I have an oil fired hydronic heating system in my 1600 sq foot, 70+ year old house in Annapolis, MD (moderate climate, hot summers, some snow in the winter). I would classify the insulation as resaonable. A good portion of it has been replaced with pink fiberglass and I'm eliminating as many drafts as I can (replacing windows, weather stripping, new insulation, etc). The boiler is about 20 years old and am considering replacing it. The same boiler also supplies domestic hot water. We've only lived here one year so I don't have much history with this particular system. Any advice or answers to these questions are appreciated.
1) It makes a loud noise and vibration when it shuts off. It seems to be getting worse. Is this normal or a bad sign?
2) It seems to burn about 150 gallons of oil per month during heating season which seems high to me. Does anyone have any rules of thumb on how much oil I should be burning or how boiler efficiency degrades over time? This would help determine how much of a decrease in oil consumption I could expect if I replace it and what the payback period would be.
3) There seems to be a big variation in temperature from the first floor to the second floor. I'd like to separate them into 2 zones. All the pipes lead to the basement so the plumbing won't be that difficult. I can't imagine the control system being all that complicated either but is it a standard type of thing or would it be completely custom to run both zones off one boiler?
4) I am also considering adding radiant floor heating in one of the bathrooms when I redo it. I'd like to embed the tuding right in the tile floor when I level it. According to the thermometer on the boiler, it runs at about 190 degrees F which I believe is too hot for that type of radiant flooring. Does anyone have any experience tying these two kinds of systems together.
Thanks in advance...
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