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Question DetailsAsked on 9/29/2014

What can I expect to pay for the purchase and installation for a high efficiency gas boiler?

I have a 2,000 square foot, 4 bedroom house with gas hot water heat. The current Burnham gas boiler is 32 years old, and I want to replace the unit, along with the end of life hot water heater tank. I want to replace the gas boiler with a high efficiency gas boiler and the water heater with an indirect hot water tank. We live in Massachusetts and I want to get this taken care of before the winter.

I have three top vendors coming out for quotes, but I wanted to get some expert advice on what this type of installation can typically range from. I have seen estimates online from $5k to $12k.

I plan to use the Mass Save high efficiency heat rebate, but not the financing. I am concerned that the quotes will be jacked up due to the Mass Save rebate.

Does anyone have experience with this? Any insight into higher quotes associated with Mass Save?

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2 Answers

Voted Best Answer

I am no professional, but we are in the same boat as you. Our house is about 2,400 square feet but our gas boiler is 46 years old. We have gotten 4 quotes, all different systems: Lochinvar, Burnham, Budderus & Triangle Tube. At this point am on information overload. Our quotes are all in the 13K-15K range, and that includes replacing the hot water heater to indirect water tank. I guess the only way to sell these high efficiency boilers is to offer the Mass Save rebates. I'm rethinking everything now, given that the high efficiency units don't last as long and cost so much more in terms of maintenance. Make sure you get estimates from the vendors on average yearly maintenance costs for annual tune-ups.

Answered 5 years ago by TMetrowest


Yes, we same to the same conclusion regarding the Mass Save program and the ability to sell these systems. Even with the Mass Save program, I still dont see the benefit behind all of the added costs.

It seems like the installation adds such a cost to the system that it makes it an unwise investments.

Our quotes have ranged from $13,500 to $20k (it did include a 3 year service plan). It seems like other regions have lower cost estimates, so it feels like the HVAC companies have inflated the price in conjunction with the Mass Save program. The fact the systems dont last as long, and require more frequent and complex maintenance has really made us reconsider. They would also have to vent out of the front of the house, which is not aesthetically pleasing.

I think we will get one more winter out of the current system, and then replace it with a standard/conventional gas boiler. I cant justify the total costs of the new high efficiency systems to save a moderate amount per year.

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_95328671


Wow - sounds like a ripoff situation to me for sure - like some of the lunacy that is going on in California due to environmental regulations imposing ludicrous rebate and incentive programs to push supposedly "green" programs and products that in many cases are actually grossly inefficient on the bottom line - like tearing out hydroelectric renewable power generation that then requires burning irreplaceable coal or natural gas at twice or more the cost.

In our area it is fairly rare for a simple 90% efficiency gas boiler replacement to run over $6000 (Peerless and Weil-McLain and Carrier and similar brands), though if you go to over 95% efficiency and with a combined indirect hot water system can run more like $6-8000 range in many cases - though I have also seen installed costs below $5000 even for that type of system.

There is a LOT of variation in costs - in our area there is a general adequacy of work for plumbers and HVAC companies so some charge fair prices, some charge far more and advertise a lot and get enough business that way that they don't care much about losing out on a lot of jobs due to high bids - they get enough work just from contractors who use them regardless of bid price, or people who call them because their name is in their mind from seasonal service coupons and web ads, etc. Also, when people have a wter heater or furnace/boiler failure they rarely get competing bids, so commonly overpay by qiute a bit just to get it done ASAP. In HVAC, plumbing, electrical, at least in my area, I have come to expect a minimum 100% difference in bids from the "responsive bidders" - and outliers above and below that range as well.

Your decision obviously depends a lot on what you think gas prices are going to do in the future, but generally the high-efficiency units have a payback period (compared to normal efficiency) of 15-20 years or even more, so they are commonly economic only if there is a substantial rebate for high efficiency, and as you say when you consider the much higher maintenance cost, lower reliability or shorter mean time between failures, and the fact most people do not live in a house long enough to recoup a substantial portion of the potential savings, in many cases it just does not make sense to the individual homeowner even if it might make sense over the extreme long term through several owners.I know if I were in the age where job-related moves were still happening, I would get a simple 80-85% efficiency boiler. Even if I have to replace my current 33 year old Peerless boiler (only if the boiler itself cracks) I don't see going with a high-efficiency unit even though we live in a cold climate with fairly high gas prices - not when I could buy 2-3 units over 30 years for the same money as one high-efficiency unit, or save $5000 up front at the expense of a few hundred $ a year in higher gas consumption.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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