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Replace Hot Water Boiler?

We have a 1915 home with the original ARCO Ideal gravity hot water boiler, converted from coal to gas. Knowing the old boiler is not very efficient, we've been considering replacing the old boiler with a newer unit. What recommendations do people have for this?

We've also considered going to a furnace and forced air system, because the cast iron radiators take up so much space. Because they are so bulky, previous owners removed the radiators in both the small master bedroom and bathroom. One heating contractor told us that if we removed the old cast iron radiators, we would actually decrease the value of the house. I'm curious what other people's opinions are on that point.

Of course, if we decide to get a new boiler, we would need to find smaller profile radiators to go in these rooms.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

Re: Replace Hot Water Boiler?


It's amazing a 1915 unit is still in working order.

A unit THAT old usually has a very poor efficiency rating, with at least 1/2 the fuel consumed going up the chimney as wasted heat.

Yes, a new hw boiler is strongly recommended.

Since the Arco is a gravity system, the piping will have to be converted to a pumped/circulator arrangement.

The removed rads can be replaced with baseboard, if desired.

The comments you got from the installer reflects the view of most techs in the industry.

Cast iron rads are excellent sources of both convective and radiant heat & should be saved.

Click onto previous posts by jack the shack and other posters as you "board jump" to HEATING, pages 4 tp 10 below to get a good background on types of boilers and price ranges.

Re: Replace Hot Water Boiler?

Thanks for the post NashuaTech. I found some very helpful posts from JacktheShack.

Yeah, the boiler seems to be in good working order, despite it's age. We had it looked at when we moved in and were told that it could "outlive us". Perhaps it could, but I'm not sure I want the gas bill that goes with it.

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