A while back we did an introduction to our Crown Boiler project. We had an older boiler from the 60's that was over-sized and it was time to replace the boiler. After doing some research, I went with a Crown. Mainly because they have been in business for a long time, their competitive pricing and high customer satisfaction. So this update isn't going to be about the unit's features and benefits as that was covered in the previous article. This time I am going to talk about what I like and don't like about this unit, well what my wife doesn't like about this unit.
From my understanding boilers are pretty basic in how they work. However I truly don't understand except that they have burners that heat up water and a pump that moves it throughout the house. The house stays warm and I am happy. One thing you have to understand is my house was built in 1924, so as you can assume, there isn't any insulation. The house is a balloon construction, so certain areas I was able to blow insulation from the attic down the walls, but obviously not where the windows or other headers are located.
Boiler Control Panel
Not that I use this panel, but I love having it. This will allow me to make adjustments and help trouble shot any problems. Again, the boiler is new and I haven't had any problems with the unit. My old boiler had problem after problem. Unless it was the pump or pilot, I really had no idea what was causing any problem.
My old boiler had a huge pump and it always had problems. Another thing to note, it was noisy when it ran. On the Crown, the pump is much smaller and you really can't even hear it running. In fact, when Steve first turned on the boiler, I had to ask when he was going to hook up the pump. After he told me it was running and I put my hand by the pump, I knew it was running. I love not having to listen to a pump running.
My old boiler, when it fired up was loud and would run for a long time. It seemed like the burners were running for a long time before the pump even heated up and started moving water. Once the pump finally started moving water, the burners would stay lit. This was a sad noise for me because I could just picture my wallet getting smaller every minute.
The Aruba is amazing. First, when it starts up, you can barely hear it. I have no idea how long it takes for the pump to kick on because it's quiet. I haven't timed the boiler, but it seems like it only stays on for a couple of minutes and then kicks off and the pump does the rest. I love it. One cool feature I have noticed with this boiler is how it's efficient. After the boiler kicks off, if one of the zones calls for heat, the pump will kick on and move the hot water to that zone. It doesn't have to heat up the water again when there is already hot water sitting around.
My old damper system, well it didn't have one. So when the furnace was sitting idle, cold air would come down the chimney and enter the room. With the new boiler, there is a damper that automatically opens and closes. This is nice because I never feel that cold area around the boiler when it's not running.
Okay, so what don't I like about this boiler? Well nothing. I love this boiler and I am so happy I went with Crown and the Aruba. On the other hand, while my wife likes the lower bills, she still needs to get use to the noise level. Our old boiler had many problems. So when she turned up the heat, she could always hear the old boiler kick on and she knew it was working. With the new boiler, when she turns up the heat, she can't hear it kick on. She has to get use to the fact that this boiler will just work and she needs to trust it's running. I know after some time, she will forget about it and just know it is working.
So what about our heating bill? It's still a little hard to say at this time. First, our winter has been pretty cold this year. Second, we have a wood burning stove upstairs we used a lot last year. It was much cheaper using the stove than the old boiler, plus the old boiler was loud. This year we have been using the boiler much more since I know it is much more efficient than the old one. Now that it's cheaper to run the boiler than buy wood, it's nice to just set the thermostat and not have to worry.