How Much Does A Boiler Cost?
Most homeowners spend between $4,242 to $5,858 nationally.
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A boiler is easily one of the most important appliances in your home. Sadly, this imperative heater can wear over the years. As such, you should review the different types of boilers and the average boiler replacement cost in your city.
If you need a new boiler and heat immediately, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four HVAC contractors in your area for free.
National Install a Boiler Costs
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|National Average Cost||$4,889|
|Average Range||$4,242 to $5,858|
How do we get this data? This info is based on 1328 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.
Table of Contents
- Boiler Replacement Cost
- Boiler Installation Cost
- Boiler Prices By Type
- Cost Considerations
- Best Boiler Brands & Sizes
- Boiler Ratings
- Find An HVAC Contractor
Boiler Replacement Cost
Your boiler replacement cost will largely depend on the type of boiler you used or are now installing. Without labor, boilers cost anywhere from $1,500 to $8,000. More often than not, homeowners will install the same type boiler they previously had. However, some homeowners are moving over to gas boilers or high-efficiency boilers, as they are more effective and save more on energy costs down the line. However, if you do install a different type of boiler, other installation costs will follow.
In addition to material costs, you have to consider labor as well. Boiler installation, while easy when you have one in place, is still a complicated job. In addition to standard replacement, many HVAC contractors check for leaks, move the boiler’s location or test surrounding soil. The removal of your old unit will also be included in labor costs. These all add onto your installation cost, but expect an HVAC contractor to charge between $100 and $200 per hour.
Total Boiler Cost
Boiler Installation Cost
Don’t let that $20,000 price tag scare you. According to ImproveNet data, the average boiler installation cost is $4,889 (total cost), with most homeowners spending between $4,242 and $5,858 for a new boiler.
Boiler installation costs are much lower than $20,000 because more often than not, pipes are in place and your home is equipped with all necessary vents and piping. If you’re building a brand new home, installing an oil boiler in the ground and setting up all HVAC piping can easily exceed $10,000 (thus the high potential boiler price).
Nevertheless, $4,889 is still a lot of money, but when you consider a boiler’s function (heating your home, maintaining heating bills, applying hot water), you can understand where the hefty price tag comes from.
Boiler Prices By Type
As we’ve already touched on, your boiler type will largely affect your boiler replacement cost. Before we jump into gas and oil boilers, we have to go over three primary boiler types and their costs.
Combi (Combination) Boilers
If you rent or own a small apartment, chances are, you’re working with a combi boiler. As the name suggest, combination boilers provide hot water and heat on the fly. There is no waiting for hot air or hot water.
Combi boilers are smaller than other types. Therefore, they make perfect sense for smaller properties. The water is not stored like other boiler types so you don’t have to run the hot water before actually receiving it. Despite the increased efficiency, combi boilers are usually cheaper than other models and typically cost between $1,000 and $2,000. This is just the cost of the boiler and does not include any labor costs.
If you have more than one bathroom, you need at least a system boiler. These boilers come with a hot water tank, but all other components are built into the boiler. Fewer materials mean shorter installation times and thus, decrease your labor costs.
A major advantage of system boilers is that it maintains the water pressure. Therefore, you’ll get a steady stream of hot water even if multiple showers are running at once. System boilers are very economical and are compatible with solar water heating systems.
Because system boilers are typically used in average-sized homes, their cost is a bit more than combination boilers. System boiler prices range from $1,400 to $2,400.
If you own a home, chances are, you have a regular or conventional boiler. These boilers are ideal for larger homes or homes that use a lot of hot water at the same time. Additionally, if you have an old radiator system or are replacing a regular boiler, you’ll have to install the same type moving forward.
Because standard boilers can handle more pressure, they are on the expensive end of the boiler spectrum. Regular boiler prices range from $3,000 to $7,500.
Boilers Vs. Water Heaters
As you’ve already read, boilers and water heaters provide similar services. Boilers can heat your home and your water, while water heaters just warm up your water.
Water heaters are typically storage tanks that contain hot water. Tankless water heaters are gaining steam, but they serve the same purpose. As hot water leaves the tank, it automatically fills it with fresh water that is heated. Because water heaters only deal with water and not your home’s heating system, replacement costs are less. The average hot water heater installation cost is $881.
On the other hand, a boiler provides hot water and heat throughout the home. For water, it can deliver hot water or steam. Steam heats up much quicker and requires less energy. Therefore, your energy bills will be less with a boiler compared to a furnace and hot water heater.
Oil Vs. Gas Boilers
Most boilers need some type of fuel to keep them running. The most common fuel types are oil and natural gas, although propane is also used on occasion. These fuels can be expensive and especially pricey if your boiler is outdated or inefficient.
Oil boiler prices are overall more expensive. The boiler itself may be close to the price of any gas boiler, but outside factors such as cleaning, repairs, cleanup and groundwork repair can greatly add to your overall oil boiler price.
Besides material and installation costs, more often than not, other costs will pop up with any boiler replacement or installation. To avoid any surprises, consider the following prices before any boiler replacement:
Changing Boiler Types
As we said earlier, gas boilers are more efficient and will most likely save you money on heating costs down the line. Therefore, many homeowners replace their oil boiler with a gas-fueled boiler. If so, you may come across some additional costs:
- Gas Hookup Cost: $750. The contractor has to add a connection from the house to the meter if it’s not already set up. They may also have to add gas piping.
