boiler/furnace install questions

JHZR2

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Hello, My home has a 25y.o. weil mclain furnace and a 13 y.o. GE water heater. All natural gas. The local utility was giving free quotes to do tankless water heaters. We took a quote because "why not?". They use Navien (sp?) tankles, which is stainless design, and I know they are more expensive - I think they are roughly $3500 for just the unit. So I got a quote back from them: $5800 to install one. What? $2300 for labor to install? Plus, if they remove our old HWH, the claim is that if we keep our furnace, they need to re-line the chimney to keep it to code. huh? I don't buy $2300 to install. In reality, I want a high efficiency boiler with an indirect water heater. I looked at the weil-mclain untra 3 with their 40 gallon indirect. Online, the prices are roughly $4500 for the whole unit, probably more like $5500 if MSRPs are used. OK, so I asked the same guy for install prices for such a system (since he admitted that he had an indirect system in his home). The estimate? $12000! OK, so I'm looking at $6500 labor? The way I figure, if a burdened rate of a plumber making $80k/yr is $100/hr, that means that I'm paying for 65 hours for labor to install? I have no zones, the run of PVC is maybe 20ft, and even removing the old stuff is straightforward in a regular, walkdown basement. So I have to ask, what is the typical cost to install a boiler, and water heater (preferably high-efficiency units, but general costs are OK)? I'm thinking that since they are giving out $1500-2000 in taxes from federal and state rebates, they are marking up the prices that much more if not more. What kind of costs (ROM) have you encountered for installing a boiler system? Note, there is no central AC to think about. Thanks!
 
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All I can say is get some more quotes. I think the tankless heaters are overhyped. The estimates I have seen for the savings on them exceed our summer gas bill with a gas dryer too.
 

JHZR2

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right. Im not keen on the tankless, especially since I really want to do the furnace first and foremost. More quotes will be had.
 
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At those prices, co-gen looks very appealing. Get a NG water cooled engine and put your engineering skills to the test of the balance of avoided costs and utility ..and PITA complications.
 
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 Originally Posted By: labman
All I can say is get some more quotes. I think the tankless heaters are overhyped. The estimates I have seen for the savings on them exceed our summer gas bill with a gas dryer too.
Same here. Our summer natural gas consumption averages 12 therms/month for hot water, dryer and cooking. There isn't much savings to be had there.
 

JHZR2

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I forget what we use int he summer, but IIRC, it is far less than that. Our heating bill in the winter is well over $200/month, and there are only two of us, keping our home at 65F or less. Savings in the heating season is key.
 
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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
I'm thinking that since they are giving out $1500-2000 in taxes from federal and state rebates, they are marking up the prices that much more if not more.
Exact thing is happening in Canada with heat pumps. Welcome to the Wonderful World of Government Subsidies. There are some micro co-gen systems being tested in a few parts of your country. http://polarpowerinc.com/products/generators/cogenset.htm http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FZX/is_8_71/ai_n15341475/
 
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I think tankless water heaters are a hoax. They are so expensive to install in a retrofit situation that you will never recover the difference in cost savings. When I replaced my water heater it was approx 30 years to break-even over a new tank water heater. One thing they don't tell you is that hard water many times will void the warranty or requires a plumber to flush the system 1-2 times per year. 1 time per year would be over $100. In a new construction situation where they can install the larger gas pipe and venting from the start they make more sense.
 
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JHZR2

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OK, well, please note that I said "boiler" throughout my post. I would like as many numbers as possible, so I recognize that furnaces (which I view to be what is used to heat a forced air system, do correct me if Im wrong) may need to be in the consideration too, since it seems to be what most folks have... I am soliciting more quotes, but installers seem to only be available on Fridays...
 
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Wow. We had our Rinnai tankless installed for $1,700. That's everything...install, unit, ect. This was a 'retro-fit' into a 1930's built house. Yes, they run cheaper, but not THAT much cheaper. If space wasn't a priority, we would have kept a tank.
 
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Replacing your furnace will not yield you as much in heating savings as better insulation and replacing windows with energy star rated ones. Even small things like spray foam insulation in basement or under first floor floor and attic make a huge difference. I have a 25 year old Well McClain boiler with 8 radiators(one zone) and two small baseboard zoes and was quoted $6500 for Buderus(top of the line German boiler) and 50 gallon stainless indirect water tank. If you have a single floor home and fully accessible basement you can add a radiant zone(s) from below and see serious cost savings in the long term.
 

JHZR2

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Insulation is done in full in the attic. Need to take care of a few bits of knob and tube wiring before doing the in-wall insulation. Was going to seal the "pockets" between studs in the basement, where there is an air stream that can flow from basement to attic. Boiler and HWH are more of a "it is nearly time" and "take advantage of tax benefits" deal than to truly save $$$ compellingly by lower use. Still, I figure I ought to buy the best I can. It's all in the plan.
 
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