Budeus verses Viessman Oil Boilers
I am trying to figure out if anyone has had any ideas on replacing a steam boiler with a more energy efficient Viessman or Buderus boiler. I have talked with Dealers and homeowners that own both brands and most everyone like the unit they have. Are there any major differences that I should be aware of? Trying to make the best and most educated decision. Thanks
Re: Budeus verses Viessman Oil Boilers
Glad to see you are focusing on the most important preliminary aspects of adding insulation and installing tighter windows as initial steps before buying a new heating system---these two steps are extremely important in reducing oil usage & making the house envelope more heat efficient, as well as cooling in the summer---these steps will pay for themselves in a short period of time.
Talking about a retrofit from steam to forced hot water is a good idea, but you should develop a strategy, just as you did for the insulation & windows---a) how long do you intend to stay in the house?? b) assuming you don't have natural gas available now, did you call the gas co. & ask when you might expect natural gas piping in in your neighborhood in the near future??? c) you should get at least 6 estimates from different heating contractors and oil dealers as to the best boiler to have installed, and not focus just on Viessmann and Buderus.
If you have natural gas available now, consider going with a condensing, variable output gas-fired boiler with outdoor reset if you intend to stay in the house for 5 years or more---gas-fired boilers run cleaner & get 95% AFUE efficiency & require less service.
If you must install an oil-fired unit, there are less options when it comes to a condensing unit, and Viessmann & Buderus are usually good products, but are among the most expensive retrofits on the market---part of this is because they are German imports & you will pay for the Euro exchange rate over the dollar.
Since you would probably have to have all if not most of the in-place steam piping and radiators removed, & then have FHW piping and baseboard or radiant tubing installed, expect to pay $12k to $15k for the retrofit.
That's why it's a good idea to expand your thinking to include excellent U.S. made boilers such as Burnham, Crown, Dunkirk, Hydrotherm, Peerless, Slant/Fin, Utica, Weil-Mclain, Triangle Tube, System 2000 & others---among these mfgrs there are reliable, low cost entry level cast iron boilers that have an AFUE (efficiency) of approx. 83%; the same mfgrs also make 3-pass cast iron boilers of approx. 87% AFUE---these tend to be more reliable boilers, made with tried and true technology & have been around for years, and will cost much less than the German imports----with such a low-cost boiler you might get an install for $5k or $6k rather than $15k.
An indirect 40 gal. hot water heater ($1k) to produce your hot tap water for showers, etc., is recommended with the above boilers as a companion unit.
If you combine this stragegy of considering numerous other boilers on the market with getting at least 6 quotes from installers who actually come to your home to evaluate how the install should go, you will do much better at getting a good boiler at a reasonable price---the installer, after all, is an ESSENTIAL PART OF THE PROCEDURE; consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" and "Oils-Fuel"; it's a tedious process to get 6 in-home estimates, but in the end, this is the best way to go---the cost estimates and name brand of the boiler WILL VARY CONSIDERABLY among the prospective installers you interview---as well as their attitude and enthusiasm (or lack of) for the project---pick the one who has a positive attitude & takes the time to do a heat loss calculation of your home & shows he/she is interested in doing a good job---reject anyone who seems half-interested.
Again ,if you will be moving in a short time, or no natural gas is available, then you don't want to spend $10k to $15k on a system that the new owner will benefit from & you won't get back your investment.
Last edited by NashuaTech; 03-04-2010 at 08:04 AM.