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Old 01-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
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Converting From Oil to Natural Gas


I'm trying to figure out if converting to natural gas will be worth the money spent.

House is 1 story, 1500 square feet, 2 zones, hot water baseboards, programmable thermostats. I just had an energy audit done, there's no major issues, but the insulation is inadequate. That will be fixed immediately. I keep the house at 60 for most of the day while working and sleeping and 64 for about 5 hours the rest of the day.

Right now I have a 7 year old Weil McLain boiler, tested at 85% efficiency. The oil tank is inside the house. DHW to the house is provided by electricity. Oil right now is $3.69/gallon and I'm using way too much. My local utility company will install a gas line from the curb to the house for free. Their rates for natural gas are $.44 a therm for the first 50 therms and $.12 after that.

Can anyone shed some light on the conversion, etc, along with tax incentives?

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Old 01-07-2012, 08:29 AM   #2
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Converting From Oil to Natural Gas


yes, I would any day of the week,It is much cheaper, it ppay off in no time, all your investment on your new unit and pipeline.

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Old 01-07-2012, 08:57 AM   #3
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Converting From Oil to Natural Gas


Quote:
Originally Posted by matt151617 View Post

...converting to natural gas will be worth the money spent.
In nearly every instance it will be.
The exceptions are 1) if NG isn't readily available and
2) the oil burning appliance is new or close to that.

Quote:
I have a 7 year old Weil McLain boiler, tested at 85% efficiency.
You fall into that second category.

Quote:
Can anyone shed some light on the conversion, etc, along with tax incentives?
In about 5-8 years...
In the meantime focus on insulation.

hth

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 01-07-2012 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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Converting From Oil to Natural Gas


I would have gas company to go ahead and get it install( since its free), ready for you when you can afford to pay for your unit.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:17 AM   #5
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Converting From Oil to Natural Gas


Gas company won't install a line until I commit to some kind of usage. It has to be cost effective to them.

How long should I wait until converting to gas then? Basically, at what age/efficiency is my oil boiler no longer cost-effective?
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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Converting From Oil to Natural Gas


Quote:
Originally Posted by matt151617 View Post
How long should I wait until converting to gas then? Basically, at what age/efficiency is my oil boiler no longer cost-effective?
What am I... chopped liver?

In about another 5-8 years... the installed equipment cost will be mostly utilized enough that the pendulum swings toward justifying the expense of change.
Not 100%... a good boiler will/can remain a good boiler for 30 years or more.

Continued operating efficiency is about maintenance of the burner...
and the distribution controls being used.

In the meantime focus on insulation.

Well, unless you're loaded and can afford the upfront costs for the change.
(oil tank & lines demo, boiler demo, proper & approved disposal, maybe some asbestos pipe insulation issues, the gas pipe work, very likely flue changes, the new boiler, the new controls, etc).

hth

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 01-08-2012 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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Converting From Oil to Natural Gas


Sorry, I thought you meant the 5-8 years was the time it would take to break even on the cost of a new gas boiler.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:27 PM   #8
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Converting From Oil to Natural Gas


Supposedly,the Shale gas bonanza will drive ng prices down.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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Converting From Oil to Natural Gas


I also heard someone talking about a mini-split heat pump system. I know they produce heat with electricity, which isn't great, but how about using the mini-split to heat in all but the coldest months, and the oil boiler would take over then?

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