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Question DetailsAsked on 11/29/2013

How much to replace an oil furnace & water heater in New England. Baseboard heat, Furnace 85K BTU, 40 gal heater.

Looking for a unit that is not high end, but with reasonable efficiency and reliability. Current water heater is a stand alone running off the furnace and is 40 gallons. Current furnace runs 4 zones in a 2,600 sq.ft. home. A new oil line would have to be run from the oil tank (in basement) to the furnace to meet code.

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Is this really an oil "furnace"? Furnaces heat air - boilers heat water - if you have radiators and/or baseboards you have a boiler. And usually in New England it would be an oil Boiler, especially when you clearly have an indirect water heater that leverages the existing heating system.


Usually new systems cost somewhere like $6000-8000 installed, not counting the water heater, which can easily run another $2000 installed.


Unless this is an emergency and you need to move on it, you should investigate switching to gas. Heating with gas will cost about 1/2 of oil, and the install will cost about the same. But there is a lot to consider, like how the new system would be vented (line chimney or direct venting, etc). I'd advise against the latest mod/con gas models - they are quite expensive, need too much professoinal maintenance, and just don't have a good ROI vs. a really decent 84/85% efficiency new.


If you have a bit of time on your hands, you can negotiate hard for a spring install, where hvac guys have little or nothing to do ... but be very picky about getting a good installer. Most gear is good but a lot of heating guys take shortcuts or aren't up on the latest techniques.


Oh ... and 85K BTU is probably too big for your house. If you have the time, a comprehensive heat loss analysis should be done, to properly size things for your home. Your house should probably be more like 50,000 - 65,000 btu, with an outdoor reset, and priority zone for your indirect water heater. For the latter I really like Burnham - they have a stone lined model that is pretty much carefree and just needs a yearly draining.


Here are some resources that may be of help:

- http://www.terrylove.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?18-Boiler-Forum

- http://www.doityourself.com/forum/boilers-home-heating-steam-hot-water-systems-
128/


Good luck!


Answered 5 years ago by Jefferson




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