Does anyone here have natural gas steam heat (boiler furnace with
I have an older two story house with a full basement. The boiler is in
the basement. My heat bills have always been among the highest of all
the people that I know. I've always accepted the high heat bills but
since the price of natural gas is going up and expected to climb
higher, it's begun to get my attention. My heat bill for this January
was $500, up from $445 last year, and it was unseasonably warm this
month. Here are my questions, for people with steam heat, and who live
in a climate that's cold in the winter:
If you have steam heat from natural gas, do you find that it has been
expensive to run?
I keep the heat turned off in a few rooms in the house, I guess I could
turn off a few more, does that make much difference in the cost?
Has anyone ever replaced their steam heating system with something more
modern (not just the furnace), and if so how much did it cost and was
it worth it? Does the new system provide lower winter heat bills?
If you did replace the steam heat, what would you recommend replacing
I once casually asked a neighbor in the hvac business how much it would
cost to totally replace my heating system with a forced air system,
putting in all the ducts, and putting in central air, and he said
$15,000. Does this sound about right to you? I don't even know if
that included the cost of taking out all the pipes and old boiler.
Do you have any tips for getting the monthly bills down?
Does anyone have similarly high heat bills who are NOT running steam
The reason I ask this is because I notice from talking to different
people that a lot of the people who have winter heat bills in the same
price range as I do have steam heat. A lot of the people running
forced air systems are only paying $100-$200 in the winter.
I know some people who had steam heat, bills similar to mine, and
pretty much no insulation in their house. They spent a lot of money to
insulate their house, with the end result that the heating bills were
pretty much exactly the same.
I know someone else who replaced their old boiler with a new efficiency
furnace, but he said there has been no appreciable change in the size
of his heat bills.
All this leads me to believe that the steam heat itself is the main
culprit causing my high heat bills. So I thought I would ask on a
wider forum if this has been your experience also? It would make
sense, since steam heat is a rather outdated way of heating your house.
I used to be able to heat the house to 72 degrees and I notice now to
get roughly the same size bill, I'm down to 63 degrees and counting.
Presumably, this is mainly due to the increasing cost of natural gas.
Does anyone have any comments?