Whats the most I should spend on a new boiler?


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Old 02-19-09, 05:56 PM
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Whats the most I should spend on a new boiler?

I know it's probably brand specific. My neighbor just had their boilder replaced and spent $4500, they have the exact same heating system (and old boiler type) as I do. I didn't catch what type of boiler they purchased. The heater we have is a bryant heater old model 234 4pw. 6 hot water radiators in a 2 story twin house. This house used to have 7 radiators so this heater is probably too big for the house now. We live in Philadelphia, it's a natural gas boiler.
 
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Old 02-19-09, 08:26 PM
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Boiler cost

Your neighbor got pretty much a bargain basement boiler if it was professionally installed. How much you spend is for the most part up to you. Obviously if you intend to move in the next 5 years you would probably want cheap & without huge regard for efficiency since in that short time you probably would not recover the extra expense. On the other hand if this is a lifetime home you probably would want to look at some higher end stuff. You should do a heat loss calculation (Manual J) to determine what size boiler you need.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 12:09 AM
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Try and only spend it once. If you go with a cheap install and have major issues down the road, the next guy will want to come in with a sawzall and start from scratch.

All the little things add up and that's what makes it tough to throw around numbers.

A good system can easily be $10K, but every area has different costs.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 06:51 AM
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And put as much effort/research into the installer
Make sure they are very experianced with the unit they are installing
If they give you a good price, but don't have much experiance with it, can be as detrimental as over spending on a high end boiler
 
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Old 02-20-09, 09:52 AM
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definitely depends if you are moving in the next 5-10 years. (cheap vs right) I got 3 estimates for my low mass. The two from the 'big oil dealers' in my area were about $6500 and somewhere around 7500-8000. Then i was talking to my barber and he said hey, i just had a guy install mine 3 years ago and had no problems at all. The contractor was in the biz for many years and even let me go to his house to look at his system. (doubt a rip off artist will show me where his family lives)

Sure at 8500ish he was the most expensive, but i'm pretty sure he did a more conscientious job than the big chains did. PLUS the big chains all wanted to oversize the new boiler and just measured my baseboard and told me 'i must have that big a boiler or else it won't heat the water'

boy were they wrong. I got a smaller boiler and am just fine with it (after a few more wrinkles are ironed out )
 
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Old 02-20-09, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Binxalot View Post
The heater we have is a bryant heater old model 234 4pw. 6 hot water radiators in a 2 story twin house. This house used to have 7 radiators so this heater is probably too big for the house now. We live in Philadelphia, it's a natural gas boiler.
Why, exactly, are you intending to replace the boiler? It's very possible that it's oversized, but you (or somebody) needs to run a heat-loss analysis first (a 1-2 hour job, with a computer program, e.g., Slant/Fin), and compare that to the boiler output.

Even if it is oversized, you may not achieve a reasonable payback period for the cost of a replacement boiler. You need to estimate the annual fuel cost savings, and divide that into the expected boiler replacement cost. That will give you an estimate of the payback period, in years.

As a preliminary "sanity check," figure out about what you're paying per year for space heating, excluding any cooking or water heating. Then, estimate what you would hope to achieve in fuel savings, percent-wise. 10%?, 20%?, 30%?, or whatever. Or, go ahead and assume 50%, which is extremely optimistic. Let us know what you come up with.

If the payback period is less than 10 years, or so, there may be other, more secure, investments that would be preferable.
Doug
 

Last edited by gilmorrie; 02-20-09 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 02-22-09, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by gilmorrie View Post

If the payback period is less than 10 years, or so, there may be other, more secure, investments that would be preferable.
Doug
The standard recommendation to seal up the house is wise. Unsure of the age of the OP home, but chances are there are a few air leaks around. In my older home under each window the wood pulled away from the plaster and you could feel tons of air coming in when they did a blower test. I sealed that up this year and it's a very noticeable difference. And you can do much more than that of course.
 
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Old 02-22-09, 01:53 PM
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We just replaced our 20+ year old Burnham V-14 boiler in our small, 1200 sq ft house with an EK System 2000 low mass boiler. Keep in mind, we live in central Alaska, where things are usually more expensive, but our install cost $9200. Luckily, the State paid for some of that with an energy efficiency rebate program. Needless to say, boiler installers are very busy up here this year.
 
 

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