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Most cost efficient heat system for an older apartment

We just purchased a 2000 sq ft apartment (2nd and 3rd floor of a two family house). The house is probably 100 years old like most homes in the New England area. The home inspector thought the apartment was reasonably well insulated. The sellers mentioned that their gas bill is approximately $200/month but we have not seen copies of the bill.
Currently the apartment has a mix of cast iron radiators and baseboard heating. (Some rooms have both.)
We are considering replacing this system with a forced air system using hot water.

1. One estimate we have received said it would cost $32,000 (parts and labor) not including additional electrical work.
Is this reasonable?

2. Assuming the apartment insulation stays the same, would our gas bill reduce enough with the forced air hydronic system to justify the upfront cost?

3. Any recommendations for HVAC professionals in the Somerville, MA area?

Many thanks,

Re: Most cost efficient heat system for an older apartment

1. Get other estimates. 32K looks too high.

2. The two ways to see a bill reduction are: use less gas and/or if the utility/gas company lowers prices (which can never happen).

3. There are better ways to locate a good contractor locally than this forum, because we come from different places.
But wait for our member, MLB construction, who's based in MA to answer this.

Re: Most cost efficient heat system for an older apartment


If I were you I would first look at the sales agreement you recently signed (I assume this is similar to a condominium sales agreement) and examine exactly who is responsible for the cost of the inadequate heating system modifications, repairs, insulation, etc., until then, I wouldn't spend a dime on this deal.

It sounds ludicrous for someone to be sold a condo that's advertised as fit for occupancy, and then be stuck with a huge bill for questionable insulation & modification or replacement of a faulty heating system-----something's wrong here! I suggest you talk this situation over with a lawyer.

Re: Most cost efficient heat system for an older apartment


At this point we don't know whether the insulation and heating system are "inadequate". On the contrary, we have a statement from an inspector saying that they look "sufficient". After all, it's a 100 year old place (probably sold "as is").

It looks like the poster is merely looking to change his heating system to a forced air/furnace combo.

"Buyer beware" even when you have a favorable inspection report, UNLESS there was a gross and intentional hiding of existing conditions, in which case the buyer can sue, but still has to prove.

Consulting a real estate lawyer could be a good idea, depending what is written in the contract.

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