Author Topic: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?  (Read 972 times)

ctuser1

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I'm moving from oil to gas in the next month or so (I don't plan on refilling my oil tank).

Appliances that *can be* run with gas are:
1. Electric oven. We cook quite a bit at home - so it is used a lot.
2. Fireplace. It uses bio-bricks, never used.
3. Drier. Electric. Frequently used.
4. No grill, yet! But this may change soon. Wifey tells me "be a man and get a grill, with a wink" every time there is a sale in home depot.

TL,DR, we don't plan to actually change any of these appliances to gas right now, or anytime soon.

Do you still think it is a good idea to install gas lines to the locations of all or some of these appliances and leave it capped? Are you going to suggest that we change over to gas for any of them immediately?

The typical cost for such gas lines is normally $600 per line - according to quotes I have got from a few places. The Boiler installer I am considering said they may be able to do it cheaper if I do it at the same time as the boiler installation, than if I called them later specifically for that. How much cheaper - I did not ask at that time.

Do you think it is a good idea to install the gas lines for future use? Does it make homes easier to sell? Save future cost?

 

Plina

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2020, 06:41:10 AM »
As some places are pushing for bans for installing gas in new buildings my guess would be that the gas heating is going to make it harder to sell the house in the future rather than easier.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-naturalgas-buildings/the-next-target-in-the-climate-change-debate-your-gas-stove-idUSKCN1VU18Q

ctuser1

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2020, 07:05:31 AM »
That is new information to me. Looks like they are blaming the natural gas that leaks from the gas infrastructure.

That still does not change things for me too much. I am switching from Oil. No-one wants oil! I didn't, when I purchased this house 3 years ago and made sure that my offer price is adjusted accordingly!!

Oil is also about 50-75% more expensive than gas at current prices. AND the ~$10k-ish conversion cost is covered by the 0.99% APR heat loan program (https://www.energizect.com/your-home/solutions-list/energizect-heating-loan-program). 

Electric everything + rooftop solar for full capacity + grid tie as backup is probably the best energy solution. For now, that's not on the cards, however. My roof is too old (20 years) and I am in no position to drop an extra $40k-$50k it will take for a solar + battery backup system.


mistymoney

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2020, 07:11:31 AM »
I have a boiler, and I think gas is best for the stove top. I did some research on gas vs electric and felt that it was a clear win for gas - but 7 years later I can't remember the particulars! I also have gas for the clothes drier. Then the water heater is another one.


ctuser1

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2020, 07:16:29 AM »
Iím getting a wall-hung combo boiler that also supplies hot water. No separate water heater for me.

moneypitfeeder

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2020, 07:07:54 PM »
If you are getting a new gas line (and it's cheaper to install runs just in case) I'd add runs for a stove, fireplace, and maybe grill. For your range, I'd advocate for a dual fuel, (gas cooktop/electric oven). With a gas cooktop you have more control vs an electric coil, i.e., you turn the gas down, flame is reduced--the electric coil takes awhile before it cools. The gas fireplace is nice if you ever would have use for it, but if it would always be off, leave it out. If it would work as additional heat in a power outage or such, it might be worthwhile even if not normally used. For your grill, many use portable propane tanks, but if you want to go with a hard plumbed, it removes the trips to refill, and the unexpected empties when you want to grill. I left the drier off because every gas drier I've had seemed to overdry the clothes and shrink more of them, they all came out with a bit of a burnt smell, i've not had that problem with an electric drier.

Jon Bon

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2020, 05:55:52 AM »
You can run the whole run if you would like.

However the cheaper option is just to have them Tee is off and cap it. The fitting might cost a few extra bucks but it should not bee to much.

And as for natural gas becoming illegal and making a house harder to sell, I have a very hard time believe that anytime soon. I would not let that influence that decision. I see that article written every so often. I would assume its written by someone in a very temperate climate where heat pumps are fine. Places with real winters need to burn something to create heat.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2020, 09:55:08 AM »
As some places are pushing for bans for installing gas in new buildings my guess would be that the gas heating is going to make it harder to sell the house in the future rather than easier.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-naturalgas-buildings/the-next-target-in-the-climate-change-debate-your-gas-stove-idUSKCN1VU18Q

I would have the opposite opinion. Assuming electric and gas prices stay about the same, having a gas furnace/stove/etc. would be a good selling point due to the lower operational costs. Also, making something exclusively available in certain houses will likely increase the desirability of that feature.

Plina

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2020, 01:03:48 PM »
As some places are pushing for bans for installing gas in new buildings my guess would be that the gas heating is going to make it harder to sell the house in the future rather than easier.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-naturalgas-buildings/the-next-target-in-the-climate-change-debate-your-gas-stove-idUSKCN1VU18Q

I would have the opposite opinion. Assuming electric and gas prices stay about the same, having a gas furnace/stove/etc. would be a good selling point due to the lower operational costs. Also, making something exclusively available in certain houses will likely increase the desirability of that feature.

That would then evolve to a price issue. If there are only a few of those I guess that it would also lead to higher delivery costs or availability.

