When your home heating system isn’t really getting hot anymore or the unit fails to even come on, and you’ve checked the thermostat and the pilot light, you may be ready for a boiler replacement.
Before you order a new unit from a catalog or website, you’ll want to consult with a boiler replacement professional to ensure that you’re selecting the best and most cost-efficient model for the size of your home and geographic region. Below we will discuss the costs involved in replacing various different types of boiler.
Before you begin hunting for a new boiler, though, make sure you are up to date with the average cost to replace a boiler so you can avoid overspending. It would also be wise to brush up on your HVAC terminology so you are up to speed when speaking with a contractor.
6 Warning Signs You May Need boiler Replacement
A home requires an efficient and safe heating system. Old boilers can fail, but there are usually telltale signs of a problem. You definitely don’t want to be sorting out your heating system on a cold winters night. Consider these 6 signs that you may be in need of a boiler replacement:
1. What is the age of your boiler?
Their average lifespan is 16 to 20 years. If it has a pilot light it could be 25 years old or more, it may be time for a boiler replacement. An old boiler is also unable to clean the air with sufficient moisture. If your home constantly feels stuffy and stale, there’s something wrong. Dust, pollen, dry throats, skin, and cracking furniture are all signs that your boiler has become inefficient.
2. Are your gas and utility bills rising?
Over time a boiler will become less efficient, running for longer to maintain the same level of heating. This will push gas and heating bills up significantly which could be spent on a new, more efficient boiler instead. Also, note that energy savings on a new boiler could end up paying for the boiler replacement over time.
3. Is the thermostat still keeping you comfy?
Are any rooms in the home starting to feel cold when others are warm? Constantly needing to adjust the thermostat is a sign your boiler could be inefficient for your homes heating needs.
4. What color is your burner flame, blue or yellow?
A yellow or flickering flame is an indication of excess carbon monoxide production by your boiler within the home. Carbon monoxide is poisonous in enclosed spaces. Also keep an eye on soot build up in the boiler, moisture on windows, rusting flue pipes, and water leaks at the base of the boiler chimney.
5. Any strange noises coming from the boiler?
Outdated boilers will begin to make strange noises like banging, rattling, popping, and squealing toward the end of their life. Listen if the boiler blower runs excessively, switches on and off repeatedly, or blows cold air. All warning signs of an impending replacement.
6. How is your families health?
As boilers age, they can develop hairline cracks inside the heat exchanger releasing carbon monoxide. If your family exhibits frequent headaches, burning eyes and nose, nausea, and flu symptoms, it is highly likely there is a leak in the system. Get in touch with an HVAC leak technician asap.
While everyone hopes their home appliances last as long as possible, there’s no doubting their finite lifespans. Regardless of the maintenance performed, most homeowners will deal with a boiler replacement during the lifetime of their home. A good idea regarding prices and equipment options is to consult with local boiler replacement contractors and compare quotes before going ahead with replacement.
How Much Will It Cost To Replace a boiler?
A boiler replacement job can range in price depending on the type of unit you select, the brand name, and whether or not utility lines need to be run in your home. A new boiler, including installation to sufficiently heat a 2,000 sq ft home, could range anywhere between £700 for an electric boiler, £1300 for a combination boiler, and up to as much as £7,000 for a natural gas boiler installation or conversion.
The more expensive the boiler itself, the more you should expect the estimate to be for installation. Contractors that specialize in boiler replacement, who only deal with high-end brands, will also generally charge a premium for their installation services as well.
Types Of boiler Fuels
- Natural gas: Now natural gas is by and large the most popular boiler type when homeowners face a boiler replacement choice. Many recently constructed homes have natural gas lines already running into the house, but some may need to have the gas hookups run from the street utility line. The regular energy cost of natural gas is typically the cheapest.
- Propane: Homeowners with natural gas can easily convert to propane if they’d like, but in most areas, propane will have to be stored on the property in a tank which can be refilled or replaced occasionally. The conversion costs are minimal but the advantages of propane over natural gas are really quite minimal as well.
