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Oil Furn.bennys to switch to nat gas?


a2zhi
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Both are commodities, so don't switch based on today's price, because tomorrow could make you sorry you did it. Last time I looked, oil was cheaper than gas per btu, when averaged out over a 20 year period.

I heat mostly with wood, and have never owned a home more than 4 years, so I would never recoup the cost of switching fuels, and have never seriously considered it. I should think you'd have to be fairly certain (whatever that means) you were going to stay put for 10 years or more before starting that conversation even makes financial sense.

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

Both are commodities, so don't switch based on today's price, because tomorrow could make you sorry you did it.

So right. When we built in 1999-2000 natural gas was still cheap around here. Less than two years later that was a fading memory. A big viper called Atmos Energy swallowed up the local company that had been around forever, and BOOM!

Brian G.

Stuff Happens [:-weepn]

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How much will it cost to get gas to the house? And then piped to the furnace?

Oil vs. gas costs, as already mentioned, need to be analyzed thoroughly to see who wins.

Your gas company would probably love to sell you gas and will do some cost comparisons for free.

No messy oil tanks to deal with if you convert.

Quality gas furnaces are cheaper to replace than quality oil furnaces.

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Hi,

Unless you tear out all of the ducting and replace it with smaller stuff, converting an oil system to a gas system isn't going to save anything on fuel and the additional cost of all of that sheetmetal work when you do convert will more than offset your fuel savings for a lot of years. At least that's what one HVAC guy here told me.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Hi Chad,

I've never seen it either. Around here, they mostly just pull out the oil burner and hang a Mighty Mite gas burner on the furnace. The guy said that because gas burning furnace burn at such low temps compared to oil burning furnaces they need to do a better job of distributing the air and most of the old oil systems, with their huge ducts, don't do that very well; ie, one central return versus two or more for a newer gas system, etc.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Tom Raymond

Originally posted by hausdok

Around here, they mostly just pull out the oil burner and hang a Mighty Mite gas burner on the furnace.

They might as well hang a Mighty Mouse swiss cheese burner on that thing, the heat exchanger was optimized for oil.[:-crazy]

Tom

I've always wondered about the efficiency (inefficiency?) of a coverted oil burner. As we are basically talking about a natural draft furnace with a very simple heat exchanger, I've always suspected a LOT more of the heat gets wasted than with, say, a 80 or 90+ furnace. Anyone know the rough efficiency of a conversion?

Of course, there always the option of installing an actual gas furnace but I'm with the others in that, if the oil burning furnace is in good shape, it would take a long time to recoup the expense of a change-over...assuming there will be any savings (my crystal ball is broken). There's also the expense of decomissioning the oil tank to consider.

On the plus side, once gas is installed, you also have the option of convenient gas for cooking, hot water, the dryer, fireplaces, barbecues and heating spas and pools, and that may affect the decision.

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Natural gas does have a couple of advantages; you never run out, and you rarely lose service after a big storm.

We hadn't been in our house a year when a killer straight-line wind storm came through and tore the whole area a big, ragged new one (in February). My house was out of power for five days, and every hotel room was quickly taken for 100 miles around. Because we had a lot of gas appliances, we were able to stay in our house (the fireplace, water heater, & stove made life bearable). If we had been at the bottom of a tank of fuel we'd have been sunk.

Brian G.

There's No Place Like Home [:-angel]

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I've always wondered about the efficiency (inefficiency?) of a coverted oil burner. As we are basically talking about a natural draft furnace with a very simple heat exchanger, I've always suspected a LOT more of the heat gets wasted than with, say, a 80 or 90+ furnace. Anyone know the rough efficiency of a conversion?

I've learned from a local expert, that efficiency can be reduced by as much as 50%.

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Out of curiosity, I googled the average weather for Hudson, Florida. It's on the Gulf coast about level with Orlando. Looks like the temperatures "plummet" (Ha!) to an average of 45 during the year's coldest nights. I don't know what electricty costs back there, but wouldn't a good heat-pump be the most efficient...and all he really needs? I doubt the emergency heat strips would get that much use.

No back up for power failures, but when was the last time anyone froze to death in that area?

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Around here, the gas co usually has a program where they will give you a free boiler if you convert from oil.

I've never seen the need for ductwork change when converting, but I've have seen the need to install larger gas mains when the house had gas cooking fuel.

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They have oil-burning furnaces in Hudson, FL? Seriously? So far I've been alive for 46 years and haven't seen a single one. I thought those were exclusive to the northeast and midwest.

Richard said it; I'd sure look at a good heat pump. The price of electricity is regulated and is typically public-owned, unlike oil or natural gas. I wish I had done that when I built.

We replaced both a 32 year old package AC unit and an electric furnace on our old mo-bile home about a year and a half ago, with a new 11 or 13 SEER heat pump unit (can't remember). Now the kids are paying almost 1/2 what we did when we lived in it.

Brian G.

Keep More Money [:-thumbu]

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Yep. I've been looking at geothermals for a few years now, and still plan to get there. The payback period is usually quoted as about 7 years. The newer "direct exchange" systems are the most efficient, and may be a bit faster catching up to cost.

Brian G.

Lower Dat Electric Bill [:-thumbu]

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