Oil vs. Gas Heating Systems - ehMac.ca
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Feb 14th, 2008, 11:41 AM   #1
Honourable Citizen
 
MissGulch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: ehMerica
Posts: 1,916
Send a message via AIM to MissGulch Send a message via Yahoo to MissGulch
Oil vs. Gas Heating Systems

My house uses oil for heating. There's an old burner with a tank that I know is inefficient. An oil filler 'er up tab looks like a defense budget.

This past Oct. I got an offer from the local gas company (Keyspan - I'm in NY State), that I didn't take to have 100 feet of gas lines dug and a $899US gas burner. Instead, I accepted an oil delivery, cut the heat down to 55 F, and shivered all winter with the space heaters going. I was sorry I didn't take the earlier offer. Should I be?

Today's mail had a postcard with a renewal of the offer, ending 3/31. Who among you has converted, and do you like the change? I have no experience with gas coming into the house. My stove is electric.

Which is better for the environment? I care about that, as well as my budget. I suppose an updated heating system adds to the value of the house these days.
__________________
Apple stores visited: Soho, Garden City, Pasadena, San Francisco, 5th Avenue, Honolulu
MissGulch is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old Feb 14th, 2008, 01:36 PM   #2
Full Citizen
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Granville Ferry, NS
Posts: 890
Like you, my house is also heated with oil though we are just about to redo all our electrical and will be putting baseboard heat in key rooms. I am in Nova Scotia, Canada but our oil costs us a fortune as well and I am not thrilled about using it for the environmental reasons you mention. Gas is not an option for us here though we do heat most of the house with our woodstove in the Winter and we're lucky to have that. Wood here is pretty cheap at about $150/cord cut, split and delivered and burn about 3 cords a year.

I'm not an expert in the oil vs gas environmental comparison, how clean they burn, etc. but one thing you can do is check the efficiency of your existing furnace. A new furnace, be it oil or gas, will probably be more efficient than what you currently use so less of your money goes up the chimney.
johnnyspade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14th, 2008, 03:17 PM   #3
Honourable Citizen
 
Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Napanee, Ontario
Posts: 1,122
I have heated houses with both oil and gas, and they both have their strengths. An advantage of gas is that you don't need to store it on site, which frees up space either inside the house or outside,depending on where your tank is. Gas prices have not gone up anywhere near as much as oil has this season, in fact in Ontario, they've dropped!

The key here is the efficiency of your furnace. It sounds like your old oil burner is, well, geriatric (to be kind), and should probably be replaced anyway. $899 installed is a pretty good price for running the gas line and the furnace. Check and see if it is a high efficiency furnace. Also check and see if they will be tapping into your existing chimney. If they are, a re-lining will be needed, unless it's already got a stainless steel liner. That cost will have to be factored in.

One final thing to consider, how do you heat your water? If it is an oil-burning hot water tank, switching your furnace to gas may not be the best thing to do, since you'll have to maintain an oil tank for hot water as well. If the water heater is old and inefficient, replacing it with a new efficient, especially tankless system, would save you many dollars in operating costs, but would be another capital expense.

I suggest you talk to Keyspan, and ask about a combination package, including a water heater and relining the chimney. Also see if you can squeeze them for a payment plan. It'll free up cashflow to allow you to continue with your efforts to tighten up your home's thermal envelope (caulking, insulating, door/window replacement as needed). You ARE working on improving your thermal envelope, aren't you?

Old houses are neat (I live in one) but staying on top of your heating costs and comfort is an ongoing struggle. Good luck!
__________________
Chris
iMac 21.5", OS X Snow Leopard
5G iPod Touch 32 GB, iOS 7
Chris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #4
Full Citizen
 
danaekitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: London, Ont
Posts: 140
I've taken a poll among the 6 mechanics that I work with, all would choose gas over oil.
ESPECIALLY if your oil furnace is old and inefficient, and ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY if you spent last winter freezing your ass off at 55. Why are you even asking? DO IT!!!
__________________
- DanaŽ
www.geniusdee.com

I don't need luck, I've thought this through...
danaekitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #5
Assured Advertiser
Honourable Citizen
 
MacDoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Planet Earth.....on FASTER boil :-(
Posts: 30,836
Assuming that you own not rent....sell the damn place and rent.
You have a depreciating asset in need of major upgrade.
__________________
In Australia and the web site is out of date.
Lots of good deals on Retinas, previous high end MacPros and current MacPro 6 core bundles in stock. macdoc@macdoc.com
MacDoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14th, 2008, 05:07 PM   #6
Honourable Citizen
 
MissGulch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: ehMerica
Posts: 1,916
Send a message via AIM to MissGulch Send a message via Yahoo to MissGulch
Quote:
Originally Posted by danaekitty View Post
I've taken a poll among the 6 mechanics that I work with, all would choose gas over oil.
ESPECIALLY if your oil furnace is old and inefficient, and ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY if you spent last winter freezing your ass off at 55. Why are you even asking? DO IT!!!
I ask cuz I'm a novice homeowner, an heir to an estate in probate (can't sell yet, don't legally own the house). My mother should have done more updating but she didn't, so now it's my job. This is the first winter dealing with oil bills, the price has shot up about 50% over last winter and I'm freezing my butt here, yes I am.

