Natural gas boiler recommendations
We will in a 3,000 square foot house in Maine and now have access to natural gas. We have spoken to several contractors about boilers and are getting recommendations for a Viessman Vitodens 100, Triangle Tube model and an Energy Kinetics Accel CS. Our old house house had an Energy Kinetics System 2000 that functioned perfectly so I am biased toward that product. After reading quite a lot about the Viessman, I am concerned about the reliability of the machine.
Does anyone have any Experience with these models? I'm especially interested in hearing about the Energy Kinetics Accel CS? To be clear, anything we install would have to be better than 90% AFUE.
Re: Natural gas boiler recommendations
I'm not familiar with these brands, but I am familiar with furnaces and water heaters. You got to be lucky to end up with a reliable unit, no matter the name brand. You see, these manufacturers use parts made by other companies/suppliers, so they are only as good as their parts, and most of the times these suppliers sell to most of the manufacturers. Add to this the company takeovers, which means that a hand full of companies own the rest of the companies.
Ask the contractors you called for estimates, which one is the most trouble free. Their opinions will vary a lot, but they may hopefully lead you to the right choice.
Re: Natural gas boiler recommendations
Your best bet is probably to Google such phrases as "converting from oil boiler to gas" (or whatever your present fuel is).
Or Google "converting from oil boiler to (name of new boiler under consideration)-----there are literally scores or hundreds of people who (like you) are now going thru this process & this is the best way I know of connecting with them & getting the very specific info that your post requires.
There are several dedicated sites (below) that treat exclusively hot water/steam heating systems, and they are also worth a shove; use their search engine if you don't see anything that relates to you; of course, you should also use the search engine for THIS site, as well.
I've been at it many decades & the 3 units you mention are all made by excellent mfgrs; all 3 have high quality reputations; all are condensing units with approx 95% efficiency & I believe they're all wall-hung, & have outdoor reset.
I would comment that there might be an option to convert your present EK system 2000 by replacing only the oil gun part of the boiler & installing a natural gas gun & keep the rest of the boiler---this option may have been suggested to you--the downside is that the efficiency is usually approx 70%, rather than the 95% that you're looking for, but it would cost lots, lots less than a new unit; how long you intend to remain in your present house may have a bearing on this; you may also have an existing indirect hot water heater next to your boiler (approx 40 gallons) this combination of Systems 2000 boiler & indirect hwh is hard to beat for reliability, plenty of HW for showers, clothes washing, etc. rather than some of these new-fangled wall-hung units that have experienced operational problems with their inadequate hot water making, or failures in their outdoor reset resulting in failure to produce adequate heat for the house because a computer is deciding how much heat the house needs, & not the occupant; also there have been problems making adequate domestic how water (DHW) because an indirect HW separate tank is usually not used with these new units.
You should definitely insist (especially someone living in Maine) that the proposed system to be installed has a T-stat override feature, so that if the outdoor reset is not producing enough heat & the house is cold, you have the option of OVERRIDING the automatic outdoor reset so that you can get more heat in the house when you want it.
You should definitely ask any prospective boiler installers you invite into your home all of the questions mentioned on this website; they must do a HEAT LOSS CALCULATION to determine how big (or small) a boiler you need in view of your cold locality; the amount of insulation in the exterior walls of your house, as well as the amount of insulation in the attic; tight, double-pane windows are a must with no leaks or broken/cracked panes.
Get at least 3 quotes on this project & perhaps as many as 5 or 6, until you are satisfied that you've found the installer you have confidence in.
Last edited by Dobbs; 07-12-2014 at 05:00 PM.
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