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Old 19.11.2015, 21:21
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New heating system?

Our 27 year old oil fired heater/boiler is approaching end of life. Instead of investing in bits and bobs to keep it alive, we have decided to just replace it with a modern system. Just got the quote in .. 19.5K to replace the whole thing. Anyone have any experience in this? Is that a reasonable price?
Thanks for any words of wisdom.
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Old 19.11.2015, 21:22
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Re: New heating system?

I had a quote for one in our place in Germany and it was 11k EUR so that sounds right for Swiss prices
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Old 19.11.2015, 21:59
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Re: New heating system?

Ca 25k a year ago.

ca. 220m2 house four floors with small footprint.

IIRC the basic replacement unit was around 20 or 21k the rest was for maintenance work on the underfloor heating pipes and other bits and bobs.

Sounds like your offer is pretty much ball park.


I hate the new furnace, by the way.
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Old 19.11.2015, 23:13
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Re: New heating system?

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Our 27 year old oil fired heater/boiler is approaching end of life. Instead of investing in bits and bobs to keep it alive, we have decided to just replace it with a modern system. Just got the quote in .. 19.5K to replace the whole thing. Anyone have any experience in this? Is that a reasonable price?
Thanks for any words of wisdom.


What exactly are you replacing it with?
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Old 19.11.2015, 23:36
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Re: New heating system?

We had ours, at the French house, completely replaced about ten years ago. Total price was just over 10k euros, which included piping in the swimming pool heat exchanger and a new radiator, plus replacing a couple of other rads (supplied by us). And there are separate circuits for under-floor and radiators, so they're completely separated, via another heat-exchanger, from the boiler itself. All of which adds to the cost.

In our case, I reckon the fuel savings have more than paid for that, given that the old system had only an an/off button, no thermostat (except on the rads themselves), no programming at all, except for a basic all-or-nothing timer that I'd rigged up myself.

So anyway, your quote doesn't sound out of order, but I'd go through it very carefully, checking whether you really need everything. We noticed a tendency towards the "well, yeah, technically you can do without this bit, but...".
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Old 20.11.2015, 09:32
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Re: New heating system?

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What exactly are you replacing it with?
One would assume an "oil fired heater/boiler"
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Old 20.11.2015, 09:55
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Re: New heating system?

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One would assume an "oil fired heater/boiler"


Not necessarily. Many people, though not everyone, are replacing oil with a heatpump.


My neighbours replaced an old oil burner with a new one. They compared the price to replacing with a heat pump and the latter option was far more expensive.


We replaced just a water boiler last year. Of course the companies who quoted tried to upsell by offering a bigger boiler or the latest model with integrated heatpump. Our boiler runs off the electricity supply. Some wanted us to convert that to run off the heatpump but we do not run our heat pump all year (it is a ground water heat pump, not "luftwasser" so it makes no sense.


As suggested earlier, read the quotes carefully and get more than one. It is likely that there are different opinions about which route to go.


There are also "energy experts" you can speak to at the kantonal level- at least in our canton we have one. They offer free advice and can also give you some insight into any of the government rebates which may be available if you convert to a more energy efficient system.


One thing to point out is that the most efficient system will not compensate for a poorly insulated house. Not all heating experts will look even ask you about insulation but it is worth discussing.
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Old 20.11.2015, 10:12
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Re: New heating system?

Heat pumps are expensive - goodness knows why as ther is precious little inside them - but work out very economical to both run and maintain.

We were recommended not to have a CHF450 a year maintanence contract 7 years ago, but as heat pumps are so reliable only use emergency call out. The heat pump (air type) gets the small amount of leaves sucked out of it by me and my Dyson each year, otherwise it has run happily heating our house and hot water without being switched off since 2008!

BUT if your home does not have underfloor heating a heat pump will not be sufficient to provide enough heat for external temperatures below zero. So it would need conventional gas or oil. I'd go for gas if available in that case...
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Old 20.11.2015, 12:42
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Re: New heating system?

Heat pumps : the electricity companies here do indeed get a lot of complaints from customers as regards the (much higher than expected) electricity consumption of their newly-installed heat pump system.

(My source for that nugget of information is the administrator for our local electricity company.)

Why this is I don't actually know, but could be linked to incorrectly specified systems, poor installation, incorrect parameterisation of the control system, lack of knowledge of the system (from customer's perspective), false expectations.. (there is the problem that increases in efficiency can result in increased consumption. This was noted back in the early 90's when CFL lamps were first introduced - customers understood that they used "four times less power", but the downside was that they stopped being conscious of turning lights off when not needed and left them switched for much greater periods of time..)
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Old 20.11.2015, 12:46
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Re: New heating system?

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Just got the quote in .. 19.5K to replace the whole thing. Anyone have any experience in this? Is that a reasonable price?
Not trying to be a Klugscheisser, but:

a) replace with what? Same system? Different system?
b) What exact system are we talking about?
c) What capacity? (I think it's logical to assume that depending on the energy it needs to produce, the size/price might change accordingly... )
d) is this for a single house, or for an apartment block?

