A professional mechanical engineer, Morton did plenty of homework before choosing the gas or propane-fired Baxi boiler, as an alternative to oil heating and a separate hot water tank.
"I couldn't believe how small my Baxi is," says Morton. "It's no bigger than a bread box.
"So, I put it to the test throughout this past winter, and there's no looking back. It far exceeded my expectations, and so I installed it," he says.
"Before the Baxi Luna, I have had everything from a combination oil-hot water baseboard, a stream system, and even a wood-burning furnace. In my previous home, I could hardly wait for that moment in spring when I would finally get to turn off the groaning oil furnace in my cellar."
"This is by far the best heating system I've ever had," he says. "I am delighted with it. For starters, it is a combination heating and hot water system, saving me money on my heating and hot water bill.
"With the Baxi, natural gas or propane is as efficient as oil heating in this market. The unit makes absolutely no noise. It takes up such little space. Plus, the only exhaust is vapor, so it is not polluting the atmosphere."
Environmentally FriendlyThe environment-friendly benefit of Baxi Luna served as an impetus to Coastal Winair, which began distributing Baxi Luna in Maine and New Hampshire in 2002. In fact, the Biddeford-based heating equipment specialist sold 250 Baxi units last year and expects to sell another 600 this year.
"Our breakthrough project was the Highland Green project, a 600-unit gated retirement community with 2,000 to 2,500-square-foot single-detached homes, located in Topsham, Maine," says Coastal Winair president Andy Holmes. "At our first meeting with the project coordinator, it was clear that Hyland Greens is an environmentally friendly project.
"We were able to demonstrate that Baxi's energy efficiency, green feeling, and low installation cost makes this gas- or propane-fired combination system very affordable and very desirable for the new development," says Holmes. "This is certainly a home heating system that appeals to a fixed-income budget."
The compact boiler is no bigger than a small kitchen cupboard, he says, measuring 30 inches high, 18 inches wide, and 14 inches deep. It operates with a "sweet spark" and soft light burner technology designed to provide quiet operation and a gradual lighting of the flame. A continuous electronic flame modulation regulates the flame of the burner to the output needed by the user.
"The Baxi's fully modulating ability only supplies the Btu needed to keep the home in its comfort zone. This is why real savings are achieved by Baxi owners," Holmes says.
A strong advocate of the Baxi Luna is Coastal Winair dealer Jerry Guertin, the mechanical contractor of the Highland project. As head of Jerry's Plumbing & Heating in Biddeford, Guertin was initially taken aback by the size of the Baxi.
His initial trepidation was replaced by enthusiasm for the system during a Baxi Luna installation and service maintenance training session.
"As the one-day training session moved on, I could hardly wait to get out and show people how great the Baxi Luna is," he says. "I am totally impressed with the capabilities of this powerful system. It is built to last in the toughest of winters. And, I have not yet had a complaint or a service call since installing the Baxi Luna."
Guertin is especially pleased with the enthusiasm that his customer Dana Morton has for the Baxi Luna. "Mr. Morton brings family and friends over to showcase the product and what it means to him," Guertin says.
"I get calls from family members and friends who want to come over and check out my combination heating-hot water boiler system," says Morton. "It is always fun to see the look on someone's face when they see my Baxi Luna for the first time. Frankly, I never thought seeing a home comfort system would be a primary reason for visiting someone."
Growing Builder And Installer ConfidenceThe success of the Highland project has stimulated interest among other builders in Maine and New Hampshire. Coastal Winair dealers like Guy Poirier of Guy Poirier Corporation in Scarborough are busy installing the Baxi Luna in developments like the Dunesgrass Country Club project by Barbara Bouthet Inc. in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Other sites include the nearby Fairway Ponds by The K-Land Partners, as well as The Balantyne Project, an assisted community for the elderly by KDA Development in Scarborough.
"Most of our builders are initially skeptical, but once they get to know and appreciate the tangible benefits of Baxi Luna, the demand for this product soars," says Porrier. "I can install this Baxi wall-hung boiler in half the time that other boilers are installed. Plus, the Luna takes up a space of just 9 square feet, as opposed to a normal 100-square-foot heating allowance. At a building cost of say $100 a square foot, that represents a value added of $9,000 to a builder. It also represents more living space to a homeowner."
Mike Thomas, president of Marathon International, the exclusive North American distributor of Baxi products, notes that Baxi is approved by the American Gas Association (AGA) and the Canadian Gas Association (CGA).
"It is gratifying to see how our Baxi distributors like Coastal Winair are earning the trust and confidence of contractors, builders, architects, designers, and homeowners throughout North America," Thomas says. "It is profitable for everyone, saving enormous installation time for mechanical contractors and enormous energy and cost savings for homeowners."
To learn more about the boiler system, visit www.wallhungboilers.com.
Publication date: 10/27/2003