I was so excited to get a new boiler. After all, I constantly write about energy efficiency and believe in upgrading to a more environmentally sound and safer system. The tax credit will be handy and, at last, we’ve designed a system where we can shut down certain zones and power up others. We’re saving energy and moving into the 21st century with a boiler that is space-age compared to our old one.

So, imagine my surprise when it fired up and was so loud I stopped speaking while chatting with a friend in my living room. That couldn’t be my boiler, I reasoned. Why would it be so loud?

It turns out that one circulator pump will actually make too much noise and carry too much water if only one zone is calling for heat. Does that mean I want to turn up all the thermostats to quiet this beast? That’s not an energy-efficient solution by any means. It turns out that bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to sizing circulators. The calculations show that our home is on the edge between an 07 circulator and an 08. In this case, we’ll try to make due with the 07, reduce the flow, and see if quiet reigns once again. If not, it’s time to mount the pumps and valves on rubber-backed boards to reduce the vibration. Honestly, who ever thought to ask if it would be too loud? Heed my advice: Listen to the system you buy, ask how loud it is, or have a contractual agreement that says you won’t pay the full amount until satisfied with the operation of the equipment. It’s worth it.