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Old 01-25-2011, 02:29 PM   #1
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converting from oil to gas heat


My boiler is about 15 yrs old. I've read that they last about this long, maybe a little longer.

When the time comes to replace it, is it worth switching to gas heat? I know that the up front cost can be substantial, but I've heard that it saves money over the long term, and is more attractive when we go to sell the house in the distant future. We already have a gas hook-up, as we have a gas-fired range. Anybody have experience with this switch-over?

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:37 PM   #2
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converting from oil to gas heat


Ayuh,... It pretty much comes down to the costs of the fuels,...

Propane, or NGas,..??

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:42 PM   #3
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converting from oil to gas heat


we'd be converting to natural gas
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:11 PM   #4
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converting from oil to gas heat


I'd go for it, probably cheaper, and much cleaner then oil. Make sure to get a high efficiency unit.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:42 PM   #5
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converting from oil to gas heat


Natural gas is not an option for us, as it is several miles away, so we switched from oil to propane about 8 years ago, and although it never left us without heat, I don't miss the oil; not that I ever considered it problematic, but it definitely required more and regular maintenance. As for cost, I tried like heck to figure the difference, but the prices were fluctuating so much at the time that it was hard to determine, so I could not say, one way or the other. The one thing that was nice about oil was that I know enough people in the area, and was able to get oil for free on several occasions, when someone was making the switch to gas. The one thing that I would say though is that it may very worthwhile to have an expert assess your existing boiler, because ours was 30 years old, and still in good working order when we replaced it; I was just pretty certain that it would not outlast us.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:48 PM   #6
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converting from oil to gas heat


Oil is billed in gallons, and each gallon makes 1.388 therm. From here you can calculate cost per therm.

Natural gas is billed in therms. Where I am, I'm paying $1.12/therm, but when you allocate fixed cost(fees and monthly charge) to it, it comes out to be about $1.40/therm

Modern oil furnace and gas furnace in basic models are about 80%. Premium gas furnace are ~95%

To get the actual cost of useful heat, you'll take the utility's rate and divided by the efficiency, so for an 80% natural gas and you're paying $1.00 a therm, your heat is $1.25/therm.

See if you can look at your neighbor's gas bill. Look at your oil cost. What is cheaper entirely depends on where about you are.

I have electric water heat and zero gas usage during the summer, but contract doesn't allow seasonal disconnect, so I'm paying $36 fixed cost for months I have zero gas usage.

Go with natural gas, unless math shows oil is substantially cheaper at your location's rates.

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Originally Posted by DexterII View Post
Natural gas is not an option for us, as it is several miles away, so we switched from oil to propane about 8 years ago, and although it never left us without heat, I don't miss the oil; not that I ever considered it problematic, but it definitely required more and regular maintenance. As for cost, I tried like heck to figure the difference, but the prices were fluctuating so much at the time that it was hard to determine, so I could not say, one way or the other. The one thing that was nice about oil was that I know enough people in the area, and was able to get oil for free on several occasions, when someone was making the switch to gas. The one thing that I would say though is that it may very worthwhile to have an expert assess your existing boiler, because ours was 30 years old, and still in good working order when we replaced it; I was just pretty certain that it would not outlast us.
Propane is usually the most expensive fuel after resistive electric heat. Climate permitting, when NG is not an option, electric heat pump is an excellent option. It uses 1/2 to 1/4 (entirely outdoor temp dependent) of electricity compared to standard electric)

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Last edited by HVAC_NW; 01-25-2011 at 03:58 PM.
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