Should I replace my 30 yr old Weil Mclain hot water boiler?

j-ykMarch 21, 2012

We just did an energy audit on the house we moved into at the end of the year . The house was built in 1928.

The audit laid out what we could do to reduce the utility bills. The biggest thing is adding insulation and replacing the boiler to more energy efficient one.

There are some monetary incentives that the gov't is giving todo the insulation and the replacement of the boiler. The insulation will cost us about $2800 after $2000 rebate (supposedly will save us $700/yr for heating). The replacement of boiler is one that I have no idea. I called out plumber and haven't heard from him yet. The gov't rebate will be $1500 for a boiler with >96% AFUE rating (supposedly will save us $300/yr for heating).

We could just get the insulation but our boiler is over 30 years old now and I am afraid that it will go bad soon. And we could use %0 energy loan for both the insulation and the boiler if we are approved for the loan (we can get loan just one time - not one for insulation and another one for the boiler after we think about this for a while). We sort of have to get the insulation soon since they give you only a month to get your incentives after the audit.

I really don't know anything about boilers... Should we keep our fingers crossed and keep our boiler? It has work find past winter. It's distributed in 1981 (called Weil Mclain to find out). The BTU is 110000 and the living space in the house is 1850 sf with unheated basement and unfinished attic. The model # is CGM-5 with serial #7.

Are old boilers built better than what we will get now? What is the lifespan of a how water boiler? Does anyone know what it cost us to replace one with high efficiency as >96% AFUE rating? We live in greater boston area in MA.

Thank you so much!

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Do you have a gas-fired boiler or oil-fired? (Note that if it is a cold fusion model, you should keep it because they don't make them anymore :-) ) I'd wait until you get all of your other improvements done. When you improve the heat-loss part of your improvements, you will have an over-rated boiler. They run more efficiently if they are well matched to the load.

Longevity depends somewhat on use and care. My dad is running a boiler that was installed in his newly-built house in 1959. It is in great shape. Dad's theory is that it held up partly because it is always hot since it supplies hot water as well as space heat. It is oil fired. It gets cleaned and tuned up annually.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 2:38PM
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"The gov't rebate will be $1500 for a boiler with >96% AFUE rating..."

Are you sure about this? Can you provide a link for the details?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 4:17PM
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Thank you, ionized for your comment. Mine is a natural gas boiler. I do have a separate water heater so i don't think my water is being heated all the time - during the warmer season, it's just the pilot light lit, I think. Our heating system is a cast iron radiator.

mike_home, I believe that the rebate is a MA specific thing - not sure if other sates have similar programs. You have to call and do the energy audit to quailty for the rebate. Anything done before the audit, you can't get the rebate. The gas company (NationalGrid) website had the energy audit information. The audit is paid by the gas company.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:17PM
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