Crown Boiler Aruba 4 Review

Summer is over and winter is here. I am sure right now heating your home is the last thing you are thinking about, but you should be. Especially if you know your boiler or furnace is on its last leg. Okay so what’s this all about and what are we going to cover in this review?

This won’t be our only review of this boiler. Boilers are a big expense. The unit costs money and the install costs money. So we understand making a change is a big deal. We are going to be doing on going reviews of this unit to keep you updated on how it has held up over time. We will be releasing another review in the middle of winter, the end of winter and as years go on regarding this boiler. Here’s what we won’t cover, installing the boiler. Boilers aren’t that hard to install, but you are dealing with gas and electricity so our lawyers advised us not to cover that aspect. Okay we don’t have lawyers, but I think you understand. We do recommend using a trained professional who deals with HVAC to install your boiler for you. For this install I used a good friend, Steve with Lazco Industries. Main reason is because he knows what he is doing, he offers competitive pricing and does an awesome job. Now I know other HVAC guys, but for my house, this is the guy I trust. In fact, he was the one who recommended a three zone system. After installing the unit and having three zones, all I can say is it was an awesome recommendation. He also told me about some others things I should and shouldn’t do with the system, which ended up saving me money.

So why are we dealing with a gas fired hot water heat boiler? Two reasons. First, that’s what is currently installed in the house and secondly, I think a hot water boiler system is much nicer than forced air. With forced air you get cold spots in the house. With a hot water boiler, it radiates the heat and you get a much nicer and more comfortable heat in the house. Plus with a boiler system, you can heat your floor or make your household hot water with the addition of an indirect water heater.

So here we are, we’re going to replace our boiler. Once a boiler is installed, it’s pretty much there to stay. It’s not like a picture frame where you can just replace it or move it somewhere else. So when you decide to replace your boiler, you want to make sure you go with a quality boiler and a company that has been around for a while. I did a lot of research on boilers and could have picked from a couple different manufacturers, but I decided that Crown would be the best fit.

Crown Boiler Co is not new to the boiler market. In fact their roots date back to 1949 and they have been a leader ever since. One thing I really like about Crown is their product line. They offer a wide range of products, but not too many where they lose focus of their overall strength. They offer both residential and commercial gas and oil fired cast iron boilers, as well as stainless steel indirect water heaters, hydronic air handlers and warm air furnaces.

Some companies have cool mission statements, but it doesn’t mean anything if they don’t live by the statement. Crown seems to live by their guiding principles which are delivering quality products with outstanding customer service at competitive pricing. Just ask someone who owns a Crown product and I am sure they will agree.

Crown Boiler - Aruba 46I went with the Aruba 4 which is their premium residential gas boiler, it’s the workhorse. Before I go on to talk about the boiler I want to cover one thing you should always be aware of before you buy a boiler and that is BTU’s. If you have an older boiler, chances are your boiler could be over-sized, I know the one we are replacing is over-sized. When talking with Steve he also indicated the same thing. It is a good idea to have your HVAC contractor do a heat loss calculation for your home so that the proper size boiler can be chosen. That’s what I did and found out my old boiler was 160,000 BTU input and has a 128,000 heating capacity which is over-sized for the size of the house. In essence I was throwing money out the vent every time the boiler ran. Crown has eight sizes to pick from ranging from 38,000 to 280,000 BTU Input. The new boiler we are installing has an input of 140,000 and output of 117,000 BTU’s which is a better fit for the heat loss of the home.

Now that I got that out of the way, let’s talk about the Aruba 4. As I said this is their workhorse or premium boiler they offer for the residential customer. Crown designed this for reliability, efficiency and performance, three key words I like. The reason I like this model is because of a couple key features. First, is the cast iron heat exchanger, well when we were taking it down the stairs, I wasn’t too up on the cast iron idea because it’s heavy. One thing to note is the heat exchanger comes with a lifetime limited warranty. For long term use and reliability, cast iron is the way to go. The unit also has an additional circulator output for a second heating zone or for an indirect water heater. This way if I ever want to convert my hot water heater, I am already set up.

Crown Boiler - Aruba 29A couple other features that someone with limited space might appreciate is the controls of the unit are located inside the powder coated steel jacket and you can easily access the control from the front of the boiler. The integrated boiler control with temperature control, relay and ignition functions are all on a single control module. The piping is located on the right side of the unit, but a technician can easily convert the piping to the left side while they are in the field. Another key feature for limited space is the built in rear draft diverter to allow the unit to fit into tight spaces.

For those who want a little more of their unit, you can also buy upgrades to this unit such as:

  • 24 volt low water cutoff
  • Docking station that accepts plug in modules for
    • Low water cutoff
    • Outdoor temperature reset
    • Redundant high limit
Crown after delivery
Crown after delivery

When the unit arrived, it came packaged in a nice wooden crate to help protect it from shipping damage. The unit was also fully assembled and ready to install. We brought it downstairs, took the old unit off, replaced some old piping and installed the new boiler. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well actually it was, well at least for me since I really didn’t do any of the work. Steve from Lazco Industries really did all the work. Steve is one of those guys you wish all your contractors were like. He is very professional, knows his systems inside and out and does a great job. He doesn’t rush the job just to get it done. He came over before the install, looked around and asked some questions to get a better idea of what I was looking to do. He even made some great suggestions about having different heating zones in the house and more. He explained the unit and took me through a tour when it was installed. If you are in the Chicago area and looking for a contractor in the HVAC field, give him a call or check out his website.