Jon Bon

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2020, 02:10:30 PM »
The "All Electric House" has been tried before.

TLDR

It didn't work...


SemiChemE

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2020, 05:45:09 PM »
I'm assuming you live in the Northeast or a similar cold climate.  First, the upgrade from Oil to Gas is fantastic.  It's cheaper, more convenient, and your boiler will last longer with less maintenance.  Way to go! 

I do want to ask if you considered a geothermal heat pump?  I'm about to replace my gas boiler, so I investigated geothermal with Dandelion energy.  There are some pretty good tax incentives, but for me, the numbers didn't quite work out.  Geothermal would be cheaper long-term, but due to the high upfront costs, the breakeven point was ~20 years.  However, I already have gas.  If you're looking at converting to gas, avoiding that $10K gas connection cost would probably knock 10-15 years off the payback time, so you might want to check it out.

Now back to your original question.  I would consider running the lines for the clothes dryer and stove/oven, as it sounds like you would consider switching to gas appliances in the future when your existing ones wear out.  Many people do prefer cooking on gas stoves, so even just having that connection will increase the value of your home.  The clothes dryer is more of a toss-up.  Gas is slightly cheaper, but otherwise gas vs. electric performance is pretty comparable.  Also, unless you are running a laundry mat, the savings are likely to be $30-60/year, so it's going to be a long time before you recover a $600 investment.

I would not run lines for a fireplace or gas grill, since I do not believe that just having the connection would impress too many home buyers.  Gas fireplaces and built-in grills are nice options in high-end luxury homes, but since you do not already have these, I'm guessing you are not in that type of market.  Further, to capture that value in a home sale, you would have to actually complete those upgrades, in which case you would probably only recapture a fraction of the cost.  Bottom line, unless you are dying to have one or both of these for yourself, don't bother.

ctuser1

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2020, 07:39:16 PM »
I'm assuming you live in the Northeast or a similar cold climate. 
Yes, CT.

It's coastal CT, so much more temperate than even 15 miles inland, but still it gets pretty cold here. Every other year or so we see single digits during the cold arctic blasts.

I do want to ask if you considered a geothermal heat pump?  I'm about to replace my gas boiler, so I investigated geothermal with Dandelion energy.  There are some pretty good tax incentives, but for me, the numbers didn't quite work out.  Geothermal would be cheaper long-term, but due to the high upfront costs, the breakeven point was ~20 years.  However, I already have gas.  If you're looking at converting to gas, avoiding that $10K gas connection cost would probably knock 10-15 years off the payback time, so you might want to check it out.
I gave up exploring geothermal after googling up the typical cost numbers.
My heating bill in year 2018 was $1600. It wasn't that much higher in 2019. With gas, I expect it to go down to about $900/$1000 per year.

Geothermal costs $40-$80k. That is a long time to pay back on the investment even if it completely eliminated my fuel bill. So I did not consider it seriously.

My roof is 20 years old and is likely going to be up for replacement in a few years. At that time, I will take a stock of solar options and may go that route.

Now back to your original question.  I would consider running the lines for the clothes dryer and stove/oven, as it sounds like you would consider switching to gas appliances in the future when your existing ones wear out.  Many people do prefer cooking on gas stoves, so even just having that connection will increase the value of your home.  The clothes dryer is more of a toss-up.  Gas is slightly cheaper, but otherwise gas vs. electric performance is pretty comparable.  Also, unless you are running a laundry mat, the savings are likely to be $30-60/year, so it's going to be a long time before you recover a $600 investment.

I would not run lines for a fireplace or gas grill, since I do not believe that just having the connection would impress too many home buyers.  Gas fireplaces and built-in grills are nice options in high-end luxury homes, but since you do not already have these, I'm guessing you are not in that type of market.  Further, to capture that value in a home sale, you would have to actually complete those upgrades, in which case you would probably only recapture a fraction of the cost.  Bottom line, unless you are dying to have one or both of these for yourself, don't bother.

Thanks.

My house is definitely not a high end one. It is a ~$300k house in an area where regular houses are $400-$500k, and beachfront houses are $1M+. We do plan to live in this house as long as possible (I hate high housing costs). But I'm only interested in utilitarian upgrades!


SemiChemE

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2020, 08:36:52 PM »

I do want to ask if you considered a geothermal heat pump?  I'm about to replace my gas boiler, so I investigated geothermal with Dandelion energy.  There are some pretty good tax incentives, but for me, the numbers didn't quite work out.  Geothermal would be cheaper long-term, but due to the high upfront costs, the breakeven point was ~20 years.  However, I already have gas.  If you're looking at converting to gas, avoiding that $10K gas connection cost would probably knock 10-15 years off the payback time, so you might want to check it out.
I gave up exploring geothermal after googling up the typical cost numbers.
My heating bill in year 2018 was $1600. It wasn't that much higher in 2019. With gas, I expect it to go down to about $900/$1000 per year.