It's difficult to answer if it's ok or not without more information...
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Old 20.11.2015, 14:26
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Re: New heating system?

See answers below... I have just a contacted company just over the border in Germany for a quote as well.

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Not trying to be a Klugscheisser, but:

a) replace with what? Same system? Different system?

Replace with an oil system again, but state of the art.

b) What exact system are we talking about?

Elco Straton S

c) What capacity? (I think it's logical to assume that depending on the energy it needs to produce, the size/price might change accordingly... )

11-50kW whatever that means.


d) is this for a single house, or for an apartment block?

Single house, about 140 mm2.

It's difficult to answer if it's ok or not without more information...
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Old 20.11.2015, 14:29
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Re: New heating system?

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Heat pumps : the electricity companies here do indeed get a lot of complaints from customers as regards the (much higher than expected) electricity consumption of their newly-installed heat pump system.

(My source for that nugget of information is the administrator for our local electricity company.)

Why this is I don't actually know, but could be linked to incorrectly specified systems, poor installation, incorrect parameterisation of the control system, lack of knowledge of the system (from customer's perspective), false expectations.. (there is the problem that increases in efficiency can result in increased consumption. This was noted back in the early 90's when CFL lamps were first introduced - customers understood that they used "four times less power", but the downside was that they stopped being conscious of turning lights off when not needed and left them switched for much greater periods of time..)
Despite what your electric company says, my company have a separate meter for the heat pump which is charge at about half the rate of normal electricity. The meter shuts off the power to the pump at peak times.

We heat a 5.5 room detached house and all year hot water for CHF350 a year. I'm not complaining - this is not a retro fit though...
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Old 20.11.2015, 14:38
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Re: New heating system?

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Despite what your electric company says, my company have a separate meter for the heat pump which is charge at about half the rate of normal electricity. The meter shuts off the power to the pump at peak times.

We heat a 5.5 room detached house and all year hot water for CHF350 a year. I'm not complaining - this is not a retro fit though...
Ours is extremely economical to run too. We're very happy with it.
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Old 20.11.2015, 14:45
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Re: New heating system?

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See answers below... I have just a contacted company just over the border in Germany for a quote as well.
Does this include an anual service fee? Or will you have to pay that one extra?

I can take a look at the last offers we had for our projects and see how much they were. We usually build geotermic heating pumps, but I should be able to find some info on oil systems. Will try to get back to you soon
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Old 20.11.2015, 14:57
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Re: New heating system?

There are a number of reasons to go with a heat pump over a new oil burner, saving money, saving long-term maintenance and saving the planet being chief among them. Why not take this chance to significantly reduce your carbon footprint while making a sound financial investment with relatively quick payoff?

Our neighbors had them installed recently, for approx. 120 m2 townhouses, and cut their *total* electric bills well over half. Total cost for each was in the low 20,000's.

I work with solar in the US. The electric companies are fundamentally opposed to renewable energy technologies and regularly run them down in insidious ways, since reducing our use cuts into their profits. (For the sticklers out there: reducing electricity purchased from the utility in the long run will reduce their sales and, more importantly for monopolistic companies in the US regulatory structure, their need to invest at guaranteed rates of return in new facilities to meet growing demand.)
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Old 20.11.2015, 15:11
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Re: New heating system?

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BUT if your home does not have underfloor heating a heat pump will not be sufficient to provide enough heat for external temperatures below zero. So it would need conventional gas or oil. I'd go for gas if available in that case...
if it's for short period of time is there not electrical backup?
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Old 20.11.2015, 16:03
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Re: New heating system?

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See answers below... I have just a contacted company just over the border in Germany for a quote as well.

I had a client who needed an oil burner replaced and the quote was a lot less than what you posted. House was about 140m2 with underfloor heating.
Oil tank did not need replacing. Water boiler was okay too.


It was just the burner and of course the heating firm wanted an electrician to be on site to do the connection.
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Old 20.11.2015, 17:13
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Re: New heating system?

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if it's for short period of time is there not electrical backup?
Yes, but that cuts in for us when it's -10deg outside and it's pretty low power. I know someone who installed a heat pump in an older property and a couple of winters ago had to put his family in their holiday flat for a couple of weeks as the house cold not be heated up to more than 15deg...
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Old 20.11.2015, 17:40
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Re: New heating system?

Yes, we could just replace the burner which would be only a couple thousand, but the fact that the boiler is ancient (27 yrs) and will probably need replacing within the next 5 yrs means it makes more sense to just put in a modern unit now. Our mortgage runs out in 9 yrs, and by then the kids will likely be out and we will sell the house and downsize to an apartment. Having a modern heating system will add to the value of the house, or putting it otherwise, this ancient system we have now will detract from it. Our emissions are over the legal limit now, so something has to be done by 2018.

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I had a client who needed an oil burner replaced and the quote was a lot less than what you posted. House was about 140m2 with underfloor heating.
Oil tank did not need replacing. Water boiler was okay too.


It was just the burner and of course the heating firm wanted an electrician to be on site to do the connection.
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