Now when I wrote this I tried not to make this sound like a sales pitch because it’s not meant to be one. However it’s hard since I am trying to talk about the benefits of the unit and what made me decide on the Crown Aruba Boiler. As the next review of this unit is released, I will cover items such as noise level, efficiency and more.

Overall I am extremely happy with the unit so far. I have only been running the boiler for a couple of weeks and so far it has impressed me.  The unit seems to be quality and solid. As I indicated I will keep you up to date on the boiler and how it’s been running through the winter and years to come.

 

 

 

15 COMMENTS

  1. That’s one thing we don’t have around here is a ton of radiant heat with boilers around the Metro Detroit area it’s mostly forced air. I had my old furnace replaced with a 98% efficient Train Furnace they had utility rebates, and we had the extra cash to replace it with income tax return money. We got a smoking deal with got a 5 inch media filter an uv air cleaner installed for under 2 grand they really wanted to make the deal it was a slow time I it was the middle of spring so people are not thinking of installing furnaces. Anyhow that comment went longer than expected Sucks your having Issues with your Ford I liked my 06 F150 a little more than the 08 silverado the Chevy had a better engine and ride, but the Ford won in every other area. The Silverado had quite a few small issues with the battery discharging and other little parts causing issues. I lease so I don’t deal with things long term either which helps.

  2. Forced air here in California. I did have to replace my cracked heat exchanger and install a new blower motor. That was fun, but the wife is happy now. No more electricity sucking room heaters.

  3. Thanks for you article. Trying to figure out what boiler to get has not been easy. I found very few articles that helped. One installer likes Dunkirk, one had no preference, and two recommended Crown Aruba. I think it comes down to what supply house a plumber buys from and if they’ve already installed several. The Crown Aruba may be a quicker install. Not sure. Ours will go in this weekend.

    • Thanks for the feedback. So far I have been extremely happy with the boiler. It has been awesome. I love how quiet it is to operate and like the fact that it doesn’t have to kick on all the time.

  4. Eric: Nice review. Not sure if you will see this. I hope you do as I am not a Facebook user or fan. I am commenting from a different country along your southern border. We call it Northwest Indiana.

    I am about to replace an existing UTICA 120K hot water boiler with a new Crown Aruba 4 140K boiler in my 58 year old 1500 SF home with a 1500 SF basement. The contractor/installer claims that our existing boiler is over sized and recommended a smaller 105K unit. We are planning on refinishing the basement for occupancy and are concerned that the smaller unit will then be undersized. There are a few fin tube coils in the ceiling in the basement along the perimeter walls and one down the center. I’m not sure if these were intended to heat the floor or the basement or both. Heat does still radiate up, no? Once we partition the basement the fin tube system may not work well without redistribution or added capacity. Also, we have inefficient windows and questionable R value batt insulation in the walls and attic. Add to that the likelihood of more brutal winters due to global warming swings in the future necessitating 24 hour operation for periods of time to keep up with demand. We experienced this during a two week frigid spell this past winter. One might ask “Why oversize your new unit for a short period of time? It’s expensive and inefficient.” Good question but saving a few energy bucks isn’t worth replacing frozen/broken pipes and a two week stay at the Do Drop Inn motel from hell. I will give this more thought. Anyway, I just wanted to offer a few thoughts about boiler issues.

    I am a licensed architect for 28 years. Prior to that I worked for four years for a Refrigeration/HVAC contractor. As an architect I have worked primarily with Institutional and Commercial projects across the country and internationally. However, most of what I learned about HVAC I learned in that contractor’s shop from guys with a “ski” at the end of their name. I called them The Stashes. One of them, Marty, was 6′-4″ all around. He never met a partition he couldn’t run through and rebuild correctly. I watched him put in Trane and Carrier units as well as Tyler and Hussman packaged equipment rooms. Once he saw me watching him install a door and frame and asked “What are you trying to do, learn something?” I knew immediately we would become great friends. Hats off to all guys who work with their hands and know how to get it done!

    Now, if I can figure out a way to keep my wife out of Home Depot, Lowes, Menards and Ace Hardware I might be able to afford retirement. She suffers from Honey Do Syndrome for which there is only one medicine – yup, more cowbell.

    • Awesome comment and thanks for reaching out. I went with an oversized boiler and if I had a chance to do it again, I would go with an oversized unit. As you said, not recommended but I noticed two things with my boiler. First it doesn’t run as often and if it does need to kick back on, it keeps the heat well and just recirculates the water. Second, I want an oversized boiler as I put on an addition and now I have room for a heated concrete basement floor without any issues. Also if I want to install heated ex to heat other floors in the house, I can do it without any issue or worrying about an under sized unit. More Cowbell, awesome

  5. Thank you so much Eric for your review. I am in the process of replacing my existing possibly 30 yr old gas boiler and I am totally relying on the recommendation of my HVAC contractor and his choice is Crown Aruba 4. A few reviews I read on other sites did not seem very favorable but I realized afterwards that these may have been for different models. I am pleased to see that from the initial post which is dated 2013 (yes?) you’re still happy with how the unit performs 6 years later. Your review sounds very sincere so I hope I am making the right choice going with this unit. Thanks for sharing your experience. It was a very big help and reassured me we’re making the right choice.

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