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New Boiler or New Windows?

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Posted by jean on October 19, 2006 at 13:20:50:

I just bought my house six months ago and couldn't get my steam boiler to make the heat come up when it suddenly got cold last week. I basically paid $95 to a repair guy just to learn that I am supposed to let water into it for it to fire up. (Duh! I am such a newbie at home ownership!) Anyway, the repair guy that came referred to my boiler as "an antique." He said it could be as old as the house, which is about 65 years old, although it had been converted from oil to natural gas at some point. I told him I was saving up for a new boiler because I had heard that a new one would save me 20% - 30% on my gas bill. He told me that that wasn't necessarily true, that these older boilers have few parts to replace, are built to last and he wouldn't be surprised if I got another 10 to 15 years out of it as long as I keep on top of the water level - and that a new system wouldn’t make that big a difference. He also mentioned that steam heat is the most efficient although not very popular anymore and thus not as easy to replace. Did this repair guy know what he was talking about? All my radiators seem to get real hot when the heat is up so, for now, everything seems to be functioning properly. I am just worried about the rising cost of gas and how much this sucker is using!

So now I am wondering if maybe replacing my single pane, wooden windows should take priority over a new boiler. (They have storm windows but they are still pretty old.) What do you think is the best investment to get started with? Both are going to cost me somewhere in the $5K or better margin so I'll have to space them a couple years apart. Which one should I do first?

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