gaw wrote:A few years back I looked into both of these boilers. ... another reason I would have probably taken an AHS over the Axeman had I bought one is AHS will sell direct and Axeman-Anderson will not.
I just went through the process of comparing the AHS and AA boilers and ended up buying the AHS. GAW is correct that AA's distribution is through installing plumbers/dealers---normally. In my case they were not able to identify a contractor serving my area and indicated that they would sell direct.
At quoted "regular" prices I think AHS and AA are comparably priced when feature adjusted. However, as has been noted in another area of this forum AHS has been running a "special" and offering a $1000 discount.
However, as described by Yanche there are some distinct differences--AA has the auger feed system as a standard component while AHS uses hopper feed as the standard component. An auger can be added to the AHS but it is not an option to remove the auger from the AA. My understanding is that AA uses a bimetal heat sensing unit to control the grate--no options--while AHS uses a timer as standard equipment and offers an electronic controller and thermocouple sensor as an option to control the grate. AHS offers a direct drive combustion blower as standard and offers a belt drive system as optional equipment to deal with the problem of regular (estimated to be 3-5 years by AHS) blower motor bearing replacement due to heat degradation. AA has standard a belt drive system--but it is much more complex because it drives not just the blower but also the auger feed and the grate. I understand that it also includes a number of electro mechanical components to change speeds for the auger and grate (because there is a single motor drive) and to cycle the drive (for the grate).
Because the AA has a fixed auger system there is a fixed relationship between the coal supply and the boiler that is not required with the AHS hopper--with the hopper and manual loading there is no fixed relationship between the coal storage and the boiler and even if using an auger with the AHS there can be a fair amount of flexibility because augers are available in a number of lengths and the geometry is flexible in both direction from the hopper and angle of rise to the hopper. With the AA all of these elements are fixed.