2023 Gas Boiler Prices, Options, Pros & Cons

Typical Cost To Install a Boiler Average: $4,160 - $7,370
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If you ask an oil heating technician/installer “what’s better – oil or a gas boiler?”, most of them will say OIL. In fact, they even refer to gas as “that other fuel type”. 🙂

If you ask any SANE person in the heating industry the same question, the answer in over 90% of the cases will be a gas boiler.

If you need to replace your boiler, get free estimates from your local plumbers.

Gas Boiler Prices

Forced Hot Water Boiler Costs
Gas Boiler
$4,500 - $5,780
Oil Boiler
$4,900 - $6,100
$2,300 - $3,900

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As a rule of thumb, a standard gas boiler costs 2-3 times less than an oil one.

The average labor price for installing a gas boiler is between $1,800-2,600. There are a few models that cost as low as $1,400 and as high as $4,500.

By comparison, an oil boiler is between $2,600-4,000. On the low end, few models cost around $2,100. On the high end, there are many models that start from $5,000 and go all the way up to $12,000

However, if you are looking to install a high efficiency gas boiler, you will be paying the same price as for an oil device. On average, a high efficiency gas boiler costs between $4,000-7,500.

Another possible way to save money is to switch from a boiler to a furnace heating system. A forced hot air system can be 2-3 times cheaper compared to a boiler.

Gas Boiler Replacement Cost

Typically, it costs less to replace an existing gas boiler with a newer model than to install an oil one.

Boiler installation includes removal and disposal of the old device. It also includes repair and/or replacement of all lines, ducts and wiring for the system to function properly.

Most homeowners spend around $3,000-4,000 to replace a gas boiler (includes equipment and labor)

However, the average cost to replace a gas boiler with a high efficiency model is between $7,000-8,000.

The average cost to replace an oil boiler with a newer model is around $7,000-9,000, depending on whether or not testing and ground clean up are necessary.

If you live in a very cold climate, consider installing electric radiant floor heating in rooms that you use the most. This will provide additional warmth and comfort at a relatively low cost.

Benefits Of A Gas Boiler

The primary benefit of a gas boiler compared to an oil one is that it’s much cheaper to install and to operate. For many homeowners looking to save on their monthly heating costs, installing a gas boiler is the most economical option.

Making a switch from an oil boiler to a gas one and vice versa can cost thousands of dollars, so it’s important to understand the benefits of each.

I am a certified Oil Boiler technician, (soon to be a Master license holder), and a Gas heating technician. I’ve owned both types of heating systems in my home. In fact, in one rental house, I had both an Oil and a Gas boiler, one per floor.

And in my professional opinion most cases, GAS is WAY better than OIL. Gas is cleaner, CHEAPER, does not smell, does not require ANNUAL maintenance (oil boilers MUST be serviced once a season, otherwise it becomes very bad, but that is a whole different subject).

While we are on the CHEAPER subject, see for yourself the cost of using different heating fuels for your home. Bottom line, gas is better in almost every aspect!

This is not to say that oil (and propane for that matter) don’t have their place in the heating fuel menu.

Cost To Switch From Oil To Gas Boiler

Forced Hot Water Boiler Costs
Gas Boiler
$4,500 - $5,780
Oil Boiler
$4,900 - $6,100
$2,300 - $3,900

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Switching from an oil to a gas boiler heating system is a very expensive project that involves a lot of labor. On average, homeowners spend $7,000-9,000, but depending on what is involved the cost can go up to $15,000-20,000 or more.

Here is the price break down for this job:

Install gas line and meter $1,000 – 1,500
Hook up gas lines between meter and house $500 – 1,100
Reline the chimney (stainless steel liner) $100 / linear foot
Replace ductwork $30 – 55 / linear foot
Remove oil tank (above ground) $500 – 1,500
Remove oil tank (below ground) $1,700 – 4,000
Test the soil for any leakage $300 – 500
Minor environmental cleanup from oil leak $2,800 – 4,600
Major ground contamination cleanup from oil leak $12,000 – 95,000

These are just general estimates, and the actual price quote can be a lot higher once the HVAC contractor comes in and assesses the scope of work that needs to be done.

Just to give an example of how pricing may drastically change: if your old boiler has asbestos, or the adjacent piping has asbestos insulation, you will be looking at a much higher removal price.

Another factor to keep in mind is that if you go for a condensing gas boiler you will not need to reline the chimney, as it can vent directly to the outside.

You can spend the money that it would have cost you to reline the chimney ($900-1,700) on a high efficiency condensing gas boiler. This is the option that most homeowners chose, especially because there are also federal tax rebates for these boilers.

Finally, if you are considering going from oil to gas, talk to your local gas company to see if there are any incentives they can offer. Very often fuel providers have discounts and other ways to save money for people willing to make the switch.

