Hydronics installation drives home energy savings

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The owner of a 2,800-sq.-ft. home in New Milford, Penn., was experiencing uneven heat throughout the residence, limited hot water and high utility costs. The installation of a new hydronic heating system helped drive home significant energy savings and ensure that “no place like home” feeling.

Kirk Walthers, owner of the two-story residence on Main Street, sought a quick solution to alleviate his heating woes – not only for the comfort of himself and his family, but also because he rented space in the home to a hair salon business.

“We had an old steam boiler with a cracked block, and hot water heaters that were not providing adequate warm water,” said Walthers. “We figured it was time upgrade to a more efficient system to make the home more comfortable for us and guests – with the hope of reducing our utility bills in the process.”

image002Walthers contacted Jay Haggerty, owner of Haggerty’s Comfort Plus in New Milford, Penn., to handle the upgrade.

“An older model oil-fired steam boiler had exceeded its useful operating life and was not providing even heat throughout the home,” said Haggerty. “Additionally, an electric hot water heater was aging and inefficient.”

With the city planning to upgrade his neighborhood to natural gas in the near future, Walthers requested specification of a boiler that could operate on propane now and convert to gas later.

Haggerty recommended replacement of the old boiler and installation of a WM97+ 100K BTU boiler from Weil-McLain—a unit that operates via propane or natural gas. The WM97+ is a wall mount boiler featuring a condensing stainless steel fire tube heat exchanger design and up to 95% AFUE.

Haggerty also specified a new Aqua Plus® indirect fired water heater to replace an electric 50-gallon unit.

Haggerty and team removed the old boiler and installed all new connections and ran copper piping in the boiler area. Installing the piping in some areas proved challenging.

“Part of the house was situated over a crawl space and navigating that space was challenging,” said Haggerty. “The house was built on large 8 x 8 square beams all the way around and we had to drill holes to get the pipe and tubing through the spaces.”

Walthers handled the removal of all of the steam radiators himself and Haggerty’s team installed the hot water baseboards.

The entire project was completed in less than two weeks.

“I’ve been using Weil-McLain systems since I’ve been involved in the heating business, and I’ve always liked them,” said Haggerty. The company provides great tech support and we’ve never had any issues with warranties.”

Walthers has experienced several benefits from the new Weil-McLain boiler and hot water heaters.

“The installation was a smooth process,” said Walthers. “And, the new water heater provides enough hot water for us and meets the needs of the salon.”

Walthers also appreciates the improved comfort in the home.

“The new heating system is quieter, takes up less space than the steam unit and produces a much nicer warmth,” said Walthers. “In fact, the house has never before been so comfortable.”

Most importantly, expensive heating bills are a part of the past.

“We’ve experienced drastically lower heating costs since the boiler installation – nearly 50% or better savings on those expenses,” added Walthers. “We actually have a credit on our propane bill now because we had paid ahead.”

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