm was recently bought by Burnham). My results from tracking down the multiple leads is that if you want 26" (650mm) radiators from a US company you are out of luck. UK sources have selection of these models. The top of the chair boards through out our house are exactly 26.5" and keeping the radiators under them is important to my better half.

Ok, the question for today. I've been researching options for generating hot water for radiators & house needs and have come up with 3 general approaches. I can see pros/cons to each option but would like to ask for the general wisdom of this group for their consideration.

A little background. My 100 year old house has hot water needs for 3 bathrooms (each w showers/tubs/sinks), 1 kitchen (one dishwasher and one kitchen sink). We will need 11-12 radiators per a radiant heat engineers plan (who has a definate opinion on the question I'm asking but I feel I would benefit from a wider perspective). I have a clean, well-lite cement slab in the basement measureing 6ft by 20 ft for this install. The heigh is 51 in.

The alternatives I see for hot water heating are below.

1) Boiler and Storage Tank: This would have a boiler to drive the radiators plus an additional storage tank / pump to provide the hot water to the house. When water runs low for house needs the boiler kicks in and refills. I like this option because 1) a Munckin type boiler is so efficient and 2) living in SF Bay Area a large portion of the year the boiler would site inactive for the radiators are not required and therefore its a wasting asset. If the boiler supplies the hot water for house I'm getting full use of investment. This is probably the cadillac solution / price tag but also the most efficient. Maybe over 20 years I'll get my investment back. A specific question I have here is - what dimensions in height can I get a storage tank in.

2) Boiler and Tankless: The boiler would serve the radiators and tankless hot water would serve the house needs. This gets efficient solution for radiators and also a more efficient solution for house water heating. The question I have is I don't know what to think of the hype around tankless? Some place/people think it is all the rage, positive, best thing around. Other people think its highly over-hyped, they breakdown fast (relatively speaking don't last beyond 3-5 years). The tankless demand needs in our house divides well for 2 units based on the timing needs of our life. I'm looking at Aquastar FX125NG. Get less utilization out of the boiler but still more efficiency. Probably a little cheaper than option 1 but not much.

3) Boiler & Conventional Hotwater Heater: This is a basic solution with boiler for radiators and 75 gallan tank for house. Easy to understand. But water heaters don't fit in the location I have - making option 2 above more attractive.

Ok, that's the situation. I'm not completely price insensitive but I'm definately interested in building a solution that has lowest overall natural gas needs. Can gas savings over time pay for extra for option 1 or 2? I don't know but I can rationalize some price premium over option 3.

Thoughts & thanks.
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