Energy Kinetics System 2000 hybrid Oilheat

annaleefSeptember 13, 2009

Our fuel company is offering us two different systems to replace our failing oil burner.

One is a Peerless model WBV-04-WPCO high effeciency cast iron boiler wtih a Beckett Flame Retention head oil burner at about $6K.

The other system is the Energy Kinetics 2000, model EK-2, integrated heat and hot water system with a Beckett 3450 flame rentention head burner at $9K.

The latter promises to give up to 40% savings each year on oil consumption.

Any experience out there wtih the Energy Kinetics system?

We are trying to decide whether it is worth the extra $3K outlay to hope we do get the energy savings going forward.

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mr_havac

Do yourself a favor and stay away from the System 2000. All control goes through an electronic board and if the board fails (and in time it will) the price of a new one will take a big chunk out of whatever you saved. It's also a steel boiler. cast iron boilers will last forever but a steel boiler won't. There are other systems on the market now a lot less exotic then that one.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 10:45PM
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zl700

Echoing, Mr HAVAC, they also sell direct, thus no distributors with parts on hand when you may need them.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 10:51PM
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mr_havac

I know of one dealer up here in NH, and he charges what ever he wants for replacement parts. While you're waiting for him to show up you might as well start looking for that old jar of vaseline! :-o :-)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 9:04PM
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annaleef

Interesting feedback. Our oil company has been a very reliable service provider over the last two decades. I will check to see if they can actually get replacement parts for us if we need them. They have always been very fair on pricing and reliable about coming out for emergencies.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 12:18AM
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jimcolonial

I also find the comments interesting, alot of missinformation, first the digital manager very rarely goes bad most often misdiagnosed, second they cost about the same as a zone valve so not expensive, third what parts cant you get at the local supply house other than the manager? and cast iron out lasting a steel boiler with no gaskets or push nipples to leak are you kidding? Go with the system 2000 you will not be dissapointed

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 10:49PM
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annaleef

Thanks for your feedback, Jim.

We heard yesterday from a tradesman that this system does require some maintenance after the first year (but what doesn't?)and something about possibility of creosote (spelling?) building up. Still confused.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 10:20AM
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dapoppa

I would have to echo what jim said. I had a System 2000 installed as part of a renovation in 1997. To date I've had minimal problems, none of which were related to the manager. I did my homework prior to the purchase and still follow feedback from others.

I find that almost all of the negative reviews, even by some so-called experts, is based on hearsay or what others have posted on various websites.

Everything on my system is standard, off the shelf components with the exception of the manager and the temp sensor. If the sensor fails, the manager goes to a default mode so you don't lose heat or hot water. If the manager fails, there is a device called a service board that allows temporary operation in dumb boiler mode, again so you don't lose heat or hot water. The cost for that board is minimal, in fact I was told they are given free at their training seminars.

Selling through dealers enables the company to pretty much oversee sales/service practices of those dealers, they have direct access to the company for sales, service and installation assistance. There is factory based tech support for qualified service people if they get stuck or just need some advice or general info. Also, by eliminating the middleman (supply house) their pricing is better.

The company will sell repair parts directly to anyone who is qualified to service oil or gas heating equipment, such as an HVAC tech, plumber, electrician, etc. By their dealing directly with the mfr they can also verify their diagnosis and get the correct repair parts. I'd call that really great.

The last comment is regarding cast iron vs steel construction. Steel is much more ductile than iron, so it can expand and contract readily as it heats and cools, does not suffer any damage from periodic cold returns, and can be easily formed to the desired shape. If you look at high pressure steam boilers they are always constructed of steel so that must say something for it.

