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Published: Thursday, 12/14/2006

When Heating the Home, Sometimes 'Less Is More'

(NewsUSA) - As domestic fuel costs continue to soar, a growing number of homeowners and builders are discovering the value inherent in the "less is more" principle when it comes to home heating and hot water appliances.

Europeans have been enjoying wall-hung boilers, such as the environmentally friendly Baxi Luna, for years. The size of a kitchen cupboard, these boilers provide 86 percent to 99 percent efficiency.

Wall-hung boilers are right for the times, says Scott Torvinen, president of the mechanical contracting firm Stout Mechanical in Duluth, Minn.

"We installed our first combination heating and domestic hot water boiler a few years ago, and people really like them," Torvinen said. "They are quiet, perform very reliably and can help reduce utility costs significantly."

Stout Mechanical installed a Baxi Luna in each unit of Duluth's Keene Creek, an upscale townhome community. The compact boiler supplies each home with in-floor radiant heating and tankless, on-demand hot water.

"Most architects plan mechanical rooms, but we are convincing them to free up that space," Torvinen said. "With the high square footage cost of real estate, it just makes clear sense to convert storage areas into usable living space. This appliance made such a positive impression on homeowners in the first phase of 25 townhomes that the builder included this compact boiler in blueprints for subsequent developments."

A wall-hung boiler is appropriate for hydronic forced air applications or radiant heating systems.

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