How much does it cost to install a propane gas fired boiler system?
Boiler systems heat your home by heating water. The heat can be delivered through various systems including in-floor hydronic systems, baseboard and flooring systems, and forced air systems. They can also be used to heat your water.
Propane is a versatile, efficient and affordable energy source for boiler systems, and it offers great flexibility with the types of equipment that it can be used with. This is one of the main reasons why propane gas fired boiler systems are installed in buildings or homes. Propane boilers are also often installed to replace older and less efficient oil boilers when natural gas isn't available in a particular area.
The most common scenario to install a propane 1 gas fired boiler system is to heat an area or a home of 1000 sq.ft.
- Boiler: the cost of a propane 1 fired boiler can range from $2000 to $5000 for a new unit. Most standard propane 1 boilers have a heating capacity of around 100,000 to 150,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units).
- A home that is 1000 sq.ft. will need a boiler with a capacity of around 50,000 BTUs in order to heat it.
- The rule of thumb to calculate this is 50 BTUs multiplied by the square footage of the home (50 BTUsx1000 sq.ft.=50,000 BTUs).
- If you live in the North, you will need to multiply the square footage by 60 BTUs. However, if you live in the South or South-Central, the BTUs required per sq.ft. will range between 30-40 BTUs. Also, if your home is poorly insulated add 5-10 BTUs to the multiplication.
- Labor: installing a propane 1 boiler system is more expensive than installing a furnace because it is more complicated process. The cost to hire a licensed HVAC technician to install a propane 1 boiler can range from $800 to $1500. Hourly labor costs for an HVAC technician are between $85-$95 per hr.
- Factors that can increase the labor cost are complex installations that require the existing heating system to be reconfigured or switching from another energy source like oil or natural gas. This can add an extra $500 to $1500 to installation costs.
- Removal: removal of the existing boiler can cost $500 to $1000 and is usually required with a new boiler installation.
- Ductwork: if the ductwork needs to be replaced (old or leaking) the cost is between $35 and $55 per linear foot. For a 10 ft. section of ductwork, it would cost $350 to $550.
- Venting system: if there is an existing chimney or vent this cost can be omitted. If not, installing a chimney, which will vent exhaust naturally throught the roof, averages $60-$95 per foot to install. A common option with a propane 1 boiler is to install a direct (uses air from outside to work, can be installed anywhere) or power vent (uses air from the inside to work, needs to be install in an open room), which will use a fan to vent exhaust either using the roof or a sidewall, its installation averages $150-$500.
Enhancement and improvement costs
- Modern units are more efficient than older units and have efficiencies that range anywhere from 90% to 96% and require less maintenance compared to older units. The efficiency factors into the cost because more efficient units will require less propane 1 each year to operate. Modern units can cost an additional $1000 to $2000.
- HEPA air filters or air cleaners can be installed to improve the quality of air in the home, and this can cost an additional $500 to $800.
- A thermostat costs $100 to $300 for the device and installation costs are between $100 and $170.
- A barometric flue damper 2 can reduce the amount of heat escaping from the chimney, and prevent increased operating costs, adjusting the draft conditions with weights and adjustment screws. Usually installed in chimneys higher than 30 feet. It cost under $100 to install.
- Combination boilers can be used to heat a home and a home water supply, and these units can save a homeowner on the cost of having to install a separate water heater. These units can cost anywhere from $2500 to $6000 and have a more complicated installation that can cost up to $200 to $500 more.
Additional considerations and costs
- Propane 1 boilers emit about 24% less CO2 into the atmosphere than oil boilers, and burn at up to 15% higher efficiency.
- The cost to remove asbestos in the ductwork (if needed) is between $200 and $400 per hour with an additional inspection cost between $600 and $1000. It costs between $400 and $800 to remove asbestos 3 from a 10 ft. section of ductwork.
- The cost of propane 1 gas has to be factored in, and it is usually priced similarly to heating oil. The cost to operate a propane 1 boiler will depend on how often it is used and whether or not it is used to only heat a home or to also heat water.
- Propane 1 boilers take up less space than traditional heating appliances like electric water heaters and newer models are wall hung and can fit into small spaces in basement areas.
- Propane 1 boilers have much less maintenance than oil fired boilers. Oil boilers need to be cleaned every year while propane 1 boilers rarely need to be cleaned. Oil boilers also require a chimney which must also be cleaned regularly, while propane 1 boilers can use a direct or power vent instead.