+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Marblehead, MA
    Posts
    3

    Question Cast iron boiler vs. high efficiency stainless steel

    We want to replace our 38 year old gas-fired boiler. We live in the Boston area in a single-family split-level home built in 1974. Our existing boiler has an input of 210,000 Btu/hr and an output of 168,000 Btu/hr, which makes it 80% efficient. We have 3 zones heated by circulating hot water.

    Everything I read says to get a high-efficiency boiler with AFUE greater than or equal to 90% because we live in the "snow belt" of New England. However, the contractors that we have called for estimates say that we should get another cast iron boiler with efficiency of 80% and a life expectency of 30+ years instead of a stainless steel or aluminum high efficiency boiler because those last only 10-12 years and cost at least $3,000 more. They say that the high efficiency boilers also require more maintenance.

    None of them have actually done calculations for our house; they just say that in their experience the upfront + maintenance costs + much shorter life expectency of the high-efficiency boilers does not justify the savings in the gas bill.

    Is it true that the high efficiency boilers have 1/2 the life expectency of the cast iron boilers? Is it true that annual or biannual maintenance requirements are much greater for the high efficiency units?

    Thanks for your help with this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Cast iron boiler vs. high efficiency stainless steel

    brboston:

    Your questions are excellent and deserve an elaborate response; I wonder if you could revise your personal account so that you can receive personal messages by clicking onto "user cp" above and following the prompts. Thank You.

    user cp---->settings & options---->Edit Options---->Receive email from others/enable private messages.
    Last edited by brewster; 09-23-2012 at 12:20 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cast iron boiler vs. high efficiency stainless steel

    I just read an article in P & M Magaine a few days ago that confirmed the shorter lifespan of condensing boilers. According to the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers the life expectancy of a condensing boiler is 15 years. According to UK Energy Saving the average is 10 to 15 years.

    This should be taken into consideration when trying to figure long range cost of a system. You may save a lot of money during the life of a mod/con but if you have to replace it after 15 years will you have a net savings over 30 yrs?

    You can get a mid range efficiency boiler that will last on average 30-35 yrs. It may not save as much money on a year to year basis but could save as much or more over 30 years.

    AFUE for hydronic boilers is not an accurate indicator of how efficient a boiler is. Brookhaven National Labs did a study several years ago that showed how much difference in real efficiency there can be between boilers with virtually the same AFUE.

    All heating systems should be serviced every year if for no other purpose than to make sure the vent system is clear and in good repair and that all safeties function as they should. It doesn't make any difference if it's gas or oil, have it checked every year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Marblehead, MA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Cast iron boiler vs. high efficiency stainless steel

    OK, private messages are enabled.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Cast iron boiler vs. high efficiency stainless steel

    PM issued.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,227

    Default Re: Cast iron boiler vs. high efficiency stainless steel

    Why not post it here for all to see?

    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,844

    Default Re: Cast iron boiler vs. high efficiency stainless steel

    Information sent via PM could be misleading or false and not subject to peer review, be cautious.

    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 09-24-2012 at 07:22 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •