When you hear clanking noises coming from your boiler or start to notice water leaking from your heating system, it’s time to call an HVAC professional to install a new steam boiler. Steam boilers have long lifespans and can often run for 30 years with few issues while requiring minimal maintenance, so they are a great option for many homeowners.
On average, it costs $6,590 to install a steam boiler. However, steam boiler costs can range from $3,400 to $9,500 depending on your specific home’s needs.
In this cost breakdown, you’ll discover what to expect when a trusted HVAC contractor gives you a quote for a new steam boiler. Our goal is to get you the most accurate data possible, so we use a construction materials database to gather costs and talk to real HVAC professionals to get their insight.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Steam Boiler?
The price you’ll pay to install a steam boiler in your home will depend heavily on your home’s square footage and the desired system efficiency.
|Low Cost||Average Cost||High Cost|
How Do Costs Differ By Boiler Type?
A standard steam boiler costs between $3,400 and $9,500, but you may decide to install a different type of boiler depending on your existing boiler system—such as oil or propane heating for your home. Most boilers are categorized by their fuel type, and the most common types of boilers and their average installation costs are included in the table below.
|Type of Boiler||Average Costs|
|Steam Boiler||$3,400 – $9,500|
|Combination Boilers||$3,400 – $7,000|
|Condensing Boilers||$2,500 – $6,500|
|Electric Boiler||$8,175 – $12,760|
|Natural Gas Boiler||$6,935 – $9,435|
|Oil Boiler||$5,300 – $10,180|
|Wood Boiler||$3,000 – $10,000|
Steam boilers heat water to create steam that heats your home—it does this by using some sort of fuel to heat the water. Steam boilers can be used in both residential and commercial buildings. They cost between $3,400 and $9,500 on average.
Combination boilers can double as both a home heating system and water heater. These boilers use hot water to heat your home — which is why they serve a dual purpose. Combination boilers are tankless, so no separate storage tank is needed. Combination boilers cost between $3,400 and $7,000 on average.
Condensing boilers have large heat exchangers that are designed to reuse heat that typically escapes as it converts energy to warmth—this makes condensing boilers energy efficient. They generally cost between $2,500 and $6,500.
If you want to save money on your energy bills, an electric boiler is the way to go. Because electric boilers rely 100% on electricity to run, no heat is lost during conversion. If you live in a warmer climate and don’t use your boiler as often, this system is a good way to save you money on your monthly utility bills. You can expect an electric boiler to cost between $8,175 and $12,760.
Natural Gas Boiler
A propane or gas boiler costs between $6,935 and $9,435 to install. Gas-fired boilers are the most common type of boiler installed, because natural gas is cheaper to use than electricity. These propane boilers are connected to gas lines and use that gas to heat your home. Complete reliance on electricity can lead to pricey utility bills; most U.S. homeowners spend about $100 per month on gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Oil boilers cost between $5,300 and $10,180. By using oil to heat water, oil boilers can keep your home warm during the cold winters. If you live in a rural area and don’t have access to the main power grid or gas supply, an oil boiler is likely one of your best heating options.
The national average cost of a wood boiler is $3,000 to $10,000. These boilers are ideal if you live off the grid or have access to lumber. If you do have your own timber supply, you can heat your home for free during the winter months because you won’t have to rely on gas or oil — but if you have to pay for your wood, then this is not the best boiler for you.
How Does System Size Affect Steam Boiler Pricing?
Fuel source is a factor when it comes to cost, but the size of your boiler has the biggest impact on price. As expected, a larger boiler will be more expensive than a smaller one. Larger homes require larger boilers to heat them properly — but you may also need a bigger boiler if you live in a cold climate.
For a small steam boiler rated at 20,000 BTU, you may pay as little as $3,400—but for a boiler rated at 200,000 BTU, you may pay $9,500 or more. Steam boiler replacement costs by unit size can be found in the table below.
|Boiler Unit Size||Low Cost||High Cost|
|20,000 to 60,000 BTU||$3,400||$6,200|
|30,000 to 90,000 BTU||$3,405||$6,850|
|40,000 to 120,000 BTU||$4,675||$7,325|
|50,000 to 150,000 BTU||$5,100||$7,475|
|60,000 to 200,000 BTU||$6,000||$9,500|
Which Factors Impact Steam Boiler Cost Estimates?
There are several factors that impact the cost to replace your steam boiler heating system. Permits and inspections can add between $100 and $300 to the total HVAC installation cost, and residential hook-up costs between $235 and $560—but the biggest cost factors for hot water boilers include:
- Boiler efficiency
- Home size
- Labor costs
- Old steam boiler removal
Boiler efficiency is expressed by annual fuel utilization efficiency annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). This percentage tells you how much energy is lost when fuel is turned into usable energy. Modern boilers have an AFUE rating of at least 80%, but you can find boilers with AFUE ratings of 97% or more.