Some companies offer interest free loans for a set period of time, such as 2 or 3 years, to help you pay for the initial installation costs.

Forced Hot Water Boiler Costs
Gas Boiler
$4,500 - $5,780
Oil Boiler
$4,900 - $6,100
$2,300 - $3,900

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

Heating Costs Of Oil vs Gas

When deciding which boiler to install and whether to change from one energy source to another, heating costs is the primary concern.

Today and for the foreseeable future, the price of gas is cheaper than the price of oil. Domestic gas production is booming, the prices are low and have been steady over the last 4 years.

On the other hand, while the price of oil has been declining over the past 4 years, because its a strictly regulated commodity that is traded globally, there is no way to predict what will happen to the prices in the future.

To be fair, there is also no guarantee that the price of gas will remain at its current low in the future.

Since 2002, the cost of oil heating has averaged 30 – 50% more than gas every year.

According to the EIA (US Energy Information Administration), as of December 2016, the price of gas delivered to residential consumers was $9.06 per thousand cubic feet. This price has remained pretty steady since 2013.

As of February 2017, the price of oil delivered to residential consumers was $2.645/gallon. Oil prices have declined in the last four years. In February 2013, the price to residential consumers was $4.175/gallon.

Many people that go from oil to gas heating save about 50-60% on their monthly bill.

Long-term Boiler Savings

If you decide to switch from an oil to a gas boiler, it is important to keep in mind that you will not see savings right away.

Because the cost of the switch is so high, it will take at least 5 years to offset the initial installation investment and reap the benefits of the lower heating costs.

Consequently, it is a good idea to switch only if you are planning to live in your house for many years to come. If you think you may move in the next 3 years, it does not make sense to make such a high upfront investment. You will most likely not recoup it when you go to sell your house.

On the other hand, if you need to do major renovations before you sell and are spending a lot of money anyway, making the switch could be beneficial, as many buyers do prefer gas heating.

Finally, keep in mind that you will be saving the MOST money if you get a boiler than can handle low temperatures, be it oil or gas. The lower the water temperature used to heat the house at a given outdoor ambient temperature, the less you will be paying for heat.

Boiler maintenance

In general, a gas boiler is easier and less expensive to maintain than an oil one.

An oil boiler needs to be serviced more frequently to prevent leaks, and if leaks do happen it becomes an expensive issue to fix. However, new oil boilers are a lot easier to maintain and service than older ones.

By comparison, newer high efficiency, condensing gas boilers are much more costly so service, because they come with very expensive parts that are often difficult to get.

Boiler Longevity and durability

In general, oil boilers are a lot more durable than most gas ones. Average service life expectancy of an oil boiler is about 13-25 years.

The parts of an oil boiler most susceptible to breaking are the circulator pump and the firebox / chamber. The boiler tank should last pretty much forever, unless there is a serious issue, such as an un-repaired leak.

A standard gas boiler will last about 10-15 years. More expensive, higher quality models can last 20 years or more if they are properly maintained. In general, gas boilers are very durable, and rarely break down.

Keep in mind that properly maintained boilers (both gas and oil) can last much longer: 25-35 years. Some homeowners have Weil-McLain boilers that last 75 years before being replaced!

Repair costs for both oil and gas boilers are about the same, and average $300-800. Repairs may include things like replacing heat exchangers, burners, or lines.

Safety and convenience considerations

From the perspective of safety, many would consider oil to be the winner. This is because “gas”, also known as the silent killer, can leak.

Toxic carbon monoxide fumes can be extremely harmful and even lethal if they are inhaled. If oil burns or leaks it does not pose the same danger.

An oil leak creates a lot of mess that can be expensive to clean up, but does not pose a risk to anyone in your home.

From the perspective of convenience, gas is an obvious winner. For oil, you need to have a separate storage tank, which means that your supply of oil is limited, and needs to constantly be replenished. Moreover, with an oil storage tank, you run the risk of unexpected oil leaks.

You also need to remember to order the oil and have it delivered. You need to live in an area where there are oil providers available. If you happen to run out of oil in the middle of the cold season, your house will be cold until you get your delivery.

On the other hand, gas is delivered through municipal gas piping, so its always available, without you having to worry about it.

Cost to fix a leaking oil tank

One of the biggest problems with an oil boiler is the leaking oil tank. This tank is made of steel, which eventually rusts, and allows the oil to escape into the ground.

The more moisture and acid the soil has, the quicker it will cause the tank to rust. To minimize the moisture in the soil, many homeowners also install a sump pump. However, this also adds to the overall cost of having an oil boiler heating system.

If you have an above ground storage tank (AST) you will be able to notice the leak very quickly.