Macdoc, the house appreciated about 15x over the original 1968 cost (not counting inflation), so this is an asset worth caring for. Also, people are now looking for updated heating systems when they consider a home purchase. And NY state has rebates for doing these upgrades. Can't lose doing the upgrade, and I guess I just needed a bit of validation.
__________________
Apple stores visited: Soho, Garden City, Pasadena, San Francisco, 5th Avenue, Honolulu
MissGulch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14th, 2008, 05:20 PM   #7
Honourable Citizen
 
Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Napanee, Ontario
Posts: 1,122
In this case, a furnace/water heater upgrade is worthwhile. Even after the property leaves probate, you'll be able to sell it for a better, current value. As you say,it's appreciated since 1968. As executor of the estate, you also have a duty to maintain it in good order until final disposition. Just make sure you know all the costs involved. Pulling out an old oil tank can be tricky, and expensive. Plus you may have environmental concerns if it's an underground tank.

Just make sure you do your homework.
__________________
Chris
iMac 21.5", OS X Snow Leopard
5G iPod Touch 32 GB, iOS 7
Chris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14th, 2008, 06:29 PM   #8
Honourable Citizen
 
Dreambird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 1,298
I think you'd be happy with a conversion to gas Miss Gulch, such as Chris describes.

Unfortunately I don't know what it all entails switching from oil as I've never used anything but gas... so can't advise you on that part of it, but it seems there are others here that can.

Personally I can't see why it wouldn't increase the value of the house too.

As a child, my grandparents farmhouse was heated this huge old Woodstove (used for cooking too) mainly and some fireplaces, ... talk about hot and cold spots! I can't even remember if they ever had any electricity in that farmhouse... I definitely remember the "plumbing" was outdoors...
__________________
"The question that sometimes drives me hazy: Am I, or the others crazy?" - Albert Einstein
Dreambird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15th, 2008, 09:19 PM   #9
Full Citizen
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 169
We switched from oil to gas a couple of years ago, mainly because our insurance wouldn't cover our 30yr old oil tank & a new tank would have cost roughly $1,000.
The 30yr old oil furnace was 75% efficient (measured by our furnace guy) and cost about $650 a year (about 3 fill-ups a season)- that was 3 years ago.
The new gas furnace is 94% efficient (claimed) and cost about $500 last year to heat with 2 degrees higher temperature settings.
The two stage gas system is more comfortable (low heat more frequently and a booster system for quicker warm-ups) than the oil burner with its burn for 15 mins and cool-down for two hour cycle.
So you're save a bit but not a whole whack of money (funny how the natural gas prices match the fuel oil costs).
The best way to reduce your heating costs(generally), regardless of your furnace, is to blow more (cellulose) insulation into your roof - think about 9 inches worth, and seal the gaps with chaulking.

Regards
from Ottawa
Harvey
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 28th, 2008, 04:15 PM   #10
Honourable Citizen
 
MissGulch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: ehMerica
Posts: 1,916
Send a message via AIM to MissGulch Send a message via Yahoo to MissGulch
The installation cost, including equipment, will be $5,000 to $7,000US.

Any thoughts on that? The state gives a rebate, but I'm not sure how much. My half-baked plan is to move out and rent the house for an indeterminate amount of time. A more efficient heating system will lower the house maintenance costs. The thing had better be durned efficient.
__________________
Apple stores visited: Soho, Garden City, Pasadena, San Francisco, 5th Avenue, Honolulu
MissGulch is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dell brings back XP systems -- Vista Slumping? fyrefly Anything Mac 12 Apr 21st, 2007 11:48 AM
Need recommendations to fix heating in central air unit r2traps Everything Else, eh! 2 Nov 11th, 2005 11:16 AM
Computer Systems Center - Rip off! Blood_Lust Anything Mac 44 Jul 31st, 2005 11:06 AM
Shuffle skin $29.99 at Computer Systems Center!!!! kloan Anything Mac 2 Jun 4th, 2005 07:47 PM
IBM to sell Opteron-based systems! Macaholic Anything Mac 1 Mar 17th, 2004 01:05 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:07 PM.



Copyright © 1999 - 2012, ehMac.ca All rights reserved. ehMac is not affiliated with Apple Inc. Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, Apple TV are trademarks of Apple Inc. Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2

Tribe.ca: Urban living in Toronto!