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Radiant Floor Heating/New Boiler oil to gas conversion


I am in need of a new bolier , right now I have a 20 year old Well Mclain.I called an indepentendent contractor still waiting on price quote.The two boilers he mentioned are Peerless or Burnham . I have oil heat, with water expansion tank we use the boiler for hot water as well.Please let me know from your expertise on which boiler is more effcient/ better overall and what you think the price would be around for the boiler and labor so I know I am not getting raked over the coals so to speak. I was going to call my Oil Company to get a qoute , but noticed in the past when I need parts the prices were marked up do you think, I should ask the for a quote as well?
Than you in advance

Badger Boiler Bosch Combi Boiler
Badger Boiler Bosch Co  

Badger Radiant Designs Vitodens Boiler
Badger Radiant Designs  
When replacing an oil burning boiler with a gas boiler the first thing we consider it the cost of fuel per million BTUs. This can be easily determined by calling your local propane plant and heating oil provider and asking them for the cost per million. With this number in hand we look for logical replacement boilers based on the heat load for the structure. The heat load is amount of heat, measured in Brish Thermal Units (BTU) that your house will require during "design conditions" these conditions represent the coldest few days of the year averaged over the last 10 years or so, and are available from ASHRAE and plugged into to several very good engineering programs such as the one we use most often in my office; Wrightsoft.

Once you have proper heat load you can then find a boiler with the out put that best matches your load. All high efficiency condensing boilers modulate flame on outdoor reset meaning the colder it gets outside the warmer the water going to the radiation. This control save fuel in two ways, first by closely matching the heat input to the heat loss of the home and second by keeping the return water temperature from that radiation as low as possible while still maintaining a comfortable room temperature set by you at the thermostat.

Since there are more than a dozen condensing boilers capable of burning propane on the US market one has to look to his own market to find an experienced installer, hopefully factory trained, to size and install the boiler that best fits the application.

It is rarely necessary to up-size the boiler to meet domestic hot water needs with an indirect-fired water heater, but if you choose a combi-boiler such as the new Viessmann F222 you have do the math to determine if the space and domestic hot water (DHW) outputs are appropriate for your needs.

With a standard condensing boiler such as the NTI with an indirect water heater like their stainless steel Trin 'n' Stor a 40 gallon water heater will serve a family of 4 in most climates and is likely to produce twice the hot water in half the time and half the cost. Better yet, the typical SS indirect will last 30 years in residential service.

One of my favorite boilers for propane service in the Viessmann F200 with Lambda combustion control matched with the incomparable Stainless/Titanium Vitocell indirect water heater.

The bottom line is choosing a competent contractor dedicated and trained in high efficiency equipment to help choose a boiler most appropriate for your application and budget.

Should you choose to stay with convention old/school atmospheric cast iron boilers the choices are many and the differences few.  

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Morgan M. Audetat


Radiant panel heating design, including floors and ceilings, European wall panels and snow melting for residential and light commercial buildings..............................................................-Master of Steam and Hot Water,City of Minneapolis....................................................--- Master Plumber, State of Minnesota...........


30 years..... Charter Board Member - Radiant Panel Association, former manufacturer of condensing boilers, former national distributor of radiant floor products, son and apprentice of mechanical & plumbing contractor. Current mechanical/plumbing contractor specializing in hydronic based, integrated HVAC systems. Radiant floor heating/cooling. Snow Melting. Condensing Boilers. Indirect water heaters. System design, consulting and technical training world-wide. Licensed contractor, designer, installer and consultant.

B.S. University WI 1981 CONTINUING EDUCATION: Viessmann Condensing boiler and Solar water heating certification 2010, N.D.S.U. Lead Worker RRP certification 2010, Knight condensing boiler certification 2009, Wrightsoft Manual J CAD certification 2009, RPA Designer & Installer Certification 2008, Nate Hydronic/Forced Air Certification 2008, Uponor/Wirsbo advanced design school certification 2007, Buderus Wall-hung certification 2007, Power Limited License (low voltage controls) 40 CE credits 2005, Basic Hydronic Certification IPEX & Northern Alberta Institute of Technology 1998, Charter Board Member - Radiant Panel Association 1994, Residential Off-Electric to Hydronic Conversion Heating School Canadian Hydronics Council 1994, B&G Little Red School House 1993, Rood Utilities (now Auburn Technical Institute) Oil Burner School 1993 ,Tekmar Controls residential and commercial 1993, Division Manager and Advanced Hydronic Seminar Instructor for the first Exclusively Hydronic Radiant Floor Distributor in the USA 1990, Hydronic Radiant Heating Association Workshop participant with Richard c. Bourne, PE spring 1988, Master Plumbing, Hydronic, Solar Course Red Rocks Community College 1987.

Awards and Honors
2009 System Showcase Award - Radiant Panel Association

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