However, if you have an underground oil tank, you may not know that there is a problem for many years, because the hole in the tank can be tiny, so the oil will slowly drip out.

In general an oil tank lasts for about 8-10 years before rust issue start to show up. If you know that your oil tank is nearing this age or is older, you should call a licensed environmental company to inspect the site and determine if there is a leak.

The company will obtain soil samples around the tank to determine the area that has been contaminated by the leak.

The depth and the amount of soil that has been compromised by leaking oil will determine how much remediation will cost. Its important to get quotes from a number of environmental companies, to get the most competitive price.

Generally, it costs $4,500-15,500 to clean up an oil tank leak.

Removal of an average size above ground storage tank costs $500-900. Removing a large tank can cost up to $2,000. However, removing an underground oil tank starts at $1,200 and can cost as much as $2,500+ depending on the location and the complexity of the job.

Replacing an old oil storage tanks costs $900-4,000 depending on the type of tank and its size.

Boiler Energy efficiency

The truth is that both modern oil and gas boilers are highly energy efficient. A quality oil boiler can give you about 80-85% energy efficiency, and a standard gas boiler will give you about the same.

If you are looking for much greater efficiency, you should consider a high efficiency gas boiler, which will give you 92% + efficiency.

If you don’t mind your oil boiler, and just want higher efficiency, it would be most economical to simply replace the old boiler with a new model. You will see savings right away. To get the highest efficiency out of an oil boiler, its recommended to set the burner nozzle to “low fire”.

When do you need OIL/Propane?

It is quiet silly watching the green movement of the 2022 times, saying GET RID OF OIL … without getting all political, I will say that these people are not in touch with reality. Here is why:

There are 9-15 million households in US (say 20,000,000 people easily), living in the northern states that do not have access to natural gas! And most of them never will have natural gas, because for Gas Companies it’s not profitable to bring gas lines to remote/rural areas which are sparsely populated.

So what are these folks to do when it’s cold? Use magic renewable fuel? Which one? Corn based bio-diesel? It takes more OIL (in BTUs) lot produce that biodiesel, than said biodiesel would produce. It makes no sense.

How about magical Solar Fuel?

Well, for that to work, these 9-15 million households would need to cough up $40,000-60,000 to get big enough solar installed, plus another $20,000 to install high efficiency heat pump systems, that are powerful enough to keep the hole house warm. Most people don’t have that kind of cash sitting around for an occasional heating system change over.

Keep in mind most of these homes don’t have enough sun exposure, or roof space positioned in the correct direction to the sun (south that is) to produce enough electricity to heat their homes.

Also in most of northern states, there is no or very limited net metering. Without going into why that is a problem, let’s just say, solar is also not a solution.

Where am I going with all of this? Ahhh, yes – these people NEED oil (or propane) to stay warm and freeze on the winter! So getting rid of oil is like telling these 20 million people, it’s ok if you freeze – earth will be greener.

BY THE WAY, before the hate comments flood in – I am all for solar, and am getting solar on my roof. And as said above, I am not a fan of oil. But WE NEED OIL! 20+ million people need oil to just stay warm!

Environmentally Friendly Heating Sources

From the perspective of clean energy, both gas and oil pose serious environmental hazards. Oil production remains one of the worst, heaviest pollutants, and emits a lot more carbon than gas production.

At the same time, gas is by no means a “green” heating choice, due to serious pollution issues caused by fracking. A truly eco-friendly heating alternative would be a geothermal heat pump.

Other green heating solutions include pallet stoves and solar heating. Solar requires the installation of solar panels on your roof, but provides all around energy savings, both on the cost of heat and electricity.

Once you make the initial investment, you will not be spending a penny more going forward.

Forced Hot Water Boiler Costs
Gas Boiler
$4,500 - $5,780
Oil Boiler
$4,900 - $6,100
$2,300 - $3,900

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

About Leo Bender

Leo has been a contractor since 2003, specializing in: roofing, siding, general contracting (GC) and residential remodeling. Leo is also a Certified HVAC, Oil & Gas Heating Technician/Installer. In addition to roofing and remodeling, Leo is passionate about Solar, green building and energy conservation, so a lot of my time and energy goes to installing energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

See more about Remodeling Calculator team here

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2 comments on “2023 Gas Boiler Prices, Options, Pros & Cons

  1. Irene Lloyd

    Electric radiant heating system is most versatile when it comes to installation. In electric radiant heating system cables are attached in looping pattern. Due to the versatility of installation, electric system is frequently used and it’s best choice for after-construction addition. And the best part of electric system is controlled by independent zone thermostats that can be set to heat just the floor for barefoot comfort on chilly days, to raise the temperature of a single room, or to heat an entire house.

  2. Grace Turner

    My brother just built a new house. He’s going to have to have a new gas line put in since the house isn’t connected yet.