Boiler Replacement (Cast Iron vs. Copper Finned)
I manage a small home owners association. We have a six unit building. The old cast iron boiler was flagged by the state inspector. It's been in service for 42 years and needs to be replaced.
I have three companies submitting proposals for the project. The first proposal included two 232,000 BTU cast iron boilers. The rational was that during times when it's not extremely cold and the demand for heat is low, only one boiler needs to run, reducing the utility cost during seasons where heat is needed. We're in Denver, CO. The total cost for demolition/removal of the old boiler and installation of the new, with some additional costs to bring the system up to code, $25K.
The next proposal is on its way. It will include a copper finned boiler instead of two cast iron boilers. The company that wrote the first proposal made a point of saying that I shouldn't get a copper finned boiler. "They're inferior and it will skew the proposal." I guess part of that means the cost of a copper finned boiler is less than that of a cast iron boiler.
Are copper finned boilers inferior to cast iron boilers? If so, what's the difference? Is it merely a matter of copper finned lasting only 25 years rather than 40 years like the current cast iron boiler? Are there maintenance costs associated with copper finned that I need to be aware of? Is the cost of a copper finned boiler over of its lifetime more than the cost of a cast iron boiler?
The building uses cast iron radiators in each unit to deliver the heat. Those will stay in place.
I'm a software engineer. I know little about building facilities. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by Denbear; 06-16-2009 at 02:37 PM.
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