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Boilers: Dunkirk vs. Slant Fin -- any...

John_Easley's picture

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I have a great deal of respect for the collective wisdom of the folks on this board, so I'd like to ask for your opinions on a couple of boilers bids I am considering for my home.

The situation: I've got a 45-year-old American Standard boiler in my 90-year-old brick home (approximately 2,900 square feet). The boiler works well, but in January my budget gas bill went from $97 a month to $203 a month (ouch). We're refinancing the house to do some other improvements, so this seems to be a good time to replace the boiler.

I've gotten three bids, all from reputable heating and cooling firms. Assuming competence in sizing and installation, I'd like to see what you think of the boilers (all cast-iron) they are recommending:

The first is Dunkirk (84.4% efficient). I understand this is a Lennox product.
The second is Slant-Fin (82.2% efficient), with a power vent out the side of the house.
The third is also Slant-Fin (82.2% efficient), using the existing chimney to vent the boiler.

The Dunkirk bid is $1,000 less than the two Slant-Fin bids, which are roughly the same ($4,700, give or take a few nickels).

Any words of caution? Any wise questions to ask the contractors? Anything to stay away from?

Thanks for your time.

John

(post #165096, reply #1 of 4)

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John, For years, I used nothing but Burnham or Weil-McLain boilers. Then my supplier started stocking Slant Fins and I installed two of them. I have had more trouble with them than all of the others combined. They sound like the same units you are considering. In my opinion, they are junk. I would never buy another one. I suggest you look at the new hi-efficiency Weil- McLains. They have the bugs worked out of them and they are very good boilers. So are the Burnhams.

(post #165096, reply #2 of 4)

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I concur, Mr. LaLonde -
There are many high-end boilers, especially ones that are made in Germany.
I used to drool over them but have come to appreciate our Burnham gas boiler, which is about 10 years old.
A bigger concern should be how the system is configured and managed/maintained which can make a big difference in the overall efficiency.

(post #165096, reply #3 of 4)

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Thanks, gentlemen. I'll be looking into the Burnhams.

John

(post #165096, reply #4 of 4)

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I have a great deal of respect for the collective wisdom of the folks on this board, so I'd like to ask for your opinions on a couple of boilers bids I am considering for my home.

The situation: I've got a 45-year-old American Standard boiler in my 90-year-old brick home (approximately 2,900 square feet). The boiler works well, but in January my budget gas bill went from $97 a month to $203 a month (ouch). We're refinancing the house to do some other improvements, so this seems to be a good time to replace the boiler.

I've gotten three bids, all from reputable heating and cooling firms. Assuming competence in sizing and installation, I'd like to see what you think of the boilers (all cast-iron) they are recommending:

The first is Dunkirk (84.4% efficient). I understand this is a Lennox product.
The second is Slant-Fin (82.2% efficient), with a power vent out the side of the house.
The third is also Slant-Fin (82.2% efficient), using the existing chimney to vent the boiler.

The Dunkirk bid is $1,000 less than the two Slant-Fin bids, which are roughly the same ($4,700, give or take a few nickels).

Any words of caution? Any wise questions to ask the contractors? Anything to stay away from?

Thanks for your time.

John