Not everyone needs the most energy-efficient boiler. If you live in an area that gets mild to moderate weather or experiences temperatures that never drop below freezing, you can save money with a standard boiler. But if you live in colder regions and use your boiler for several months out of the year, a high-efficiency boiler is worth the cost.
Cost-effective standard boilers cost between $3,400 to $9,500 on average, but you’ll pay up to $12,760 for the most energy-efficient boilers on the market.
|Boiler Efficiency Rating||Average Cost|
|Standard boiler (80% to 89% AFUE)||$3,400 – $9,500|
|High-efficiency boiler (90%+ AFUE)||$6,000 – $12,760|
If you have a larger house, you need a steam boiler that has the capacity to heat every square foot. That said, the larger your house, the larger and more expensive your boiler will be. For example, you may only need to pay $6,200 for a boiler designed for 1,000 square feet, but $9,500 for a steam boiler able to heat a 3,000 square foot home.
|Square Footage||Low Cost||High Cost|
|1,000 SQ FT||$3,400||$6,200|
|1,500 SQ FT||$3,405||$6,850|
|2,000 SQ FT||$4,675||$7,325|
|2,500 SQ FT||$5,100||$7,475|
|3,000 SQ FT||$6,000||$9,500|
Labor costs are one of the price factors that fluctuate the most. The average labor cost to replace a boiler ranges from $770 to $1,000. However, the cost per hour ranges from $75 to $150 per hour. These labor costs vary from state to state—and even from one contractor to another in your area—so we recommend that you get at least two quotes before you choose a boiler to install.
Old Steam Boiler Removal
If you replace your old boiler, you will have to pay for its removal. The cost of removal depends on the size of your boiler and the complexity of the system—the larger your boiler is and the more difficult it is to remove, the more you will have to pay for removal. As a general rule, you should expect to pay between $820 and $1,625 to remove your old boiler.
Learn more about how steam heating works with the video below:
DIY vs. Professional Steam Boiler Installation
If your thermostat shows 55 degrees but you have your home set at 68 degrees or you hear rattling in your boiler, it’s likely time to install a new system. However, you shouldn’t take on steam boiler installation yourself—it should be done by professional installers.
Doing Steam Boiler Installation Yourself
Boiler installation is no easy project and requires the combined effort of electricians, HVAC experts, and plumbers. If you don’t have the expertise, then we don’t recommend DIY boiler replacement. HVAC installation often requires permits and professional licenses to install, so if you want to avoid annoying paperwork and delays, you should leave this task to the professionals.
Plus, if you use a professional HVAC company to install your new steam boiler, you’ll get access to workmanship and manufacturer warranties that will cover the cost to repair poor installation and faulty parts. This protection can be valuable should something go wrong, so you don’t want to miss out on this perk.
Hiring a Professional for Steam Boiler Installation
With so many HVAC companies, it can be hard to find a reputable HVAC provider to install your new boiler. If you want to be connected to the best HVAC companies in your area, follow the easy steps below:
- Find local experts near you: Use the button below to get in contact with local HVAC professionals. They will be in contact with you to set up a time for a free quote.
- Get a quote from a few options: Get at least two boiler installation cost estimates so that you can compare prices. You may find that one boiler replacement cost estimate differs from another.
- Consult them about their recommendations: Ask the HVAC technicians about the boiler size and type of system they recommend for your home.
- Choose a quote: Choose the estimate that works best for your home and budget.
- Install your steam boiler: Your HVAC technician will set up a time to come to your home, remove the older boiler, and install your new unit.
So, Are Steam Boilers Worth the Cost?
On average, it costs between $3,400 and $9,500 to install a new steam boiler. These boilers heat water to keep your home at a comfortable temperature during the cold months, and they can be efficient if you install a modern unit. Due to long lifespans, it can be a cost-effective heating option for your home. However, you may not want to install a steam boiler if you have a furnace or heat pump already installed— that will force you to pay to update your existing system.
FAQs About Steam Boiler Costs
How long do steam boilers last?
Steam boilers have a long 20 to 30 year lifespan. If you keep up with regular boiler maintenance, your steam boiler should last several decades.
Are steam boilers more expensive?
On average, a new boiler costs between $3,400 and $9,500 to install. If your goal is to replace an existing steam boiler, then all you need to do is install a new unit. But if you need to install a new boiler, radiators, and ductwork, the project will be even more expensive. For example, new ductwork can cost $5,100 or more.
How much does a high efficiency boiler cost?
High efficiency boilers are more expensive than standard boilers. You’ll pay between $3,400 to $9,500 for a standard boiler on average, but high efficiency boiler prices are between $6,000 to $12,760 for materials and installation.
How much does it cost to replace steam heat?
To replace an existing steam boiler, you can expect to pay between $3,400 to $9,500. This cost depends on the size of the boiler you have, your home’s square footage, desired efficiency, and the need for any existing ductwork.