Cost of a new boiler?

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  #1  
Old 05-20-10, 08:27 PM
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Cost of a new boiler?

Hey everyone. I think that we're going to have to replace the boiler in the house that we just bought sooner than we thought. The house is roughly 1400 sq feet on 2 zones. We currently have a gas boiler and no hat water tank.

I got one estimate from a plumber that was 'somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,500'. Does that sound right to you guys? Seems high to me, but I'm new to all of this....
 
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Old 05-21-10, 03:05 PM
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Doesn't sound too bad, but don't go with "somewhere in the neighborhood", cuz if you do, it leaves you open to all kinds of tacked on charges. Make sure that the proposal/contract spells out EXACTLY what you are getting for the money.

Get a firm price. Get signatures on the work orders.

Get as many proposals as you can. Check references, all that stuff...

If you've got no hot water storarge, and the existing boiler is using the coil in the boiler for domestic hot water, take this opportunity to install a real water heater. Do NOT replace the boiler with the same 'thankless coil' setup. Those coils are the WORST way of making domestic hot water. Probably the best way would be an indirect water heater... this will raise the price up by about a grand, but it is worth it IMHO, especially if you just bought the place and will live in it for 5 years or more.

If I was you, I would probably think about $7500 as being the price point for a boiler and indirect, installed.
 
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Old 05-21-10, 03:10 PM
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OH YEAH, almost forgot...

Do NOT replace the boiler with one of the same size... unless a PROPER HEAT LOSS calculation confirms that it is the correct size. 99% of the installed systems are way OVERSIZED.

1400 sq ft you will probably end up with a heat loss of somewhere around 50-70 K BTU.

If you do go with the indirect, you would want to go with a boiler size that will give decent recovery time on the indirect. So even if the heat loss comes in at say 50K, you might wanna opt for 70K ...

But the bottom line is still, always, DO or HAVE DONE a PROPER HEAT LOSS CALCULATION!
 
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Old 05-21-10, 04:37 PM
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There are boilers that cost $5500. There are boilers that cost $1000.

What boiler?

What else is included? New pumps, near boiler piping? Wiring?

Take your time and do some homework. Do or have done a proper heat loss to size the boiler.

Look into federal, state, and utility rebates in your area at dsireusa.org. They can often make a more efficient boiler worth the extra investment.
 
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Old 05-21-10, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddy1206 View Post
I think that we're going to have to replace the boiler in the house that we just bought sooner than we thought.
Why do you think the boiler needs to be replaced? How old is it? What is the problem with it? What is the manufacturer and model #?
 
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Old 06-15-10, 06:14 AM
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Replace it with an Energy Kinetics System 2000 boiler with a 40 gallon storage tank for unlimited hot water. They run on gas or oil. Most people save at least 30%. Highest ROI { return on investment} out there and you can get a tax credit to boot.

Energy Kinetics - System 2000 Efficient Heating
 
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Old 06-16-10, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 1maytech View Post
Replace it with an Energy Kinetics System 2000 boiler with a 40 gallon storage tank for unlimited hot water. They run on gas or oil. Most people save at least 30%. Highest ROI { return on investment} out there and you can get a tax credit to boot.

Energy Kinetics - System 2000 Efficient Heating
Oh my god, never say unlimited.
In my travels I have seen some huge DHW pigs out there running 16 GPM showers.
a 40 gallon indirect will never handle that.
 
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Old 06-16-10, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 1maytech View Post
Replace it with an Energy Kinetics System 2000 boiler with a 40 gallon storage tank for unlimited hot water. They run on gas or oil. Most people save at least 30%. Energy Kinetics - System 2000 Efficient Heating
I'm wondering, do you sell those particular boilers? I notice from your profile that you are in the HVAC business.

You claim at least 30% fuel savings - but the System 2000 website goes up to 40% savings. Seems like pretty aggresive claims to me.

If my existing boiler is, say, 70% efficient, then to achieve 30% fuel savings, the replacement boiler would need to be100% efficient, right?

According to the System 2000 website, the big savings come from idle (standby) losses that are eliminated with the boiler's cold-start controls. Cold start isn't all that unique. And, anyway, standby losses, at least during the heating season, wind up in the house, displacing heat demand.
 
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Old 06-17-10, 05:26 AM
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Mike Speed,
If my existing boiler is, say, 70% efficient, then to achieve 30% fuel savings, the replacement boiler would need to be 100% efficient, right?
If fuel savings was due to only efficiency your comment would be correct. The truth to the matter is boiler efficiency plays a small part of fuel savings because it changes constantly as water temperature changes while the boiler is running. Cast iron boilers efficiencies actually are affected less than mod/cons. The thermal effciiency of cast iron is actually higher also.
The thermal efficiency, water volume, water flow design, vent temperature, dirt build-up on the heat exchanger, off cycle losses, dirt in gas burner tubes, cycle rate, gas burner tube design, fireside heating surface ratio, oil pump pressure, near boiler piping, combustion air temperature, control strategy all play a part in fuel savings.
Your efficiency may change 5 percentage points but the fuel savings will exceed that. The biggest fuel savings is proper sizing. To remove a boiler that is too large and install a proper sized boiler will save the most fuel. We as an industry put way too much emphasis on boiler efficiency.
The truth about efficiency is how often is it accurate? There are a few percentage points difference between equipment. A bigger problem is how the equipment is maintained. I have been on job sites where the contractors electronic analyzer was turned on the O2 registered 19.6%. It should read 20.9%. What affect does that have on the end result??? If we are adjusting the O2 and it is not right at the start ofthe test how can we be adjusting properly? How much is the efficiency affected?
The location the test is done will also affect the readings. I can take 3 readings in the same hole and it will be different each time. Tests taken higher or lower than center will affect the reading. Not in the center of the pipe with a fan product can also affect the reading. If it is a natural draft product the location in the canopy makes a difference. Each product has a golden spot for testing to get the proper results.
Fuel savings from old to new can very well be 30% when looking at all the advantages of newer equipment. When I worked for the oil company we gaged savings from "K-Factors" which was gallons used per degree days. The average fuel savings was 15% - 25% before doing heat loss calculations. When we started doing heat loss calculation that average went up. We had one customer that saved 70%. The old boiler was 350k and the new one was less than 125K. That played the biggest part in fuel savings.
 
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Old 06-17-10, 02:35 PM
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If my existing boiler is, say, 70% efficient, then to achieve 30% fuel savings, the replacement boiler would need to be100% efficient, right?
30% FUEL SAVINGS... yer talkin' apples and oranges. You can't compare fuel savings to combustion efficiency! They are completely different terms.

If you burned 1000 gallons last year, and installed a system that would save you 30%, you would burn 700 gallons this year.
 

Last edited by NJT; 06-18-10 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 06-17-10, 06:54 PM
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Apples and oranges yes but savings is savings. This is not uncommon. We realize it is not only due to efficiencies. If you change out the boiler and size correctly etc it is not uncommon to save 20%+. There are many factors as I listed above that affect savings but "K-factors tell the truth. When you are comparing degree days and fuel used it is easy to compare. I learned back then if you change a heating appliance and don't save 20% there is something wrong. Many were greater than 20%. You can almost count on the btu reduction is saved fuel. If your new boiler is 30% smaller your savings will just about equal that providing you don't add load like an addition or a higher DHW load.
I had a customer that had an RV6 (160k) in a new 2800 sq ft home, all radiant fired on LP. No indirect. They complained of the fuel usage. The heat loss was 40,880. Changed the boiler to an RV3. The fuel bill in January was just over half of Novembers bill. January was colder than November in south central PA.
 
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