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Old 04-24-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
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Oil Heat


Got a question for you. We are currently looking at an older farm house (1910) that uses fuel oil for heat. It has a tank in the basement that supplies the furnace. Any ideas as to the goods and bads?

Obviously price is the biggest concern. Would there be a benefit?

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Old 04-24-2012, 03:16 PM   #2
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Oil Heat


crickets

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Old 04-24-2012, 03:26 PM   #3
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Not sure about where you live, but up here oil is cheaper then propane. Also, there is a time table about when all oil tanks have to be permanently transfered outside. The older the tank the sooner. Check with your local supplier
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by creeper View Post
Not sure about where you live, but up here oil is cheaper then propane. Also, there is a time table about when all oil tanks have to be permanently transfered outside. The older the tank the sooner. Check with your local supplier
Good to know. So, when you say "time table" are you saying that one of these years, law will require oil tanks to be placed outside the home?

In my area you don't see a lot of oil heated homes, but I think you're right that it is cheaper than propane even where I live. Just not as cheap as natural gas.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:45 AM   #5
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Oil Heat


googled pros and cons of oil heat... got this...


<LI class=section itxtNodeId="3" itxtHarvested="0">Pros
  • Oil heating is a little more effective than gas for producing heat, and it is much more cost-effective for heating large buildings. The equipment is readily customizable to suit a building, according to HomeHeatingSystemHelp.com. Also, the oil is widely available.

Cons
  • There can be marked fluctuations in the price of heating oil because it is tied to the price and availability of crude oil, from which it is produced. Also, the oil must be delivered after purchase and stored.


Other Facts
  • Modern oil heaters are more efficient, but many noisy and less efficient old systems still exist. Oil heaters require more maintenance compared with gas and electric heating equipment. Also, they produce soot, which can potentially be released back into a building, and the oil can leak out of storage to contaminate soil and water.


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Old 04-25-2012, 09:14 AM   #6
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Oil Heat


I have oil heat as the "primary" heat source in my house. About three years ago I installed a wood burning fireplace insert, basically a wood stove in the fireplace. That is now our primary heat source, fortunately.

There are no upsides to fuel oil compared to natural gas in my opinion. Fuel oil is about $4 gallon. One gallon is about 140,000 BTU, so the cost is about $1 per 35,000 BTU. Right now at the wholesale level natural gas is about $2 per million BTU. At the retail level, natural gas prices are all over the place, but $10 per million BTU is pretty common. Fuel oil is close to $30 per million BTU. So right off the top, fuel oil is around three times the price of natural gas per BTU, and natural gas is typically more efficient, so the real price differential at the retail level is greater.

As to the idea that fuel oil tanks will have to be placed outside, I have no idea where that comes from. Where I live, if you want an outdoor fuel oil tank, it has to be double walled, and requires a special permit from the town. An indoor tank is much more common, that is what I have, and the town is not in favor of outdoor tanks.

My conclusion is that if you can get natural gas, do it. Cheaper, cleaner, more efficient. Better deal all around.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:11 PM   #7
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Well, the current homeowners put a new furnace in 2 years ago.....I don't know if this furnace can only run on oil of it it can be supplied with propane (but gas is probably out of the question because of the location of this older farm)

My wife would love a fireplace or wood burner stove, so maybe in some remodel down the road we could add one and gain some heating through that.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:35 PM   #8
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How old is the tank?
I admit I know nothing about the subject, but I would be afraid of the cost if the tank were to leak. EPA, and all that.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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How old is the tank?
I admit I know nothing about the subject, but I would be afraid of the cost if the tank were to leak. EPA, and all that.
Tank looks old, but no leaks. I'm guessing a home inspection would provide further detail into the condition of the tank.

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