We bought a historic home in MA about a year ago and just went through our first winter. It's a 2,600sf house and the oil bill is about $800/month, which is extremely high compared to everyone we know. The oil boiler has problems and was supposedly fixed before we bought the house, but we feel that it's time to make a drastic change and convert to gas. The gas line is already brought right next to the house.
We've been getting quotes from 4-5 plumbers and it's been a frustrating experience, because it's almost impossible to make an apples to apples comparison. Some plumbers provide broken out pricing, some don't. None of them discussed equipment brands with us. Can you provide your input on the following issues:
-90% and higher efficiency gas boilers are supposedly more prone to breaking down and more difficult to fix due to electronic parts. Is this true?
-Indirect heater vs. direct? One plumber recommended direct so that we don't fire up the boiler to get hot water during the summer. Others recommended indirect.
-National Grid's "value plus" installers and discounted equipment program. Has anyone done these before?
-We are planning to apply for the Mass Heat Loan program (already had the energy audit done). Anyone with experience with that? The application required heat calculations which no plumber has given to us yet.
Thanks in advance for your input...