- Chimney Liner: $1,000
- Oil Boiler Removal: $500 - $3,000. If the tank is buried, it will cost more to remove and clean up.
Despite these added costs, heating oil is one of the most expensive heating sources. Additionally, maintenance costs are general more. Therefore, while the transfer to gas may seem high at the beginning, it will most likely save you money in the long run.
The average boiler repair price is $340, but your costs will largely depend on what part is broken and the type of boiler. Replacing leaking, aging, or bad ductwork costs an average of $35 to $55 per linear foot for labor and materials, depending on the length and type of ducts.
Chances are, if you own an oil boiler, your repair costs could exceed $500. Sadly, more expensive boilers come with more expensive repairs.
On the bright side, there is a cheaper alternative for all boiler repairs and replacements. More often than not, a home warranty will cover HVAC repairs and replacements. If you purchased a warranty with your home, review it before you call an HVAC contractor. If it’s covered, you could save yourself thousands of dollars.
Furthermore, many boiler manufacturers offer warranties on their products. We recommend adding a warranty to all large appliances, including boilers. If you need, check it and see if repairs, replacement and maintenance is covered.
No matter what type of boiler you own, regular maintenance is key. Whether it’s just checking for leaks, looking for error codes or monitoring your heating costs, regular maintenance will help your boiler last. The average boiler lifespan is 15 years, but with good maintenance, many last for over 30 years.
Check out a full boiler maintenance checklist.
Replace Or Repair Boiler?
The final cost consideration is a big one. All appliances need to be replaced eventually. The tricky part is determining when. Fortunately, there are a few easy signs to help you decide one way or another:
- Lifespan: If your boiler is more than 15 years old, you may want to consider replacement.
- Number of Repairs: Have you noticed more repairs coming up lately? Eventually, it doesn’t make sense to repair an old boiler. After all, why spend $500 on a repair if other issues might pop up next month? With the average boiler installation cost just under $5,000, eventually, it makes sense to buy a new boiler.
- Maintenance: Have you neglected your boiler for 10 years? If so, chances are, there are a few problems. As such, it may make sense to buy new.
- Heating Bills & Hot Water: Have your heating bills skyrocketed? Does it take longer to get hot water in the bathroom? If so, your boiler could be dying. In addition, if you added walls or more square footage, your old boiler may not be able to handle the extra space. Therefore, you should buy a new boiler that is powerful enough to handle your home.
Best Boiler Brands & Boiler Sizes
There are hundreds of boiler brands out there. Rather than share the entire list, we thought we’d find the best boilers on the market, reviewed by actual homeowners using them. According to Furnace Compare, who looks at reviews and ratings for all HVAC products, the following brands produce the best boilers on the market.
- Triangle Tube
- Heat transfer products (HTP)
Furthermore, Furnace Compare also looked at the top individual boilers. Below is their 2016 top boiler list:
- Lennox GWM-IE
- Bosch Greenstar
- Slant/Fin Sentry
- Heat Transfer Products Elite FT
- Westinghouse Combi Boiler
- Triangle Tube Challenger Solo
- Buderus G215
- Burnham Alpine
- Triangle Tube Prestige Trimax Solo
Even if you have all money in the world, it still does not make sense to purchase an extremely powerful boiler if you don’t need it. Besides wasting money on the purchase, you’ll be wasting money every month as you pay for higher utility bills.
So, how do you determine what size boiler to buy? If you’re replacing your boiler and have not added any square footage to your home, then you can probably buy the same size boiler. However, if you’re building a new home or adding a boiler for the first time, there is a simple calculation to determine the size of your boiler.
As our friends at HomeAdvisor pointed out, first determine your home’s square footage. If you live in an older home, multiple that number by 55. If you live in a newer home (less than 10 years old), multiply by 35. That numbers tells you how many BTUs (or power) your boiler needs to have.
Before you install a new boiler, besides BTUs, all homeowners need minimal knowledge of boiler ratings. More often than not, the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating is the key metric. This rating measures the ratio of the boiler's annual heat output compared to the amount of fossil fuel energy it consumes annually. For example, if a boiler has an AFUE of 90%, that means 90% of the fuel is used to heat the home while 10% escapes from the chimney, windows and walls.
The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the boiler's operation. To be considered a high-efficiency boiler, it needs an AFUE rating of at least 90%. To no surprise, these boilers cost more because they are converting more energy to heat and lowering your monthly utility bills.
Nevertheless, besides the unit’s AFUE rating, there are other factors that can affect your boiler’s usage:
- Windows & Doors: If any are not sealed properly, heat leaves your home and cold air enters. Basically, you’re asking your boiler to do extra work (costing you more).
- Insulation: Again, if you have poor insulation, your boiler needs to work harder, costing you more every month.
- Ductwork: Improper ductwork can lead to 50% wasted energy.
Find An HVAC Contractor
A boiler is responsible for providing heat, and sometimes hot water, to your entire home. Sadly, their average lifespan is 15 years and as such, have to be replaced once in a while. Knowing all boiler costs above, you’re ready to find and install a new boiler in your home.
If you need help along the way or want to see if your boiler has seen better days, let us help you find reliable and trustworthy HVAC contractors in your area.