Cut your losses

Sometime it is better to replace than to repair a boiler. Older systems can have a cascade of issues that spans over months or several seasons that can cost almost as the cost of whole system. Sometimes seeing the forest for the trees and cutting your losses before the suck you in a money black hole is the right decision. This replacement was the case. Older boiler was condemned due to combustion issues and a blocked heat exchager.

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SlantFin for the win

We had to change a boiler for a house where the old boiler literally fell appart (completely corroded). Space was sn issue so SlantFin boiler was our top choice.

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Central air changeout in the fall

Sometimes you know that the old system wont make it to next season. Doing a changeout in the “off” season allows for flexibility in all aspects of changing to new system. Also, milder attic temperatures allow technicians to not rush and work continuously without worrying about overheating.

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When you cant use the chimney

Sometimes a chimney is not usable.

In this situation we needed to install a new boiler and the chimney repair costs were too expensive. There is a solution for that situation.

It’s called forced draft boiler. It can be vented to side of house (with certain code restrictions). Crown was the biggest bang for the buck.

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Trane quality installation

We were hired for a new instalation on an office expansion project and customer wanred quality. Everyone agreed that Trane is synonymous with American quality. Project completed

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Pennco to the rescue

To replace a 40 year old dinosaur of a boiler we decided to go with Pennco boiler. Its a left side boiler (all accessories and controls are on its left side). When we install a boiler we look for best solution for customer and future serviceability.

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Another one bites the dust

Before and after pictures of boiler replacement. Althougg the old one was working at time replacement, it was showing signs on being highly unreliable. Customer decided it was time to replace.

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Triangle tube boiler install

Truth abough high efficiency tankless boilers

There are many good things to say about high efficiency/ tankless hot water heating boilers.  You’ve heard many good things like the savings and the energy efficiency.  These things are smart.  Some units even come with an outdoor sensor that will adjust their output according to the temperature outside.  So if it’s 20 out it will  urn at 100%, but if it’s 60’s out it may modulate down to 30%.  Smart!  Modulation is another great feature.  Ability to cycle down or up percentage of burning power.  Like adjusting a burner on a range top.  Standard counterparts only have 2 speeds and they are 100% or off.

Majority of high efficiency boilers are condensing. Which means that they are able to utilize/absorb more heat from combustion than their standard counterparts.  Flue/combustion gasses leaving these boilers are much less hot than that of standard counterparts (650°F vs 80°F).  Since these gasses transfer/lose/utilize so much heat @ combustion, condensation occurs.

Now lets delve into potential weaknesses.  First and most obvious, these systems are much more complex than their standard counterparts and have a lot more parts functioning.  Statistically speaking the more parts the more chances there are for malfunction of one of these parts.  What should also be considered is our water.  We have very hard water.  It mineralizes everything, especially boiler insides.  This buildup sometimes hinders the function of all of these sensors and malfunction may occur.  Manufacturers recommend a chemical wash every year.  This process removes all mineral buildup and cleans the insides of the boiler, however this is a time consuming task that is also significantly more expensive than a standard boiler maintenance.   On a side note a water softener significantly reduces this buildup accumulation.  Condensation can be an issue if exhaust is not properly installed.  Shall other general malfunction to occur not all techs are able to diagnose the issue.  Parts are typically very brand and model specific, which leads parts (un)availability.

High efficiency boilers are the pinnacle of HVAC technology.  However, for a homeowner it is a costly investment, which also requires annual upkeep.

high efficiency boiler install in suffern ny

high efficiency Quietside combi boiler installation

Triangle Prestige High efficiency boiler

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Heating Maintenance Part II, Combustion

In the last post we talked about the importance of changing of water in a hydronic (water) heating system.  This post I’d like to discuss the importance of maintenance of the heating part of the system.  In order for your boiler or furnace to operate for years to come it must operate with clean combustion (low smoke, low carbon monoxide output).   Smoke creates soot, which eventually blocks the heat-exchanger in a boiler.  This results in an unsafe and potentially deadly environment and can lead to the condemnation of the heating system.  Combustion can be regulated and calibrated for optimal output to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Hot air furnaces have heat-exchangers that are long tubes of thin steel.  Combustion that heats your air occurs in that heat-exchanger and must be vented outside.  Sometime a heat exchanger will crack and combustion gasses can be mixed with breathing air and can result in unsafe environment.  That situation may also warrant condemnation of the heating system.

The last thing anyone wants is a mid winter night heating system condemnation with out warning, nor carbon monoxide poisoning.  These things should be inspected annually and corrected before it’s too late.  Other maintenance should include cleaning flame sensors and checking all other sensors for operation as well as running a full system check for starting and ending  system operation.  Dust and lint should be wiped off the system to prevent accidental fire and any parts require special attention should be corrected as required.  Although many of us take heating and comfort of our home for granted, we must be aware that it can fail and sometimes signs are there if you know how to look for them.  Please call to schedule your heating system service soon.

Hot air furnace maintenance

Cracked heat exchanger on a hot air furnace.

Importance of heating system maintenance

Blocked heat-exchanger on a boiler

Heating system maintenance

Clean heat exchanger on a Boiler

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