Ballpark estimate: $5,000 to $12,000 installed
When your boiler has stopped working and you need to replace it, there are a number of variables that will impact the cost. For instance, is your system hot water or air? A boiler circulates hot water through the baseboard or radiators, while for air, you’ll actually need a furnace instead. You’ll also need to know the size of the area you want to heat, whether the boiler will also need to heat hot water for domestic use, too, and how efficient you want the boiler to be overall.
How a Boiler Works
A boiler is an enclosed vessel that heats water and circulates it through either baseboard or radiators. A boiler also can make steam to enter into radiators and heat the home. While this is not common in new homes, it’s extremely common in older dwellings. The fuel that a boiler uses can be gas, oil, wood, and coal. (Note that oil and gas are the most common, but in rural areas, wood is making a comeback since it’s plentiful and oil and gas can be quite expensive.)
Why Get a New Boiler?
There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to get a new boiler installed. First, boilers are like cars in that the cost and maintenance becomes more expensive as they get older. Old boilers are less efficient and use more fuel. They can also leak and their components can wear out from high heat and deposits left by fuels and hard water. If you have a boiler that is more than 20 years old, it will be 70 percent efficient and large in size. That means 30 percent of the heat generated is wasted. The boilers today are much smaller and can hang on the wall and be directly vented so you don’t need a chimney. The new boilers can also be up to 97 percent AFUE, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
How to Find
When you need a new boiler, you can call your local energy company or a local heating and air conditioning company to handle the task. You can do a search online or look in local directories to find reputable companies that provide this service in your area. Or, you can look online for national companies that have installers who service your location. If you have a boiler brand you like, you can also check their website to see if they have a searchable directory you can use to find installers certified to install their equipment.
Look for technicians who have credentials and training you feel comfortable with, such as through the North American Technician Excellence certification program. Also make sure that anyone you are considering is licensed, bonded, and insured in case any damage occurs during the job.
What is Included
When buying a boiler, you should expect the job to be completed with new fittings, removal of the old unit, wiring of new boiler, and most importantly, having the correct size boiler selected and installed. If the unit is too large or to small for your needs, it will not be efficient and will make your home uncomfortable and cause problems going forward.
Costs for a New Boiler
A standard 80 percent AFUE boiler costs around $2,500 for a gas fired unit and $3,000 for oil fired unit. With installation added (which is required, since most home owners won’t be able to safely install a boiler themselves) the average cost for the complete job would total $5,000 to $7,000. Just keep in mind that if you select a boiler with 80 percent efficiency, while it can be less expensive up front than more efficient options, you won’t be able to receive any incentives from your city or state. In addition, the expense for fuel over the life of the boiler will be higher than other options. If you invest in an energy efficient unit, it may cost $5,000 to $7,500 for the unit, and equal a total cost of $10,000 to $12,000 installed. While the latter is more expensive up front, it can pay off in the end because you may qualify to receive incentives from your state. In addition, a more efficient unit is ultimately better for the environment and can save you money on energy costs over the long term.
Building permits are usually required when installing a new boiler. You can expect to pay from $35 to $400 for permits, depending on your area. The permit is usually in the cost of the boiler, but you may want to confirm with the installer. Also, removal of old oil tanks, if you switch to gas, can be costly and average around $1,000. If the tank is underground, costs start at $2,500 -$5,000. When installing a new boiler, it is also a good idea to replace your old thermostat to a programmable thermostat. This can also save money by not running the boiler when there is no one at home and starting it up a half hour before arriving home. A good programmable thermostat can cost $50 up to $300 depending on the options you would like.
When installing an energy efficient boiler, you may want to check with your city or state to see if there are any incentives or tax credits by buying an energy efficient boiler. In Massachusetts, you can get up to $1,600 back by buying an energy efficient boiler and on top of that, you can get up to $200 from the state to pay for a programmable thermostat. Also, there are no interest loans to upgrade to a new energy efficient system so it will be easier to pay it off the costs over time. In addition, when you look at the long term benefits of having a new energy efficient unit installed, the bottom line is that could save up to 30 percent on your energy bill. This means that the investment will end up paying for itself—and even then some—over the life of the boiler.