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Opinions About Burnham Aspen?

Hi everyone - homeowner here wondering if anybody has much experience with the Aspen model from Burnham.

I'm looking to replace my 50-year-old gas boiler, and have gotten a handful of quotes so far. A couple contractors have recommended the Alpine, but when I asked them about the Aspen neither seemed to know much about it. I'm not an expert by any means, but have tried to educate myself by reading some relevant material here and elsewhere, and it seems to me like the Aspen has nice advantages over the Alpine: it has a 10:1 TDR, as opposed to the Alpine's 5:1; and it has a firetube HX, which many here seem to favor from what I can tell, while I suspect the Alpine uses another style of HX, though Burnham doesn't seem to advertise what it is. The 10:1 TDR seems particularly appealing to me, as our home has 4 zones and a lower minimum firing rate would better match the demand from an individual zone, particularly on non-design days.

I know that the installation is at least as important as the equipment, so I'm wondering if I'm overthinking the differences between the the two models, and should go with whichever one the installer is more comfortable with? Alternatively, are these two models similar enough that if the installer is competent with one they should be with the other as well?

Thanks!

Comments

  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,469
    The Alpine has a Gianonni HX (water tube, high head, requires a p/s, dedicated boiler circ, higher maintenance).

    We recommend fire tube boilers; however, your installer is not 50% of the equation, he's 95% of it.

    Take your time and do your homework on the contractor.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    Zmanmattmia2
  • kpatters18
    kpatters18 Member Posts: 3
    Is evaluating an installer's recommended equipment part of doing my homework? From my perspective the Aspen seems like a better boiler, so if the contractor isn't recommending that, and isn't even familiar with it, does that tell me I should keep looking?

    Relatedly, am I overthinking the importance of the higher TDR? My heat loss estimates suggest design day loads of about 15-20 kBTU/hr for two zones and 20-25 kBTU/hr for the other two (total heat loss of about 80 kBTU/hr). A ~100 kBTU/hr boiler seems appropriate, but will be oversized for an individual zone during non-peak days with a TDR of 5:1. I imagine some amount of over-sizing in this respect is acceptable, but wouldn't a higher TDR be better?
  • tocker
    tocker Member Posts: 18
    Curious if you ever received an answer and which boiler you decided to buy. I'm facing the same type of issue with respect to boiler replacement. I keep hearing find a reputable contractor, but there are few around who still install boilers in the Northern Virginia/DC area. If so, many are only reinstalling high heat, CI boilers.
  • Wellness
    Wellness Member Posts: 122
    edited May 4
    @tocker, use the find a contractor link for DMV here? Or message me for a couple of more in DMV not listed on HH.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,469
    Call call Dan Foley of Foley Mechanical in Lorton. You won’t find any better.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    mattmia2kcopp
  • heathead
    heathead Member Posts: 157
    I think they have come some way with the 10 to 1 turn down, but that 10 to 1 turn down is not burning effectively. excess air. One of the main brands only goes 6.5 to 1 because of the flame properties. There is some interested reading on this. Contact Foley Mechanical in metro DC area.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,697
    Why would it not be efficient? It modulates the output by modulating the fan speed and the gas valve modulates the amount of fuel based on the airflow. Certainly a fuel injector approach would be better but it should be close.
  • tocker
    tocker Member Posts: 18

    Hi everyone - homeowner here wondering if anybody has much experience with the Aspen model from Burnham.

    I'm looking to replace my 50-year-old gas boiler, and have gotten a handful of quotes so far. A couple contractors have recommended the Alpine, but when I asked them about the Aspen neither seemed to know much about it. I'm not an expert by any means, but have tried to educate myself by reading some relevant material here and elsewhere, and it seems to me like the Aspen has nice advantages over the Alpine: it has a 10:1 TDR, as opposed to the Alpine's 5:1; and it has a firetube HX, which many here seem to favor from what I can tell, while I suspect the Alpine uses another style of HX, though Burnham doesn't seem to advertise what it is. The 10:1 TDR seems particularly appealing to me, as our home has 4 zones and a lower minimum firing rate would better match the demand from an individual zone, particularly on non-design days.

    I know that the installation is at least as important as the equipment, so I'm wondering if I'm overthinking the differences between the the two models, and should go with whichever one the installer is more comfortable with? Alternatively, are these two models similar enough that if the installer is competent with one they should be with the other as well?

    Thanks!

    I liked the Aspen when looking down the list of boilers that were 'affordable', and liked the Lochinvar Knight too. In the end I decided on an NTI FTVN, also with a 10:1 TDR, which seems to have a good reputation and many features. Today, you never know the quality of anything like this until you own it for over 2 years. Ratings on-line are meaningless today, which is a shame. HH seems to be the one place to learn and understand a little about which brands are good and why. NTI, despite the name is not made in the USA, but in Canada. Given the climate, I would think NTI provides quality boiler products to Canadians who depend dearly on their boilers and HW heaters.