- Electric: This type of boiler is generally only seen in areas that experience only a very mild cold season. With extended and high-output use, even the most energy efficient electric models have a higher energy cost than gas and propane.
- Oil: If you had an oil boiler and you’re thinking of replacing it, chances are you won’t want to opt for another one. The technology is almost completely obsolete as oil prices are generally far higher than any other energy type.
Natural Gas boiler
A gas boiler is arguably the most common type of boiler due to its efficiency. For you to have a natural gas boiler replacement, your home needs to be on a gas line, as this is the only way it can access the fuel. These boilers are therefore not ideal if you live in an outlying area. Because of this, natural gas boilers can be easily converted into a propane boiler using a kit. A boiler conversion kit typically goes for between £20 – £75 depending on your model and includes, valves, jets, burners, and other necessary components. Homeowners can expect to spend between £900 – £1,800 on a new natural gas boiler.
Consider the following brand comparisons on gas boiler installation. The below installation costs will be based on the needs of an average 1,600 – 2,000 sq ft household using an 80,000 BTU gas boiler with a 3-ton blower installed on the first floor.
|Brands||Average Gas boiler Cost||Cost Including Installation|
These boiler installations are very common because they are clean, relatively safe, easy to operate and reliable. However, it is important to consider that electric boilers can have quite an effect on your utility costs.
Generally, electric boilers aren’t very popular, but they do feature very high-efficiency ratings. They are still heavy on operating costs due to large amounts of electricity consumption. On average, homeowners spend between £530 – £1,600 on a new electric boiler replacement.
Consider the following cost to replace a boiler based on a 1,500 sq ft home in a mild climate. Keep in mind that premium brands will commonly fetch a premium installation price too.
|Brands||Average Electric boiler Cost||Cost Including Installation|
These boilers are an excellent option if your home cannot easily access a natural gas line. With an oil-fired boiler, you can enjoy independence from electric and gas companies while enjoying a very efficient heating system. Though considered obsolete due to the current global oil situation, many oil boilers are still in use. On average, homeowners can expect to spend between £1,200 – £4,000 on a new oil-fired boiler replacement.
The costs below will cover installation of an oil boiler best suited to a 1,600 – 2,000 sq ft home. It will also feature a 275-gallon oil tank which would be set up in the yard or basement as a freestanding structure.
|Brand||Average Oil-fired boiler Cost||Cost Including Installation|
These boilers are not very popular, but you can install them anywhere in the country. They are also relatively cheaper compared to the other types of boiler installations and can be ideal for you if you are working on a budget. On average, most homeowners spend around £900 – £1,700 on a propane boiler.
When considering the type of boiler replacement you want for your home, inquire about improving the efficiency of the boilers they have on offer. Though the improvement may cost you some extra cash, it is going to save on your utility costs and it is also an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint. The below propane boiler installation costs will be based on the needs of an average 1,600 – 2,000 sq ft household using an 80,000 BTU gas boiler with a 3-ton blower installed on the first floor.
|Brands||Average Gas boiler Cost||Cost Including Installation|
Additional Costs To Consider
Your overall cost to replace a boiler may also include a few hidden repairs such as:
- Replacement and installation of new ducting could cost between £5,300 – £3,800 (£6 – £9 per linear ft). Converting from an electric boiler to a gas boiler will require new ducting and piping installation which can cost between £3500 – £10,000.
- boiler and ducting inspection costs can add about £60, sometimes these are free.
- Removal and disposal of the old boiler and equipment will cost around £45. Local recycling companies also sometimes do free removals.
- Air cleaners or humidifiers can add between £250 – £750.
- Variable speed blowers, automatic adjusters, and other boiler enhancements can cost between £380 – £610.
Boiler Replacement Efficiency
Aside from the cost of the new unit and installation, a third cost consideration goes into any boiler replacement job. This is regarding the average utility cost for powering your boiler.
Fortunately, any boiler you may purchase has a standard rating called AFUE which stands for Annual Fuel Usage Efficiency. A moderately efficient unit will typically operate between an 80 and 85% AFUE rating, whereas a high-efficiency unit will have a rating above 85%. The higher the rating of your new unit, the higher the overall cost to replace a boiler.