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From their Facebook page
Condensing Vs. Cast Iron Boilers:
Read an email from a well-informed, tech savvy homeowner that surprised us with his knowledge about condensing vs. cast iron boilers.
"I was glad to see when U.S. Boiler Company posted on its website that in overall efficiency, cast iron may be better than modcons or high efficiency boiler systems. I believe this is greatly understated. The best and most effective system is a large volume, large radiator heating system.
I have a 2350 sf house in the Chicago area that is 80 years old and has single pane glass (well sealed) and leaky storms (over 500 sf of glass area). My attic averages about 12" of insulation or less, and 60% of the walls are uninsulated and 40% is insulated with fiberglass. I have come to understand that fiberglass loses half of it R-value at -18f, which makes it almost useless in a cold weather climate.
The proof is in. My large radiators plus my 38 year old 80% efficient cast iron boiler is the best way to go for heating. The last couple of years I had been paying close to $1900. This last fall, I found that my boiler had a two inch flame when the book says it should be 3/4". I adjusted the boiler to a 1" flame. I also found that my chimney (2 fireplaces)was leaking air like an open window. I blocked that off.
So, it was a little warmer this winter (equivilent to a normal new england winter), but the proof is in; my total natural gas bill from March, 2012 to March 2013 was $1,033, not $1900. The gas attributable to heating was only $783.41. In the summer, my gas bill averaged $25 per month for hot water and for the gas dryer amounted to $300 for the year.
I don't care whether you have a modcon or anything else, how do you beat a $783 natural gas bill for an annual heat bill (total therms = 1,553.54)? For a 60% uninsulated home? When you find that a modcon has half the life span of a cast iron boiler, cost more to fix, has occasional lockouts that leave you without heat plus another repair bill, and require $300 per year to maintain, THERE IS NO COMPARISON. Only buy 80-84% cast iron boilers, and you will maintain your sanity and not have to explain to your wife that you are without heat one more time."
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