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Getting Ready for Gas in Central CT

WalnutFarmerWalnutFarmer Member Posts: 37
Greetings.

I'm a homeowner in central CT. Have been lurking here over the years and have learned a lot as I've undertaken several additions at my home (so thank you!). We currently have oil heat, but gas will be installed in our neighborhood this fall. I'm hoping you all can point me to sources so I can educate myself for the process that will come.

Here are the basics:

1. House: 1975 developer built colonial in central CT. Three additions over the past 17 years. House now totals 3100 sf. Attic has spray foam under the roof deck. All windows have been replaced, so fairly tight envelope overall for a house of this vintage.

2. Heating system: Weil-McClain 68 boiler, 23 years old. Weil-McClain AFG burner. Four baseboard zones, plus fifth zone heated by hot water from boiler circulating through air handler (recent addition where baseboards wouldn't work). Hot water (2.5 baths) is from boiler coil. I've been burning ~800 gallons of oil a year.

3. Family: Me, wife, 3 teenagers. Surprisingly, coil has handled shower load well, but not if two showers need to run simultaneously. Wife and I plan to stay here a while, even as kids depart for college and beyond over next 4 years.

4. Other: I have a propane tank running kitchen range, fireplace and gas grill. During a recent addition, I had these piped to handle gas because I knew it was a possibility.

Given the age of my heating plant (and the fact my oil co. told me two years ago that it was approaching the end of the line), plus the propane appliances, it seems to me a no-brainer to switch to gas. I could also regain some basement space by installing a wall hanging boiler and losing the oil tank.

I have not yet had any contractors in to take a look. I want to be reasonably educated first. Have not had any heat loss calcs done, so I know it's too soon to be spec'ing a system. A few neighbors have started getting quotes, and they have been all over the lot (combi systems, indirect HW, brands, etc)

One thing I have learned reading your threads is that choosing a knowledgeable contractor is paramount. I feel I have to be somewhat knowledgeable myself to make that happen..

My initial questions:

-Any big reasons NOT to switch to gas?

-Where should I start? Any articles or threads you can recommend I read?

-Thoughts on high-efficiency systems vs. regular efficiency?

-Considerations for hot water options (indirect, combi, etc)?

-Any brands to avoid? (I've read that contractor/brand familiarity is more important than brand alone).

-Any other advice?

Many thanks for sharing your wisdom!

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