Boiler v.s. Furnace


I have heard that boilers are more efficient and last a lot longer than furnaces. Does anyone have any statistics on this... I installed a new furnace 10 years ago replacing one that was 30 or 40 years old. It used to have a pilot light that was apparently far away from the gas source... so when it would fire the gas would build up until I heard a loud BANG... when it fired... I was sure I was going to find my roomate's teeth imbeded in the concrete wall on the other side of the room.
Back to my question... I would like to install a high efficiency boiler what am I going to save on my monthly bills? Also I would install a boiler mate and get rid of the hot water heater...
Talk to me, daveb
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Hi, First of all, how much do you think it'll cost to convert from furnace to boiler heating system?
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If you do it yourself, it won't cost much.
I recently converted a 3 level house from an oil fired furnace to a gas fired boiler.
The 1/2 inch copper tubing and the baseboard radiation cost me less than $1000. It's pretty darn easy to run 1/2 tubing up the walls.
I also put all three levels on one zone to make it simple for me and my tenants. The "pros" said it could not be done effectively. By using a computer heat loss analysis and distribution program, I got evey room on all three levels within 3 degrees of desired temp down to days with outside temps as low as 10 degrees. It ain't rocket science....
Doug
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How did you get the temp uniform, so closely, in a one zone system? Valves? Would multi-zone in a HW system have been that much more? Cupla pumps/manifold at the boiler? -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Ever-preparing for The Grand Insertion Party Nominee, IPPVM Independent Party of the Proctologically Violated (M)asses "That's proly not a hemorrhoid you're feeling.... " entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs
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On Sun, 29 Oct 2006 23:54:52 -0500, "Proctologically Violated"

No valves. As mentioned I used computer software to do a detailed heat loss analysis of every room in the house.
The amount of baseboard radiation was then sized as exactly as possible to maintain each room at 70 degrees with an outside temp of zero to 10 above.
I have another house with a multizone system. The tenants seem to be constantly confused about what thermostat (1st floor and separate 2nd floor zones) to use under what circumstances. They tend to leave the 1st floor thermostat cranked up at night, then wonder why the 2nd floor becomes so hot, then they open windows to cool off... I gave up after giving them the third lecture "heat rises..."
Aside from the extra cost of such zoning, I like to adhere to the K.I.S.S. principle. I get tired of going on no heat service calls only to arrive and find out that the tenant's children have simply turned a thermostat to the "off" position. One less thermostat = slightly fewer problems....
Sorry to seem so cynical - it comes from being a landlord...
Doug
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Actually, what you say is very interesting. Sorta took balls to do it the way you did. What if it hadna worked?? :) I think most would have at least used throttling valves of some kind, to at least control flow--hidden from tenants, of course. -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Stop Corruption in Congress & Send the Ultimate Message: Absolutely Vote, for *Anyone BUT* a Democrat or a Republican Ending Corruption in Congress is the Single Best Way to Materially Improve Your Life entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs
wrote:

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wrote:

I was in Beijing a few months ago and went to a large HD type store. Most chinese homes do not have a central heating system or insulated walls. The heating upgrades include buried hot water heated floors and electrically heated floors. I think these are non starters on account of the high maintenance costs. But the system I want to bring your attention to is the hot water tube units that a fed from a small (30 gallon ?) hot water heater normally concealed in the ceiling. These hot water tube units are ladder-like racks that can be mounted on the wall (eg. as a towel rack) or on the floor. They are beautifully finished welded steel tubes with brightly colored enamel finishes.
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Furnace: for hot air systems? Boiler: for hot water/steam systems?
As the other poster said, Conversion Cost?? Whopping, I would imagine: major plumbing throughout the house. -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Ever-preparing for The Grand Insertion Party Nominee, IPPVM Independent Party of the Proctologically Violated (M)asses "That's proly not a hemorrhoid you're feeling.... " entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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My buddy was going to convert to radiant heat, for those same reasons. Citing typically that radiant heat is far more efficient and would also eliminate the need for a separate water heater. He was prevented from doing that due to the pecular construction in his house - however had he done what he originally planned it would have been some 20k to do it. Mind you he only had baseboard heating in his house - no venting or ductwork to deal with beforehand.
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Apropos of a thread on power outages and generators, another advantage to a gas fired hot-water system is the very low *electric* power consumption required because 1. no big blower fans are involved, and 2. only very low-draw circulating pumps are required. Actually, a gas fired STEAM system would not even need the circulating pumps, altho in some cases a small pump for the condensate might be required.
A guy I knew, during a winter blackout, kept his house/pipes from freezing by keeping his hot-water heating system going from an inverter run off his car outside! Perhaps this alone is reason enough to make some kind of conversion in some areas, where blackouts are common in cold weather. Frozen pipes can be absolutely disastrous.
Also, if you have forced air heat/furnace, you could keep that system intact and simply *add* a hot water system. The ductwork in forced air is always convenient for A/C, altho it's not always the best located ductwork for A/C.
If going w/ a hot-water system, you can also make that same water *chilled water* for summer A/C, as well. In principle not that complicated, but the units req'd in each room can get a little pricey. Very comfortable system, tho.
The blower alone on my furnace draws 10 amps--a bit of a draw on any inverter or emergency generator. -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Ever-preparing for The Grand Insertion Party Nominee, IPPVM Independent Party of the Proctologically Violated (M)asses "That's proly not a hemorrhoid you're feeling.... " entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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Boilers range at hightest 93-96% efficient the same as a furnace 93-96%. If you want to save just upgrade if you dont have a condensing unit, non condensing is 80-83%. Look into windows and insulation first, thats what keeps heat in
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What is a condensing unit? For boilers and/or furnaces?
--
Mr. P.V.\'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
Stop Corruption in Congress & Send the Ultimate Message:
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Proctologically Violated wrote:

when you remove enough heat to cool the exhaust below 212f the moisture condenses out of it, thus the name.
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Why anyone would consider converting from a functioning 10 year old furnace to a boiler based on efficiency is beyond me. You will never recover the cost.
As to the big bang, why anyone would think that was the normal result of design or safe and put up with it for 10 years, is beyond me too. A service call should solve this.
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Actualy I think it will be overall less efficient to convert, some boilers only reach highest efficiency at lower water temps, which wont heat your home when its real cold out. A Vsdc blower saves apx 25-30% its power on low is half that of a circulator pump. So where is the savings if any. Figuring an install price and it makes no sence. Buy insulation and a new high efficiency furnace.
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I thought the smaller B&G hw circ pumps were like barely an amp. My blower (not vsdc), is like 10 A, but it's hard to imagine a blower in a 5 ton unit burning less than 6-7 A. Keep in mind, amprobes may not really give a good WATTAGE indication, cuz of the power factor of things like motors. Or so I been told. -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Stop Corruption in Congress & Send the Ultimate Message: Absolutely Vote, for *Anyone BUT* a Democrat or a Republican Ending Corruption in Congress is the Single Best Way to Materially Improve Your Life entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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10a for a blower, no way unless its a big office builing. Most residential furnace blowers are in the 3.- 4a range, my 75000btu furnace is 3a . A Vsdc unit can pull less than 1a for the blower.
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I measured it w/ an amprobe--the goddamm wire gets warm! Effed again, I spose. Remember, Yost & Campbell, Westchester, NY, Bronx NYC, did this to me. -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Stop Corruption in Congress & Send the Ultimate Message: Absolutely Vote, for *Anyone BUT* a Democrat or a Republican Ending Corruption in Congress is the Single Best Way to Materially Improve Your Life entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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