Getting a new propane boiler...
So I've decided the best thing given my situation is to get a new boiler, the oil situation has to be removed. I've met with 4 contractors and 3/4 recommended 95% AFU Lochinvar Knight boilers. The quotes range from $6695 - $7650. FYI I have to use propane because natural gas does not come out to my house. I'm curious about people's opinions of Lochinvar here because I've noticed there aren't many! One contractor recommended 105,000 BTU the others 150,000. The house is roughly 4,000sq ft including the basement and at present there is "attic space", but more like the other side of the second floor; it will be renovated as such. Thus I need to account for that extra heating in my boiler purchase now. The current water heater is upstairs venting out a completely different chimney than the boiler. None of the contractors recommended an indirect water heater. Would that save me money...hmm although it would cost more to buy a new one? I have to make this decision quickly...first snow was yesterday! I had one other contractor who didn't do any sort of evaluation really, the others mostly measured the floor board space and checked out where the new piping was going to need to go, or where it could go. The one who didn't recommended a 100,000 BTU Dunkirk. They had the cheapest quote. Oh and the Lochinvar's are self-modulating. Any opinions or experience with Lochinvars?
Re: Getting a new propane boiler...
You're liable to make a big mistake on this boiler selection if you try to rush things when there's no need to.
You had 3 or 4 techs in there & they didn't do a heat loss calculation (manual J) ???
How are they basing their btu/hr estimates to size how much heat the house needs on a cold day???
While it's true that variable output boilers have a wide range of output, the Manual J still has to be done.
I don't think you're talking to the right prospective installers---take your time & get at least 3 or 4 other estimates---consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" & don't ignore oil dealers, who are also licensed to install gas equipment & often charge less.
Also consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Equipment-parts" & ask to speak to the counterman (heating supply houses---go there in person) in the afternoon when they are not so busy--they deal with these installers all day long & know the reliable ones.
No way you should not have an indirect HW heater---this is a companion to the boiler & must be included to get a good supply of domestic hot water without adding another fuel-burning appliance to the house.
I've heard good & bad reports on Lochinvar---they seem to have a good product at a good price, but the service response & factory support has been lacking in a lot of cases---condensing units are complicated machinery & the local installers often don't know how to fix them--the customer is often left high & dry if a glitch arises & you wait & wait in the cold.
Don't ignore the other mfgrs---I like Triangle Tube Prestige/Solo and their companion Triangle Tube Phase 3 indirect---this unit does well with LP gas, where others often do not---a class act.
Also check out NTI Trinity----if you have hard water in your area select a stainless steel combustion chamber--Buderus GB142 is a good condenser with an aluminum combustion chamber (if you have soft water)---Peerless Pinnacle is also excellent & favored by many installers---Dunkirk Quantum makes a good product, as well as Utica--Viessmann Vitodens is highly rated, but very expensive.
Google "condensing boilers" reviews to get a comparative ****** list & to set the base price for the quores you'll get.
Tell the installers you're out of work right now & are short of cash & need the LOWEST QUOTE THEY CAN GIVE YOU---if you don't try to beat them down on the quote they'll try to charge you the maximum they can get.
Get the ****** price for each boiler and indirect they offer & add $1k for the install cost---their quote shouldn't be much more than that---if it is, it's too rich.
Last edited by NashuaTech; 12-05-2009 at 12:30 AM.