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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Replacing boiler; thinking about tankless condensing type

    I have a 3 family house that has 2 very old oil fired boiers that need to be replaced. I am having gas run into the house and am debating whether to use the new type of tankless condensing units that also provide hot water. The brand that was recommended was Navien. I live in Mass. and would either replace both boilers with 2 units or maybe get 3 units and have each apartment pay their own heat as opposed to me paying for the heat for 2 apartments. I don't know if it would be worth it moneywise. Are these tankless heaters as good and reliable as I was told? What are the down sides?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Replacing boiler; thinking about tankless condensing type


    There have been a number of issues connected with the Navien Tankless Combi boilers, which are made in Korea, and don't seem to have the support/repair/parts infrastructure yet in the U.S. that would insure an expert install, and a local knowledgeable service staff in the event of any needed repairs.

    There are many others who question the adequacy of the technology of these small wall-hung units that look & act more like instant hot water heaters, rather than tried & true conventional technology by such mfgrs as Crown Boilers, or Buderus, Dunkirk, Peerless, Viessmann or Utica, which are combined with a 30 or 40 gal. indirect hot water heater for each apt; 3-pass combustion chambers are much preferred over pin-type combustion chambers/heat exchangers, which clog up with soot.

    Forget about the large size of your old boilers presently in the cellar that you probably have in your head; most of these newer boilers aren't much larger than a standard piece of luggage, yet are more efficient & burn much less fuel.

    Also highly thought of is the Triangle Tube line of boilers such as the Excellence, Challenger or Solo series; you would perhaps be better off with one of the Triangle Tube boilers, which has a good support footprint in the New England/Boston area.

    1) You must do more research (read footwork) by consulting the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" & contacting at least 6-7 heating equipment installers in your area & get written estimates estimates for the boilers mentioned---there will be a great variety of boiler mfgrs recommended in these estimates, as well as quite a difference in price quotes.

    2) You must contact local real estate agent offices (face to face in person) who have apt. house properties in Boston or the Mass. locality, as their business, & ASK THEM what type of heating equip they are installing in their apt properties; they may also be kind enough to connect you with good heating equip installers in the area, which will facilitate your search efforts.

    3) Talk to the gas co.! They almost always have a program where they will "reward" property owners for switching from oil to gas heating equipment by giving them a cut rate deal on new gas-fired heating equipment if the gas co. provides the new equipment & does the installation; but make sure they don't agree to install 2nd rate equipment, & determine if they will service the new equipment; part of the deal is removing the old oil-fired equipment.

    Do your footwork! You can make a big mistake that will cost lots of $$$ if you don't take the time to do your homework.
    Last edited by brewster; 11-05-2011 at 04:10 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Replacing boiler; thinking about tankless condensing type

    I have personally never hear of that brand. I would use a pair of Lochnivar Knight boilers. (light commercial). These units are floor standing but have PVC venting, excellent heat transfer, and AFUE's of up to 95.2%. they can also be controlled via computer, ipad, and iphone. But if your looking for a less expensive and more recognized condensing boiler, try the Weil-Mcclain ultra line. PVC venting, great heat transfer, high AFUE's, etc. but google the reviews and you'll see that people are often VERY displeased with costumer service and product reliability. Buderus also makes great condensing boilers. Some ideas, but I have a few significant questions.

    1) how many zones would these units be heating?

    2) is the current system steam or hot water? (very important)

    3) Is there going to be potable water involved? storage tanks?

    Hope that helps!

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