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Old 11-06-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
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Default Boiler in the garage- Is this normal/OK?

So I looked at a house today that had an attached 3 car garage that had a newer gas boiler installed in the garage. The house has baseboard heat throughout and with an indirect water storage tank is inside the house. I poked around on the internet and it seems like some people like it in the garage (for example space considerations), others don't.

What's the consensus on this? I don't know HVAC, so my opinion doesn't really matter, but I feel like it would be very inefficient running from the boiler to the tank, and from the boiler running harder by being in the colder garage. Unfortunately, this area got hit pretty good by the snow storm and the whole area hasn't had power in over a week, but the house and garage didn't seem that cold. This is in New England (specifically Longmeadow MA). Are there any insurance considerations possibly increasing my rate because of the furnace being in the garage. I also don't want to spend a fortune to move the thing 10 feet inside the actual basement.

I can also think about boxing out where the boiler is and making it a utility room. It's in the back corner of the garage, not in the way of anything so it should be relatively easy to do. It could also use some bollards for protection as I don't remember those being installed, but that could get tucked inside the wall.

I'm trying to decide between this house and a house two streets over that is a similar size, bedroom layout, price, and condition, except it only has a 2 car garage, has a dedicated utility room in the basement, but unfortunately it doesn't have an open floor plan.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:50 PM   #2
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My boiler is in a small concrete room off the garage, with a door in case I want to close it. Tough to call relative efficiencies, since it's the only place the boiler's been since I've been here. My insurance company doesn't seem to care(if they even know). The fact that it's isolated from the living space MIGHT make CO infiltration less likely - don't know, detectors have never gone off.

One big "HOWEVER" - heated garage if the room is left open. Lowest Temp I've seen out there is around 45* overnight - even in one of our week-long 20-degree-high stretches. No ice on the windows, or in the wheels. Let it sit closed overnight, and working in Jan/Feb is sweatshirt, no-gloves OK. If I'm paying an extra $20-30/month for that, I think it's a pretty good trade.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:03 PM   #3
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True, that's a very good point.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:37 PM   #4
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I'd give my left nut for a heated garage.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfred18t View Post
(...) a house two streets over that is a similar size, bedroom layout, price, and condition, except it only has a 2 car garage, has a dedicated utility room in the basement, but unfortunately it doesn't have an open floor plan.
So, this house has a larger garage and a more open floorplan, and the other one has a smaller garage and a floorplan you like less, but the boiler is in a better location?

No brainer. Even if there were a problem with the boiler being in the garage (which I doubt) that's something you could fix with relative ease. You can't easily change the layout of the interior or the size of the garage.

In both FL and CA (where we don't have basements) it's normal for the furnace / HVAC unit to be in the garage, typically either standing upright in a corner or suspended horizontally from the ceiling.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:51 AM   #6
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That is true, those are things I can't easily change. Fortunately my dad does construction so he can build an addition with another garage, but it still isn't cheap even if I only pay materials. There are also other differences, but I feel that the houses generally cancel themselves out

2 car garage house:
-has new windows
-may need roof in 5 yrs
-bigger lot
-older boiler and water heater
-new driveway
-needs retaining wall
-needs new sidewalk and stairs
-kitchen is in better shape than the other one
-laundry room is in the garage
-listed for $5k cheaper than the other

3 car garage house:
-newer roof
-old, possibly original windows
-small awkward kitchen
-the third bay can only be accessed from the outside
-needs driveway
-needs retaining wall
-needs new sidewalk and stairs
-2nd bathroom is very old, and the hot water tank and laundry is in that room lol

This is just off the top of my head and there is more stuff to compare the two, but alas my due diligence has cost me the three car garage property. Someone must have put an offer on it Sunday and I'm kicking myself in the *** for it. Now I'm not sure if I should move ahead on the other one. There's an offer on the two-car garage property too (either submitted last night or this morning). I have until tonight to make an offer on it, but I might lose that one too. Bummer..
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