What’s the Boiler Replacement Cost for a Pittsburgh Homeowner?

| Posted in:  Help Guides/Heating
Boiler Installation Service Pros Pittsburgh

The average cost to replace a residential boiler in Pittsburgh is $11,000, with the typical range being anywhere from $7,000-$15,000.

We know that’s a large price range, and that’s because the cost to replace your boiler will vary greatly depending on many factors. Some of the elements that you'll want to consider when in the market for purchasing a new boiler include:

  • The type of boiler you want
  • Size 
  • Efficiency rating
  • Fuel type
  • Comfort features

Below, we’ll look at each of these cost factors in more detail, so you can get a better idea of how much replacing your boiler will cost you.

Want an accurate pricing estimation from a licensed pro? We provide free estimates, and we’d be happy to help you price your boiler replacement. Not ready for an estimate? Learn more about the boiler installation services we offer.

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Cost Factor #1: Type of boiler

Typically, the least expensive type of boiler is a combination boiler and the most expensive type is a traditional boiler

The type of boiler you should install will have to do with the size of your home (hot water demand) as well as the amount of storage room you have. 

If your home is larger (3 or more bathrooms), a traditional boiler is the best choice.

If your home is smaller (2 or fewer bathrooms), a combination boiler is a great choice for your home. 

Let’s look at each of these types of boilers in a little more detail, below.

Traditional (conventional) boiler ($5,500-$10,000)

A traditional boiler (also called a conventional boiler), heats water and stores it in a hot water tank. These boilers are the best option for larger homes because they have a large supply of heated water prepared, so if you needed to heat your home and use a hot water appliance at the same time, you’d have no issue doing that. Hot water tanks also take up quite a bit of space, so this kind of system would only work in a house that has room for it.

Combi (combination) boiler ($7,000-$9,000)

Unlike traditional boilers, combi boilers don’t have storage tanks, so they heat water on demand (like a tankless water heater). Because a combi boiler doesn’t have a storage tank, it’s the perfect boiler for a small home or an apartment that doesn’t typically use multiple hot water appliances at once. Small storage tanks can be added to combination boilers, which are called Combi-storage boilers. However, if you have a larger home or family, this may not be the best option for you. 

Cost Factor #2: Size

Boiler size is measured by how much heat a boiler can produce, measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). The larger the size of the boiler (i.e. the higher the BTUs), the more expensive it will be. 

You may be thinking, “Okay, well I’ll just get a smaller boiler and save money.” But here’s the catch: you don’t get to choose what size boiler is right for your home.

Boiler size is dependent on something called a load calculation which a professional will need to perform before recommending a boiler size for your home. 

A load calculation takes into consideration specific details related to your home like:

  • Size of your home
  • Home’s orientation (north-facing, south-facing, etc.)
  • Number of people living in your home
  • Number of windows and doors
  • Type and quality of insulation 
  • And more…

If you don’t have a technician perform a load calculation (or you go against their recommendation) you could end up spending a lot more money in the long run. Why? 

If you install a boiler that’s too small for your home, it will probably:

  • Struggle to heat your home
  • Increase your energy bills
  • Have a reduced lifespan
  • Result in expensive repairs

If you install a boiler that’s too large for your home, you’ll probably notice the same kinds of issues. An oversized boiler can cause very high internal temperatures, which can reduce the lifespan of your system or result in costly repairs. 

Considering how much money goes into replacing a boiler, this is not a cost factor you want to take a gamble on.

Cost Factor #3: Efficiency rating

The more efficient the boiler, the more expensive it will be upfront. 

However, the more efficient the boiler is, the more potential you have to save on monthly heating bills. 

Boiler efficiency is measured by something called AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), which essentially measures what percentage of fuel is turned into heat and what percentage is lost as waste. 

For example, a boiler with an AFUE rating of 90% will turn 90% of the fuel it uses into heat and 10% into waste, aka $90 out of $100 will be converted into heat and $10 will be lost. 

When choosing a boiler efficiency level, you basically have two options:

  • Low-efficiency and mid-efficiency boilers (non-condensing): 80%-83% AFUE
  • High-efficiency boiler (condensing): 90%-98.5% AFUE

If you have the budget to invest in a high-efficiency boiler, we would suggest you do so because of the potential long-term savings. However, if you’re on a budget, a lower efficiency boiler will be your best bet. 

Cost Factor #4: Converting from oil to gas

If you currently have a boiler that runs on oil and you’re going to convert to gas heating, the cost of your installation will greatly increase. 

Why? Well, there is quite a bit of infrastructure required to utilize gas heating, like:

  • Installing a gas hookup- If you don’t have a gas hookup (you don’t have other appliances that run on gas), this will be an additional cost (usually $3,000-$5,000).
  • Piping a gas line- A plumber will need to pipe a gas line from the street to your home, which can cost around $500-$1,500.

Lining your chimney- Many gas boilers vent exhaust gas up your chimney, so your chimney will need to be lined with a protective lining before you can run a gas boiler. Lining your chimney usually costs around $700-$1,500.

Cost Factor #5: Comfort features

In addition to any standard pieces, you can opt for features that will increase your comfort and lower energy bills, but this will increase the overall cost of your installation. 

Some common boiler comfort features include:

  • Modulating burners
  • Electronic ignition control
  • Smart thermostats (WiFi-enabled)

When you get a boiler installation estimate, ask your technician about which comfort features may be right for your home and budget. They should be able to provide recommendations for your specific home and household.

Ready to install a boiler? Hire Pittsburgh’s best: Calfo

There’s a reason that Pittsburgh homeowners trust us to install their boilers. All of our techs have 10,000 hours of on-the-job training, so you can rest assured that they will install your boiler right the first time around. 

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