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Old 06-17-2008, 07:31 PM   #1
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Central Air Installation vs. Oil Furnace


I just moved into half of a double (1325 sq. ft). It has a forced air oil burning furnace that is only a year and a half old, but he chimney needs a liner (estimated at $1500). Given the price of oil and the estimate on the liner, I could save a considerable amount of money over the course of the next few years with central air/heat. Is it possible for me to get a central air/heat unit installed and use the existing ductwork to cool/heat the home. Or would this installation be extremely expensive?

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Old 06-17-2008, 08:10 PM   #2
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Central Air Installation vs. Oil Furnace


If your up north, propane or natural gas could save you money, propane is not much less than oil. If you have natural gas at the road or even better in the house, thats the way to go.

If your down south, talk to a contractor about a heat pump.

Yes in most cases you can reuse the existing ductwork.

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Old 06-17-2008, 08:27 PM   #3
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Central Air Installation vs. Oil Furnace


I'm in Central PA and there's no existing gas lines running to the house, how expensive is it to get it rigged up to the house? Is it cheaper than electric? My girlfriends dad works for PPL (PA Power and Light) and said electric prices are going to increase up to 30% as the rate caps expire in the next two years.

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Old 06-17-2008, 08:55 PM   #4
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Central Air Installation vs. Oil Furnace


PPL will run the gas line to the house, a licensed contractor, or you can run the piping from there, check with PPL and see if they have natural gas at the road, and what they would charge.

All utilities will be increasing in the near future, a 90 plus gas furnace with a 14 or 16 SEER central AC would be a wise investment.

Normaly you have to do the home gas piping first, then the power co. connects to it. Gas will be more expensive initialy, but save you money in operating costs. There are online programs that can help you calculate you energy usage and costs. PPL may do it for you.

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Old 06-18-2008, 07:44 PM   #5
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Central Air Installation vs. Oil Furnace


Typically the power co. will run up to 100 feet of pipe from the road to your house anything over they charge you something like $3.00 per foot.
Natural gas or propane seems to be the way to go with oil prices soaring plus the high cost of maintaining an oil burner.
Buy the highest efficiency furnace you can afford, the ductwork in your house may or may not handle the air conditionings airflow, if it was sized for heating only it maybe too small to accommodate the 400 CFM per ton of A/C.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:35 PM   #6
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Central Air Installation vs. Oil Furnace


Can I retrofit the existing furnace to accommodate Natural Gas. What other components would I need to install to get both central AC and Gas heat? Also, what do I do with my oil tank?

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Old 06-20-2008, 07:49 AM   #7
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Central Air Installation vs. Oil Furnace


Quote:
Originally Posted by shnfldr View Post
Can I retrofit the existing furnace to accommodate Natural Gas. What other components would I need to install to get both central AC and Gas heat? Also, what do I do with my oil tank?
You can retrofit the furnace to natural gas, its going to cost you big bucks to do it, lat time I checked the kits were selling for around $700.
You best bet is to do away with the oil furnace and replace it with a high efficiency gas fired unit, some contractors would give you a break if you buy the furnace and the central air.

You could build a roaster with the empty oil tank, I picked a couple from graigslist and thatís what Iím using them for

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