experience comes from bad judgement.
LOL, yes, I'm hoping to benefit a little from the learning curves of others here. Thanks very much for the warm welcome! I should probably give some quick background on my task at hand since some have asked. I'm moving into a well insulated 3000 sf ranch. It has a decent oil boiler (Utica, 12 years old) that runs a half dozen FHW baseboard zones, plus a DHW loop to a superstore (about 100 gal I think). There is a concrete masonry block chimney with three flues right next to it, all have cleanouts. The flue nearest the boiler services that unit, the other two are not being used. Seems like there is plenty of space here in the basement for a second boiler unit to serve as the primary, with the existing oil boiler serving as inline backup during the colder months and DHW only in summer.
I have access to plenty of wood on the property, several cords already seasoned ready to go and a sustainable supply growing. I also know coal sems to be the more higly recommended option
and is doable here in New England. I'd like the flexibility to use both. I've been reasearching (mostly this site), and it seems like either a Harman SF260 or EFM WCB-24 might fit the bill. I'm looking for as solid, reliable "Chevy" type of solution, no need for an expensive/finicky "Cadillac" in order to gain a bit more efficiency.
I need to confirm the chimney flue size to make sure I can get a good liner in there. From what I hear so far, 6" may be too small, so gotta check that out. I'm a jack of many trades, but plumbing/HVAC is not one of them. In addition to boiler comments, I'd appreciate any recommendations for a good dealer/installer. As I mentioned before, I'm not quite moved in yet but starting my homework now while the time seems right.
Wow, just re-read this.. didn't mean to gush on my second post, thanks for bearing with me