Buderus & Rheem vs Burnham & Bryant

bernerfolkDecember 19, 2007

I'm considering two proposals for the HVAC on my 2200 sf home being built in western MA. The location is remote and very cold and windy so heat is more important than AC. Efficiency isn't my overwhelming consideration as we'll have a masonry heater, summers are pretty short and breezy, and the house will be insulated with cellulose in 2 x 6 walls. What is paramount is comfort, dependability, and durability. I'm planning on oil fired baseboard heat plus central air. I'm comfortable with both contractors and pricing is pretty similar so I'd appreciate any thoughts on plusses/minuses on the following packages:

Contractor A:

Buderus G115/28 boiler with Riello burner

Rheem 2T 14 seer 410A AC

VenMar HRV*

Contractor B:

Burnham MPO-84 with Beckett burner

Bryant 2T 14 seer 410A AC

Bryant HRVBBSVU1150*

*I'm still debating whether to invest in an HRV or do what most people around here do (even those going for Energy Star certification)... put in a couple of good bathroom fans, rated for continuous op, on timers.

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How about a Munchkin boiler. It is so efficient it vents out of pvc pipe. And are those "2" ton AC units? Seems small. I would also go higher than 14 seer.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2007 at 12:17PM
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> How about a Munchkin boiler.

In my neck of the woods, Boderus is borderline exotic. It's important to me to stick with the brands local contractors and service people work with day in, day out.

> It is so efficient it vents out of pvc pipe.

Efficiency isn't my only consideration, especially since we'll have a masonry heater (>90% efficiency and uses a renewable fuel source).
> And are those "2" ton AC units? Seems small.

It's one 2ton AC unit. The house has high shade to the south, 16" over hangs, porch to the west, 2 x 6 construction and cellulose insulation. It's also sited on a hill that's perpetually windy in an area where most people rely on cool evenings instead of air conditioning.

> I would also go higher than 14 seer.

13 seer was the recommendation of both HVAC contractors, I upped to 14 seer for energy star. In my area, the heating season is a lot longer and more extreme than the cooling season. The higher the seer, the higher the upfront cost and the lower the reliabilty. Since I'm working with a limited budget I'm hard pressed to justify going with higher seer.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2007 at 2:48PM
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