Screwed by Sandy: Need a new boiler/domestic hot water heater, might as well upgrade?
I'm excited to be posting here for a first time but sad it's under such circumstances.
I'm looking for advice from a range of professionals as to what to do. Our boiler (63k BTU New Yorker) was completely submerged as were all the controls. Also our 40 gallon hot water heater was submerged (both with salt water). Both were natural gas fired. We also had to tear up carpet (a good time to remodel to hardwood floors) in two of the rooms. The upstairs previously was on one zone and the basement on a separate zone. While we install new floors I figured it would be good to do radiant heating (I'm sure I can install that part myself). Since the whole thing needs to be replaced, should we go high efficiency? Combo unit? Indirect hot water heating? Other? Sky's the limit I suppose? I had one plumber tell us we should upgrade the size to 96k BTU for better performance but the more I read about these systems I'm not so sure that's a good idea. We have 1000 sq ft on main floor with three sides (~95 linear feet of exterior walls and one party wall with a total of ~100 sq ft of windows. In basement we have about 600 sq ft with 16" thick concrete foundation. He justified the bigger boiler by telling me (and 14 other condo owners) that it should be about 50 BTU/sq foot which would give us a need for around 80k BTU. I feel like this might be high based on what I've read here. Thoughts?
Exhaust venting shouldn't be a problem since it's close to an exterior wall if needed. Also, would love to get units off ground as much as possible in case of another 'incident'. There are two bedrooms that I'm putting the radiant in and the living room still has the baseboard (will upgrade living room to radiant when the floor starts to buckle and needs to be replaced/kitchen remodel) so in total it'd be 4 zones (2 radiant + 2 baseboard) (eventually 3 radiant + 1 baseboard). I was planning on using 1/2" PEX in loops of around 300 ft for the bedrooms. Strips of 3/4" plywood over 1/4" foam insulation with concrete filling in around the PEX.
If somebody could help me design a system I'd be willing to pay for that service if it's from somebody I trust but it needs to happen sooner than later as currently we have no heat and hot water up here in NYC and winters'a'comin.
I appreciate the help!