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 simply can’t be found that much (or at all) anymore. However, with all of that charm comes plenty of “old house problems” and in especially cold climates, an old oil boiler can be the stuff of major maintenance and major headaches.

Fortunately, it’s becoming more commonplace to convert those systems to a more affordable and efficient natural gas boiler and if you hire a qualified boiler conversion contractor, the process can be fairly straightforward.

Why Natural Gas is Preferred for Boiler Conversions

Not only is the price of natural gas more level and stable than other fuels, but it also has less of an impact on the environment 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 a more widely available fuel, making it easier to install across more general neighborhoods.

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, the existing system will be inspected to deem suitability for the conversion. If all things are in order, the boiler conversion can begin (although additional costs sometimes arise for new equipment beforehand).

Depending on the condition of existing lines and the system, the installation team may need to replace copper pipes, convert a water heater, and purchase additional supplies to support the conversion. The conversion typically uses equipment that’s HVAC-approved for overall seamlessness. A good contractor can do this project in about 1-2 weeks and not cause significant intrusion into the homeowner’s day-to-day life.


If you’re thinking about a boiler conversion, it’s important 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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