thinking of switching to NG ?

big_al_41February 11, 2012

thinking of switching to NG, I presently have oil hot water baseboard heat two zones, furnace is about 7-8 years old, live here in New England. Thinking of changing cuz I just paid $3.64 a gal for oil and at 200 gals it's about $728 a fill and this has been a fairly mild winter so far.

My question is this: I don't have A/C, just hot water base board heat and domestic hot water ( showers etc ) ... what would I need ??? can't go too crazy on $$ I have read about 80% units and all do I need that. And what kind of dollars am I looking at to change over.

Does it make sense to order a furnace online and then have some one install??

Any thoughts here would help, thanks.

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tigerdunes

You already have natural gas service to your home?

If not, nat gas service is available on your street/neighborhood?

If so, call your nat gas distributor and ask about costs to bring nat gas service with a meter to your home.

That would be your starting point.

IMO

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:02PM
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mike_home

Since your boiler is relatively new, it may be practical to convert the burner from oil fired to gas fired. The result may be a little les efficient than a new gas boiler, but the initial savings could be significant. You also should plan for a a gas fired hot water heater.

Start doing your homework now so you will be able to make the conversion in the spring. As mentioned above the first step is to find out how much it will take to bring in a gas line into your house.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:22PM
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big_al_41

Tiger... my friends on my street are all thinking about getting NG supplied to thier homes, it's all ready up at the corner of our dead end drive. we are all going to see what the NG company will do and the cost to bring to our homes etc.

Mike... I didn't think one could convert a oil fire burner to NG burner..WOW that would be great, but does it really work well??? And where do I look to do research on this type of conversion?

BTW ..thanks to all that responded.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:47PM
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berlin

A conversion burner is EXACTLY what I would recommend in your situation. Simple, quick, and much less expensive than trashing your relatively new boiler and installing a new gas fired boiler. A few percentage point hit in efficiency over what a dedicated gas boiler would provide, but an excellent choice in your situation. It's really disapointing that many techs don't offer it as an option to homeowners looking to switch more often.

http://www.waynecombustion.com/store/c-10-gas-burners.aspx

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:08PM
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big_al_41

Berlin, what kind of $$$ are we talking here approx. for a retrofit as you suggest.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 9:12AM
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berlin

Depending on brand and where you buy, anywhere from $400-975 (Riello) for the burner and at least another couple hundred to install once the gas line is brought inside the home.

http://www.furnaceparts.com/Store/Category/Wayne%20gas%20burners.aspx

http://www.hitechheat.com/rigasbu1.html

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 3:23PM
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SaltiDawg

Don't forget the costs associated with removing the oil tank and piping in an environmentally approved manner. Also, you'll be required to remove any tank filler or vent piping.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 4:15PM
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mike_home

Are there any rules where an oil tank must be removed if it is no longer being used?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 5:03PM
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berlin

as long as it's not a buried tank and it's not leaking etc. I don't believe there are, but this may not be true for all states and locals. In most states it's perfectly legal to store many hundreds of gallons of fuel oil (diesel etc.) on a residential property. Many people that do gas conversions with a conversion burner won't remove the oil tank, not just because it costs them money, but because the low retail NG prices we see now are not likely to stay low and historically NG has tracked heating oil much more closely and, in fact, has been higher many times in the recent past.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 7:38PM
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hrajotte

NG is expected to remain cheaper than oil for some time, especially with all the BS coming out of Iran, which is only going to drive up the price of oil even more. Depending on your usage, it may be worthwhile to switch to NG. You have to crunch the numbers. I am sticking with oil because we only use 300-400 gallons per year for heating (forced hot air). If I was using 600+ gallons, or if oil creeps toward $5 a gallon, I would be seriously looking at NG or even propane.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:01AM
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mike_home

I am curious what savings you have calculated if you switched from heating oil to natural gas. My rough calculation is about a $1000 in savings per year assuming oil at $3.75 per gallon and gas at $1 per hundred cubic feet. If you switched your domestic hot water heater also the savings would be greater.

For most parts of the country there is not much savings switching to propane.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:35AM
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