Choosing a new boiler?


I'm getting quotes on a new boiler. Our current HB smith is 17 years old and has alot of corrosion between the 4th and 5th plates. I'm told it could last 1 month or 5 years??? Also the tankless coil needs replacing. The boiler is in a crawl space so the size is an issue. 17 years ago there was no internet to do any research but now I've been looking up these boilers. of course they all praise their own products. I'm hoping one of you may have an opinion for the following quotes I've recieved so far.
Thanks for any input
Steve
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Medway Oil
H.B. Smith 8-T-4 with Riello F40 burner $4,800 + $1,700 (labor) $6,840 total or Thermo Dynamics CWL-LE (its own burner?) $4,300 + $1,750 (labor) $6,325 total
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Petro / Deblois oil
Burnham V83WTB $5,433 total
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Coan oil
Dunkirk Ultimate PFO3T with Becket AFG burner $5800 total (Burner options? Beckett - Carlin - Riello)
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First and most important: did *any* of the companies do an actual heat loss calculation on your house?
About six years ago, we had our boiler replaced. It was (apparently) the original unit, a 450,000 BTU Weil-McClain. We got estimates from five different heating contractors -- four of whom went from room to room, measuring the lengths of the baseboard heaters, and concluded that we needed a boiler in the range of 300 to 350 KBTU.
The fifth guy walked around *outside* the house, measuring walls and windows, ran a heat-loss calc, and bid a 175 KBTU system.
The thing is, the original system was waaaaaaay oversized, and most of the contractors were basing their bids on what was in the house already. The fifth guy based his bid on a calculation of what was actually needed, and it was *much* less expensive -- and it works, too. We have *never* had a problem with insufficient heat.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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It would be nice to hear of a sixth guy offered to do a blower door test. Air leaks might be half the heat loss in a typical US house.
Nick
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Are you near Medway, MA. Give a call to Peak in Uxbridge, MA. They install heating systems and have no vested interest in selling you oil. You may get a better evaluation on repairability of your present system.
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