Combi units--ROI in my lifetime?

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Old 11-19-12, 08:50 AM
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Combi units--ROI in my lifetime?

My 1000SF cottage has a standard cast iron hot water boiler on nat. gas and a very small electric water heater. I'm planning to change out the HWH for a standard 40G gas model but before I invest a cent I'd like to know about how much a combi unit costs. I wasn't aware of them until a few days ago when I saw one on Ask This Old House.
I'm assuming for occasional use (and even less in winter) it won't really save me any money in energy but some day I may decide to retire to this house. I'm not looking for exact numbers--ballpark is fine to give me a feel of what to expect. If crazy expensive I'll probably just stick with what I have til it dies.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 08:52 AM
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I have no idea what the cost of the combi will be, but might not be worth the cost if you don't need to replace your current boiler. Why not use an indirect water heater to replace your electric one?
 
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Old 11-19-12, 09:23 AM
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People on natural gas most often use a stand-alone gas-fired hot water heater rather than an indirect tied to the heating boiler. 40-gal gas water heaters, with DIY installation, are about $250 or so at big-box stores.

My impression is that combi units, often wall-hung and built as an integrated appliance, have not yet achieved much of a market share in the U.S. They seem to be mostly imported from Asia or Europe - not sure if they all have good repair and parts support in the U.S. No telling what kind of spiffs were given to feature the combi on the TV show.

As Drooplug says, it is virtually impossible to achieve a reasonable paypack replacing a boiler that still works, even for an installation that is used for full-time occurpancy. Boiler salesmen will often disagree.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 11:03 AM
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Kind of what I assumed.

As for the indirect water heater--I did consider it until I saw that the tank/heat exchanger costs double what I would pay for a regular gas HWH.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 09:38 PM
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Just bought a bosch combi...$2600. Parts for it for the install..... at least $800.

Figure your local labor rate plus their write up. At least 8k plus.

But I am sure there are contractors that will price it at 15K and higher.


IMO more stuff to go wrong. Unit is full of wires , sensors, etc.... PITA to install too. I would never own one.
 
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Old 11-20-12, 06:16 AM
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As for the indirect water heater--I did consider it until I saw that the tank/heat exchanger costs double what I would pay for a regular gas HWH.
They are more expensive but will last a lifetime.
 
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