Home Buying in 07666>Question Details

Mekaney, Home Buyer in Hackensack, NJ

What are the approximate cost of converting radiator/steam heating system to central air systems?

Asked by Mekaney, Hackensack, NJ Sun Sep 22, 2013

Hi All,
I am a potential first time home buyer and I have been looking at Town houses/Condo's and even single family homes in the Bergen County area (Hasbrk Hgts, Maywood, Rochelle Park, Teaneck areas) as going further North like Paramus gets more expensive. I am appalled to see that a lot of the nice homes that I was excited about still have those ugly looking radiators. For me this is a real problem as I have always disliked the way they looked and I had those in 2 apartments and it was very difficult to put leather furniture close to them which limited my space and I am noticing the same thing with the houses. It is for this reason why I am also looking at condo's and town houses as most of them have central air which to me is just way more modern and makes the living spaces look nicer.

My question to you all is, if I find a home with these ugly radiators that I really like. can they be removed & replaced with central air?Also what are the approximate costs?Thanks for your help!

Help the community by answering this question:


The best way to find out an approximate cost on any home you are interested in is to contact a licensed Heating/ Air Conditioning Contractor and get an accurate estimate. It will depend on the size of the house and number of rooms.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 7, 2013
The truth is that no one can give you an approximate cost for this. The reason is because you cannot know the cost of the labor to install the new system and to remove the old system without looking at the home in question. If anyone were to give you a guess, I would tell you that you can't depend on that at all. Here's why -

There's the cost to remove the old system. You could, I believe, cap off the old steam pipes and remove the radiators and furnace. One would think that is possible but now you have to install the new system and that can be very involved because you need to install a duct system that will work for both hot air heat and central air. That means you'll have to go through walls and there is no way to be able to estimate how much that will cost because you may have to do some repair work too.

Also, there's electrical to consider. Today's building codes demand more than what might be present in the home because codes may have been non-existent or quite different when the original system was installed.

Cost is also affected by the type of system you are removing - is it gas or oil? Are the radiators steam or hot water? If you change the fuel source, do you need a new chimney lining?

My advice is for you to discuss this with a contractor so you can get a better idea of what is truly involved in such an undertaking. I'm sure it can be done but only having the right professional contractor come to a house can you correctly assess the cost which would be, I would think, in excess of $10,000 for the average size home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 26, 2013
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