Any heating system, oil or gas, cast iron or steel should be checked every year, if for no other reason than to ascertain that the safeties work and the vent system is clear and in good repair.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 10:50AM
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jimcolonial

Very nice post dapoppa, annaleef the system does not produce creosote, an oil fired unit burns at near perfect combustion the only thing it will produce is very light soot or ash, system 2000 doesn't recommend cleaning the unit for the first 5 years however the oil filter may need to be changed depending on your oil tanks condition, the unit comes with a gauge that will tell you when its time to change it. A lot of confusion is simply, people just don't know enough about the unit to give a fair opinion, they are top of the line units compared to anything on the market, you simply wont beat the fuel savings or quietness of this system. Im happy to answer any questions you might have or anyone else for that matter

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 7:44PM
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annaleef

Thanks, Jim and Dapoppa, for the additional details.
We pulled the trigger and ordered the system, which will be installed in 2 weeks. We are looking forward to good results, but will pop in again if we have further questions.

You have been very helpful with your first hand experiences.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 10:55PM
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jimcolonial

annaleef, sorry, misspoke about cleaning the unit, it should be checked out yearly for proper operation and peak performance, hope i didn't cause much confusion, i`m glad to hear you went with it you wont be disappointed

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 10:41AM
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chipster_2007

Great review on the Energy Kinetics System but I am told that it does not work well for older homes with radiators. I live in the Northeast and need a new heating system. I did talk with my oil dealer said this could be a problem. However he did say that this unit could be converted to gas if in the future I wanted to convert. Does anyone have any info about how difficult this would be if I went this route? Thanks

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 11:41AM
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jimcolonial

The system 2000 will work well with radiators, you will most likely need an injection loop for the higher volume of water and basket strainers but its not a big deal, as far as converting from oil to gas just a burner change and thats about it

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 8:48PM
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annaleef

New system was installed 2 weeks ago and it seems fine. It is certainly much quieter than our old oil burner. In fact, I hear nothing! With our local oil company, the system manager is covered under the annual maintenance contract, which is only about $20 more than the contract on our old system.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 8:22AM
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jimcolonial

annaleef, Im glad to hear you went with the system 2000, its a great unit and you`ll be very happy with it and more comfortable than ever

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 9:45PM
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baymee

As for steel boilers, as long as they don't leak, they will last indefinitely. It's routine in Pennsylvania to see 50+ year old coal boilers in the used market.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 6:20AM
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chipster_2007

Thanks JimColonial for the info re older homes. I wish I could find people with older homes who have had this installation for a few seasons and how it compares with their old system. I am afraid the heat won't come up fast enough to heat this 8 room home with radiators. I have asked for references but I only obtained 1 thus far.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 12:00PM
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dapoppa

The System 2000 works quite well with radiator systems as long as it is piped correctly. Using a primary/secondary setup allows even heat through all the radiators without overheating any of them or the house.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 9:08AM
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redbaronwww

I have a System 2000 and have noticed black soot on the floors by my baseboards. Any idea what this is from. I called the dealer and was told to replace my chimney liner which I did, but still have this problem.
Help!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 3:18PM
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annaleef

Have no idea - we have not experienced that problem. Good luck on tracking down the source.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 11:25PM
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annaleef

In response to an off-line question that might be helpful to others:

Yes, we installed the System2000 in early October and have been very happy. You can't hear the boiler start and stop and although we don't have a year to year comparison yet, we believe we are burning significantly less oil. The hot water is not a problem. I don't believe one person can run it out of hot water. It fills our 70 gallon whirlpool tub just fine. We often take long showers back to back without running out of hot water. We've had no problem running the DW and washing machine without regard to someone being in the shower.

There are two things that are different about the system.

First, your basement will be cooler since the boiler only runs when heat is called for by one of the zones. If you have exposed copper pipes in your basement carrying the hot water to your air handlers or radiators, it won't be a huge difference, but it will be noticeable.

Second, when a zone calls for heat, cool air will come out of the register for a minute while the boiler heats up. If you sit by one of these registers and it becomes annoying, they can install a thermostat in the air handler so the fan won't start until the air is warm. Better to do this at installation, rather than on a second service call ( although my oil company didn't charge for the followup). This won't apply if you have baseboard hot water.

We like the system, but we bought it mainly for the fuel savings.

