New Boiler and Air Conditioning

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Last night, my brother and I tore apart my decades old boiler and hauled every dirty pound of it out of the basement. Then today the nice guys from Uptown Heating and Cooling showed up and spent eleven hours in my house installing a new boiler, water heater and air conditioner. Whew!

Click image to uncrop and embiggen.

The removal of the old boiler was straight-forward, if exceedingly filthy and stinky. Logan brought over enough pipe wrenches that we were able to disconnect all of the hot water pipes. A crowbar and a couple of mauls took care of the boiler itself. We just stacked everything right outside the back walk-out door and the next day we made a scrapper very happy.

At 7:00 am the red shirts started showing up. There were two crews working: one installing the new high-efficiency boiler/water heater in the basement and another, larger crew, installing the air conditioning system. I never really knew exactly how many red shirts there were at any given time. The last one didn't leave until 6:00 pm (and that guy was also the first to arrive - an eleven hour day!).

The air conditioning crew installed a condenser outside, an air handler in the attic crawl-space, five supply lines (three upstairs, two down) and a big return vent. They had numerous problems, most notably was that the air handler they'd originally brought with them wouldn't fit through the small attic access hatch. They had to have the manufacturer send over a different model (similar specs, but in a different form factor). Unfortunately, that didn't fit through the access hatch either. They ended up dismantling it, passing the individual pieces into the attic, and assembling it.

Worst of all was the poor guys stuck in the attic. They were up there for hours where it reportedly reached 130 °F during the peak of the afternoon. Stuck in the super hot attic the blown-in cellulose insulation started sticking to their sweaty clothes and skin, thus further insulating them and making them more and more miserable. Andy ran out at some point and picked up a case of bottled water for everybody.  Fortunately, no one passed out and no one needed medical attention.

Click image to uncrop and embiggen.

The boiler crew had a much better time of it. At least the basement was somewhat cooler. They replaced my decades old boiler and ten year-old water heater with a high-efficiency, all-in-one, on-demand, boiler/water-heater. The initial expense was high, but in the years to come, this thing should significantly reduce my heater bills.

The whole package cost me around $24k. And every day this summer that I've turned on the A/C I've been able to declare that it was worth every dollar.

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