Replacing Furnaces

I have some pretty old steam furnaces in a three family house that I just bought. I am interested in removing furnaces from the basement and having each furnace moved to a closet in its corresponding unit. The reason is because I would like to build a couple of extra rooms in my basement. Any idea on how much I can expect to pay for this type of work? And is what I need a plumber?

secondly I would like to replace the heating devices around the house with steam heaters, the kind that look like electric baseboard heaters. Is this a good idea? The current ones are huge.

You need an HVAC (Heat, ventillation, air conditiong) contractor to price it out for you…it’s gonna cost.

What sort of fuel are you looking to use. Most of the baseboard heating systems are forced hot water. The furnace heats the hot water and circulates it through the baseboard system in a closed recirculation route. Most I’ve seen are heating oil systems.

Here in the deep south, heating systems are generally forced hot air, natural gas fueled. This requires heating duct work and to have the furnace vented to the outside. I just replaced a gas furnace (with the associated heating coils) for $915 including labor and the building permit. But, the ductwork was already in place.


I currently have Gas furnaces in the basement. I have the big clunky heaters throughout the house which is what I am trying to replace they look like the one on this link, except mine are old and attached to each room:
(do you know what this type of device is called?)

Seems like a very old heating system and was looking for a way to keep the furnaces but replace the heating units throughout the apt with baseboard type of heating devices.

Thanks for the info.

I registered just for this post. :slight_smile:

Just some information for you. Those devices are called radiators. The furnaces in the basement send up steam to these. (You said they are steam, but I think hot water could also be circulated?)

If you leave the original boilers (furnaces) in the basement, it doesn’t seem like it would be too difficult to replace the radiators with baseboard heating, because the plumbing would already be run from the basement to each room. But it seems like it would be rather expensive to put in a new boiler in each apartment.

Talk to a professional though!!!

Thanks for the info and thats exactly the word I was looking for :).

What about electric baseboard heat? Contact your local electrician and see if that might be less expensive.

Electric baseboard heat tends to be expensive (for the tenants) and often requires an electrical service upgrade for the property’s electrical main…there is a significant current draw by the heaters.


With the way oil prices are going is it really that more expensive at this point? I use oil at home, have never had electric so I don’t know. Is the service upgrade and cost of baseboard installation prohibitive to the owner?

The old radiators are actually quite functional and are making a comeback is some areas of the country.

To separate the system, and keep them as 3 boilers would need more space than a closet (and very expensive). Modern boilers are compact, but not THAT compact. To upgrade to baseboard heat is not too expensive, if you can’t stand to look at cast-iron radiators.

Upgrade the boiler (about 7500-10500) with an efficient, gas-fired boiler. Zone it off so that all three units can call for heat individually. Upgrade the radiators to baseboad heat.

Very expensive either way. You will pay the same to swap to 3 forced air systems. BUT if you swap to forced air, you get AC as well. Right now you either have no AC or you have window-units, right?

I have actually not closed on the house yet, will be closing on the 17th but yes if there are any ACs they are window units. Thanks for the info. You guys have been a great help. I think I will upgrade the rediators to basebourd heaters.