Hi everyone - first post from a new member. I've been a fan of TOH for years, been a subscriber to the magazine and sometimes a lurker on the website.
My 35 y/o oil-fired Weil-McLain furnace/boiler died yesterday. The boiler produced hot water for our home, and also ran our baseboard heat. I need to replace the furnace, but here is the wrinkle when it comes to choosing a HW heater: we heat our 2800sf home with wood during the Maine winter, and our furnace only heats the second floor... and even then, only on the coldest nights. It DOES heat the entire house if we go on vacation during the winter, but we literally use the baseboard system so infrequently that we need to purge the air from the system every fall as our baseboard pipes become air bound from lack of circulation.
I would rather not draw HW off the furnace if possible as it seems that we'd just have the same expensive setup: another oil-fired HW heater. I'm not sure which system (tankless, indirect, or standard heater/tank) will be the most effective/efficient. Also could use some advice on fuel - we have a propane tank for our range (but no natural gas availability), an oil tank, and 200-amp residential service. About the only thing I've ruled out is an electric tankless system. Currently have three BRs and two baths, planning on adding a master suite next year.
I'm leaning towards an indirect setup, but I'm not familiar with the pros and cons. Any advice you can give will be gratefully heeded!