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Which heating boiler system would I install?

This is a tough question! Unfortunately, Consumer Reports doesn't rate boilers and what makes choosing a heating system even tougher is that a boiler is not a “plug and play” appliance, like a LCD TV or a refrigerator. A heating system consists of the boiler, the burner and many more important components that allow for safe, clean and efficient operation. Each system is assembled on-site and is custom configured to heat your home. The selection and installation of all these components determine how efficient and reliable your heating system is for years to come.

You can narrow down the choices fairly quickly by process of elimination!

1. Should you install oil or gas?

2. Should you install a condensing system or a conventional system? Condensing boilers are more efficient, as well as more expensive.

3. What about venting? Condensing boilers don't use a chimney and are vented through the wall or roof, conventional atmospheric gas boilers must be vented into a lined chimney. Oil boilers can usually be vented through an existing unlined chimney but may require a liner as well. Direct vent non condensing gas boilers can be side wall vented, saving the cost of a chimney liner.

4. What about domestic hot water? Oil units are available with an integral coil for domestic hot water, this is the cheapest solution but also the least satisfactory for efficient operation, the boiler must maintain a high temperature 24/7/365.This is akin to leaving your car idling because you may want to go somewhere later. The best solution is an indirect water heater or if gas is available, a tank-less instantaneous water heater.

5. What space is available? Do you have the space for an indirect? Do you need a stackable unit?


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