Geothermal costs $40-$80k. That is a long time to pay back on the investment even if it completely eliminated my fuel bill. So I did not consider it seriously.

My roof is 20 years old and is likely going to be up for replacement in a few years. At that time, I will take a stock of solar options and may go that route.

Dandelion quoted me $39K, but Federal and State (NY) Tax incentives would have brought it down to $21K.  If you're paying $10K for the gas connection and say another $6K for the boiler and installation, you'd probably be looking at <10 years to break even.  That's really pretty good, considering a 30-year life for mechanicals and 100-year life for the ground loop.  On the other hand, the installation process is pretty involved and there are risks of unforeseen cost over-runs, during the ground loop installation.  So definitely not a clear win for geothermal.

ctuser1

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2020, 09:52:26 PM »

I do want to ask if you considered a geothermal heat pump?  I'm about to replace my gas boiler, so I investigated geothermal with Dandelion energy.  There are some pretty good tax incentives, but for me, the numbers didn't quite work out.  Geothermal would be cheaper long-term, but due to the high upfront costs, the breakeven point was ~20 years.  However, I already have gas.  If you're looking at converting to gas, avoiding that $10K gas connection cost would probably knock 10-15 years off the payback time, so you might want to check it out.
I gave up exploring geothermal after googling up the typical cost numbers.
My heating bill in year 2018 was $1600. It wasn't that much higher in 2019. With gas, I expect it to go down to about $900/$1000 per year.

Geothermal costs $40-$80k. That is a long time to pay back on the investment even if it completely eliminated my fuel bill. So I did not consider it seriously.

My roof is 20 years old and is likely going to be up for replacement in a few years. At that time, I will take a stock of solar options and may go that route.

Dandelion quoted me $39K, but Federal and State (NY) Tax incentives would have brought it down to $21K.  If you're paying $10K for the gas connection and say another $6K for the boiler and installation, you'd probably be looking at <10 years to break even.  That's really pretty good, considering a 30-year life for mechanicals and 100-year life for the ground loop.  On the other hand, the installation process is pretty involved and there are risks of unforeseen cost over-runs, during the ground loop installation.  So definitely not a clear win for geothermal.

For me, the numbers are as follows:

Gas
No connection cost (I am getting gas at the same time utility is running it in our street).
Installing the boiler + removing oil tank etc: $10500.

Expected savings: $700/year.
Payoff is 15 years.

Geothermal
Let's assume cost = $39k.
Federal incentive = $13k.
CT only has a rebate capped at $1500 per dwelling. Assuming I get the full amount, final cost = 24.5k.

Geothermal allegedly saves 30-70% of heating cost, and 20-50% of cooling cost.
My heating cost was $1600/year, and cooling cost was $1000 (electric bill total was almost exactly $3000, out of which cooling in the summer was estimated to $1000 by the utility).

Taking the middle(ish) numbers:
50% heating bill saving = $800
40% cooling bill saving = $400
Total = $1200.

Payoff = 24500/1200 = 20.5 years.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 09:54:43 PM by ctuser1 »

SemiChemE

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2020, 10:53:04 PM »
OK, so your costs and break-even are looking similar to mine.  I don't have the oil tank to worry about, but I do need to replace my AC system or at least  the compressor.  Anyway, good luck with the gas install.  I'm surprised there isn't a larger hookup fee, I got the impression from some of my neighbors that it would cost them several thousand.

ctuser1

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2020, 04:56:47 AM »
OK, so your costs and break-even are looking similar to mine.  I don't have the oil tank to worry about, but I do need to replace my AC system or at least  the compressor.  Anyway, good luck with the gas install.  I'm surprised there isn't a larger hookup fee, I got the impression from some of my neighbors that it would cost them several thousand.

Hookup fee is waived since I'm getting gas at the same time as the gas company is bringing gas to our street. They just dug up my yard at the same time as they were digging the street.

I had to sign a contract that I will get heat and hot water switched to gas within 3 months. If I don't, they will come back and charge me the hookup fee. I was told that could be anywhere between $5k to $10k - depending on the distance of my gas meter to gas main on the street.

The utility connected Gas to my house in Dec 2019, so I have till March 2020 to switch.

They will start charging a hookup fee after the road is re-paved by the City, which is slated for 2020.


chemistk

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2020, 06:05:56 AM »
Just adding a couple thoughts to the conversation:

- I'd say run all those lines. We currently have all gas appliances, and although it's not so common to find gas ovens my wife and I both agree that we enjoy baking in the gas oven far more than electric. Obviously there's a significant increase in the risk of Carbon Monoxide.

- On the brief topic of Geothermal - my in-laws have a geothermal system. They've had a number of issues with it (it was installed 10 years ago), and the repair costs for the system have completely obliterated any utility savings they had even begun to realize.

Jon Bon

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Re: Installing new Gas boiler - will you extend gas lines everywhere now?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2020, 07:12:53 AM »
Don't forget about the time value of money.

With a 4% discount rate the geothermal will take 40 years to pay for itself.

At 5% it will take about 200 years!

Just something to think about. Good luck!