We are a three adult family/3,300 sq. ft. single family home in Connecticut with oil fired forced air. We paid $9,045 including taxes and labor installed, but labor costs are high here. Included in that price was an energy tax credit of several hundred dollars.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 10:49AM
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ravi1959

Thank you. That was very helpful.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 5:01PM
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chipster_2007

Could you please comment on your energy tax credits...I was under the impression that there was only a $300 tax credit for the attached water heater. I am unaware of any further tax credits on the new oil fired boiler. Could you comment.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 2:49AM
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zl700

85% + on boilers, all including oil, and listed by Energy Star to qualify for Federal tax credit

http://downloads.energystar.gov/bi/qplist/boilers_prod_list.pdf

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 9:47AM
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dapoppa

You can also find current rebates and credits by state at www.dsireusa.org

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 10:06AM
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chipster_2007

Thanks very much re federal tax credit. The oil company salesperson stated there was only the tax credit on the hot water tank. Annaleef, could you please comment on what type of hot water tank did you get; was it the one sold by energy kinetics or a stainless steel one? Thanks

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 2:57AM
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chipster_2007

Sorry, I may be mistaken but looking at the federal tax credit guidelines, the replacement for oil/gas boilers/furnaces must have an AFUE of greater than 90%. The Energy Kinetics has a rating of 86-87% and DOES NOt qualify. I have called the company on this and they confirm this.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 3:08AM
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dapoppa

It's true that the System 2000 does not qualify for the tax credit, BUT, the money you will save in lower heating costs more than makes up for it. The AFUE system was designed for warm air furnaces, not hot water boilers. Big difference in the way they operate.

Efficiency testing for boilers measures only steady state operation at a temperature that is unrealistically low, not off cycle losses or stack losses. These both have a large influence on total system efficiency but are not figured in AFUE. The typical boiler heats and distributes heart until the thermostat is satisfied then everything just stops, so heat left in the boiler is lost up the chimney.

Warm air furnaces heat up, distribute the heat and cool the furnace down at the end of the cycle. System 2000 does the same so no heat is wasted.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 10:26AM
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annaleef

We kept our old commercial water heater when we had the new system installed. We did get the credit on the bill that I mentioned, but I cannot put my hands on the receipt at the moment to give you the fine print.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:06PM
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ferrucci

Is a System 2000 over kill for a small 2 bedroom (1236 sq.feet) home?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:57PM
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dapoppa

No, it's not. When the thermostat is satisfied, the remaining heat in the boiler is purged to the last zone that was active. That occurs gradually so the zone doesn't overheat. It also means that the time span before the next cycle is longer. My own house has about 1400 sq ft and none of the zones overheats. We have excellent hot water and the fact that it's very quiet when running is a plus because the boiler room is next to our computer room.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 3:10PM
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ferrucci

Thanks dapoppa. I was also concerned that I will be locked into having only my current oil/service provider maintain the unit because no one else is qualified. I did not find the unit or Energy Kinetics on some boiler/furnace review sites. Would you know why?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 3:54PM
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dapoppa

Truthfully I don't. I know dozens of people who had the sytem installed in their homes over the years and haven't heard any really negative comments. I believe a few had some issues but they were fuel quality related and you can have that with any oil system.

The manufacturer is really good at helping techs service the system if they have questions about it, whether they work for a dealer or not. I can service my own because I've been an oil burner tech for 40 years. That leaves me free to buy by price, however, I'm more comfortable staying with the same company and we have a good business relationship.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 8:42AM
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jmerritt_odu_edu

We have had a System 2000 in our 1920s [1800 sq/radiators] house since 2007 and I have kept track of our oil consumption pre and post. We use it for heat and hot water. Our consumption went from about 600 gals/year to around 400 gals/year, a significant savings. It cost us about $8000, but our oil service threw in 5 years of service contract. The only problem we had was from the original "sentinel" monitoring system, which came in through the phone line and was supposed to remotely monitor the system. In fact, as we speak, they are removing the monitor system for good, since it has caused more trouble than is was worth. The boiler, on the other hand, provides near endless, consistent hot water and with a programable thermostat, has kept our house very comfortable in the winter. I would recommend it for older houses that already have a radiator/oil heat system in place.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 2:13PM
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dapoppa

