How a Historic Home Boiler Conversion Works

Many historic homeowners are choosing to convert old oil boilers to more efficient natural gas-powered setups. It requires work done by a professional team, but the process typically isn’t overly intrusive and can be done in 1-2 weeks.

Historic homes are great: they come with plenty of charm and architecture that’s simply tough to come by these days. However, with all of that charm comes plenty of “old house problems,” and in especially temperamental climates (such as Portland and the Pacific Northwest), an old oil boiler can be the stuff of significant maintenance and major headaches.

Fortunately, converting those systems to a more affordable and efficient natural gas boiler is becoming more commonplace. If you hire a qualified boiler conversion contractor, the process can be fairly straightforward.

Why Natural Gas is Preferred for Boiler Conversions

Natural gas prices tend to stay more stable than other fuels, and it has less of an environmental impact as well. Natural gas emits significantly fewer emissions of sulfur, oxide, particulate, and mercury.

You’ll also find additional cost savings when you no longer have to consider:

  • air emission permits
  • fuel storage tank maintenance
  • more regular boiler maintenance
  • oil additives
  • many other issues

Natural gas is also more widely available, making it easier to install regardless of the age and location of the neighborhood.

Steps in a Boiler Conversion

First, your contractor will figure out where the gas line is. If there’s no original connection, the local natural gas utility will come out and install a gas line. Then, your contractor will inspect the existing system for potential conversion. If all things are in order, the boiler conversion can begin (additional costs may arise throughout the process if new equipment is required).

Depending on the condition of existing lines and the system, the installation team may need to replace copper pipes and convert a water heater. The conversion typically uses equipment that’s HVAC-approved for overall seamlessness. A good contractor can do this project in about 1-2 weeks with minimal intrusion into the homeowner’s day-to-day life. Just like radiant heat, the project may increase a home’s value as well.


If you’re thinking about a boiler conversion, it’s essential to consult the professionals to get a complete understanding of the process. Portland homeowners trust The Earth Heating for all of their boiler conversion needs and anything else related to home heating. Call (503) 788-7777 to learn more.

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