condensing boilers cost lot more than condensing force-air furnaces?

I am looking into getting a new boiler in our house, which has hot water heat.
Some years ago, in another house, a relative had a 90% two-stage 80,000BTU Trane forced-air furnace installed for about $3000. Now my house is larger and there are some pumps and valves that need replacing and also the compression tank. But according to the first and only quote I got, just the difference in price between a 80% boiler and a 90% boiler is $3000 (both about 135,000 BTU/hr, $5500 for 80% vs $8500 for 90%). In both cases the same pumps/valve/tank need replacing.
This installer comes highly recommended and I normally don't shop just by price, but I am wondering why condensing technology should cost so much more in a boiler compared to a forced-air furnace.
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the
Did you ask your technician this question?
What did he say?
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As with ANY home improvement you're considering contracting out, (electrical work, additions, roofing, siding, leaders, gutters, paving, grading, carpeting, etc...) get a few more quotes and and make sure they're ITEMIZED. You want to know exactly what the materials charge is and the LABOR charge is.
Some contractors work 3 days a week and drive Mercedes Benz's and others work 5-6 days a week and drive Ford F-150's.
I had my boiler replaced 3 years ago when I converted to gas heat from oil. (Same hot-water baseboard as yours) And the old oil burner also provided domestic hot water, but now I've a seperate gas water heater.
The boiler was suppposed to be "free" supplied by the gas company and installed by one of their "approved" conversion gas heat/plumbing contractors. You picked the contractor from the gas company's list.
The first 3 estimates came in at over 3000.00, one almost 4000.00, which was twice I was quoted when I got 2 previous estimates WITHOUT the boiler being provided "free" by the gas company.
There are some contractors who price their work according to what they think it's worth to you, and others who price thier work according to what it's worth to them. You need to find one of the latter group.
I ended up using a small 2-man show plumber contractor, (not a big well known name from the utility's list) who worked with his partner for 6 hours. Total bill was less than 1100.00 to install the free boiler and less than 25' of gas line with 2 valves. It would have been 1700.00 If I upgraded to a higher efficiency unit supplied by my installer if I gave him the less-than efficient, "builder's special" the utility gave me free.
I had him install the free model anyway for a number of reasons. My home is VERY well insulated as I replaced all the windows and doors myself. I wanted standard equipment that even a rookie gas/heating tech would be familiar with and able to diagnose, as well as myself.
In short, do your homework and shop around. IMHO a plumber should charge labor at a standard rate, not more per hour when he's installing a boiler than when he's changing a faucet washer. And without a detailed estimate it's difficult to question the quote.
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wrote:

Condensing boilers generally require different pumping strategies than cast iron boilers as well as more and sometimes larger pumps and additional wiring. A 3 grand add isn't out of line.
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The difference you get into is piping requirements and cost of equipment. If you put a cast iron boiler in where one is existing already, you are looking at very few changes to the system (for better or worse). With a Condensing boiler, you are looking at $600 to $800 more for a boiler, new chimney venting, new manifold configuration (primary/secondary loop), new circulators and a spirovent. This mean more labor and materials. If done right, your system will be second to none and will still pay for it's self in about 5 years. Get a condensing boiler with an outdoor reset control - save even more $$$.
TAB Dude
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Yes, using an outdoor reset control over the full range is the main reason I wanted a condensing boiler.
And regarding the URL you gave, yes, I know about the Munchkins. In particular, it seems you can get outdoor reset control with just a 'Vision I' software upgrade (plus a sensor, of course), which is very nice. But the closest distributor in my area (Chicago) is in Milwaukee WI, and they don't know of any installers in my area who have ever installed one before.
I also struck out looking for Peeerless Pinnacle, which is the same product with a different label. I didn't want the first unit the guy has ever installed.
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the
don't
product
You had better keep looking, for there is closer dist & installers then that.
The Peerless "Pinnacle" & the NYThermal "Trinity" are in your area.
Good Luck,
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I did not consider the Trinity because it is quite large. But for the Pinnacle, I sent a web form request to Peerless and they gave me three names. So technically they are 'in my area', but in fact all three said "Oh, we've never installed a Pinnacle but I suppose we could try it." I can imagine what they'll say if I ask for a firmware upgrade to allow outdoor reset. This is not your usual boiler.
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You have the Trinity mixed up with something else.....
For the boiler is only....
15" deep 20.5 " wide 23" tall
and weighs 80 lbs.
www.nythermal.com/products/boilers/gas/trinity.htm#specs
Here's a link to one that's installed on a wall, by a guy that knows his SHIT!!
http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid6341
Here's another one by a different guy
http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid8424
As you can see.....their not big at all.
Are you in Chicago? Or just around the Chicago-land area?
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wrote:

15" x 20" x 23" and 80# is too large?
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The Munchkin/Peerless unit measures....
14.75 x 18.25 x 24.5 and is 75-111 lbs. depending on size.
I don't think they are thinking of the same "Trinity" boiler.
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wrote:

I suspect he's looking at the Legacy. Move the sucker on the wall and it's a LOT smaller.
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NTI also makes condensing boilers. The Legacy and Trinity are their floor and wall mount models.
http://www.nythermal.com/Products/boilers/boilers.htm
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The Vision 1 control is not offered through Peerless. We put in a truck load of the Munchkins each year and like them. Call the distributor and ask what wholesale companies in your area sell these boilers. Call the wholesaler and ask "If you were buying this boiler who would you hire for your home?" They cannot recommend (play favorites) one customer over another but they can say who they would use themselves (a backhanded recommendation).
TAB Dude
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I called American Hydronics (Chicago area) twice and left messages. No call back. My question was not "who would you use?" but "Is there anyone who can install a Munchkin in my area?" My guess is the answer is no, which is too bad.

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The best time to reach your local wholesale company in your area is around 8am. If you call and get a machine, find the address and go there early in the morning (again around 8 am). If the wholesale people got your message, they may or may not pass it on to a contractor. They may not call you back assuming you think they are contractors instead of suppliers. If you get through ask for the manager and explain what you want - The company that understands and installs Munchkin boilers in your area.
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