Jane, the Sentinel system that you had the problem with was not made or provided by Energy Kinetics for installation with System 2000. It's not offered by them as an option or add-on.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 8:40AM
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CPAMIKE

I am looking at the system 2000 to replace my Burnam V7H. I would appreciate it if those of you who purchased the System 2000 could comment on the fuel savings, and the annual maintenance costs you have expeerienced.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 7:08AM
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mbp2fla

i put a ek2000 in my home 12 years ago i only had 1 proplem 5 years ago $125 simple fix the system is great & very quiet we have never run out of hot water with 4 people showering in a row. I live in north west NJ and i am moving further west building a new home & guess what looking into another ek2000 even tho the price is $8500 for the furnace & prob another 8k to go hwbb the builder is giving me 4k credit on the goodman oil forced hot air system that was to be put in, needless to say i have been happy for 12 years & going to be a returning ek2000 customer

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 5:37PM
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amazer98

We installed a System 2000 last January to replace the aging Weil-McLean boiler in our 27 year old house. I was sold on the energy-saving theory behind System 2000, along with a number of positive reviews I read on various heating forums.

Obviously, the winter of 2011-12 was a mild one here in southern NH, so it can be a bit tricky to figure out our oil savings on an apples vs apple basis, at least until another couple of years go by.. However, we had an oil delivery at the end of March 2012, so I can compare our fuel usage from then to our most recent filling on Nov.10.

I keep records of all our fillings, and compared this recent period since we started using the System 2000 to several earlier years, estimating consumption for the several days difference between deliveries in one year vs another. On average, we are saving 30-32% over the April thru mid-November timeframe� (about 300 gallons on prior system vs 205 gallons on System 2000). A good chunk of this is obviously used for hot water.

One big advantage of the System 2000 is that it�s unbelievably quiet. It sounds like a microwave when it runs, as opposed to a hairdryer. Since the boiler is right under our living room, that makes a difference!

All in all, I am very impressed with the System 2000. If you gotta burn oil -- and here in New England it the cheapest fuel after natural gas and wood pellets-- this is the best way to go.

By the way, I have no real concerns about what would happen if the Energy manager control panel malfunctioned after the warranty period. Energy Kinetics has a trade-in policy in which you pay some nominal fee for a new or reconditioned board, should it come to that. Our local oil company installs enough of these systems that I'm sure any problems could be remedied quickly. OK, call me naive, but I'm not going to sweat this point.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:22PM
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annaleef

Leatherfan:

In response to your email, yes we did install the System 2000 in October 2009. We have been extremely happy with it ever since.
See our post on February 28, 2010 for more details. Highly recommend the system for efficiency and savings. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 12:40AM
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isavedonheating

Do not listen to the nay sayers on here. Plus, their info dates to 2009. Several oil dealers in NH sell and service Energy Kinetics System 2000. I have saved over $1,700 each year for the past 2 years with the System 2000. After a hefty NH rebate, my net price was about $7,000. Do the arithmetic and tell me this is not a good choice? About a 4 year payback so don't listen to nonsense. I hardly miss what used to be a $4k annual oil bill! All the parts are stock...Beckett, Honeywell, etc. It is advanced but installers must be trained. Just get a few quotes and pick an installer that you feel keeps his team well trained. I went with a reputable oil company and the installers knew what they were doing. If you live for the day and can't wait for the payback and ensuing gravy train of savings, go buy an inferior product that will save money up front being penny wise but be pound foolish in years to come. Btw, the central computer panel has a 5 year warranty. This is the way to go if oil is your only option. Best if you can do System 2000 on natural gas. Propane just as expensive as oil and geothermal is very disruptive with about $25k cost but low operating cost. Payback on geothermal more like 10 years.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 3:54PM
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