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Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

Posted by mandogirl (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 5, 07 at 14:16

Hi. I am interested in a house that has oil heat with a summer/winter hook up. I have gas heat in my current house now and am not familiar with how anything else works. My very limited understanding is that with summer/winter hookup your furnace basically has to run all summer to heat your water. Is this right? This spells large oil bills to me, but again I don't know much about oil heat. I'm in PA if this helps...cold cold winters and hot hot summers.

The background on this house is that it was built in 1910. It has an addition that put on in 1930. As far as I know, the house has had oil heat from day one. However, the oil heat system (with summer winter hookup) that the house currently has is brand new as of 2006. So I'm wondering if a new system will be more energy efficient than what I'm imagining.

The house, BTW, is large. I don't have square footage info, but it's got 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths, living room, family room, eat in kitchen, breakfast room, mud room, full basement, attic with pull-down stairs access.

Is anyone familiar with this type of system (and/or oil heat in general)? I'm trying to figure out if this summer winter hookup thing is something to avoid.

As an aside, we drove by the house yesterday, and the roof looks like it might be bad. Some shingles are coming off in front on the one side. The shingles are reddish and octagonal shaped. I've never seen octagonal shingles before (has anyone else?), and I'm wondering just how old this roof is. Egads! Otherwise the house seems a good value for the price they are asking.

Thanks in advance for any advice/info you can give.
- mando


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

With oil heat you can call your supplier when the price is low and lock in a price at which you can fill your tank.
The problem you may have with having a oil tank is where it is located. If it's been around for awhile it may be underground and the bank may give you some grief about it. PA is EPA nuts. So if it does leak and is in the ground you're going to have lots of EPA involemnt as well as cost.

Now as for the shigles.....you know you have to pay to have them hauled away and disposed of and that is usually NOT included in most estimates you get from roofers.
The octagon shingles were at one time pretty common but like everything they've gone out of style. What you need to know is how many layers of shingles are on that roof. If it's just one stripping them off and havig them disposed of and then resheating the roof if needed isn't too bad. If there's more than one layer the weight of the shingels are going to make the expensive to dispose of, you're no longer disposing of one roof but two.
Most folks will tell you you can have upto three layers of shingles on your roof before you need to strip it down but since these shingles have probably been on a lot longer than recommended I'd strip it down to the wood and take care of any problems now when it's easier.


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RE: Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

Here's the extent of my knowledge. It's not much but may get you started. Be sure to get a home inspection before you sign a contract!

Summer/Winter Hook-Up Systems

Summer/winter hook-up systems use a gas or oil fired boiler to heat hot water for radiator or baseboard heating. They also provide the hot water for your house and eliminate the need for a water heater tank. Since this type of system is in use year round, even when there is no need for heat, it is called a summer/winter hookup. The hot water supplied by the boiler for personal use is the same temperature as the water used to provide heat. Therefore, the output temperature of hot water at sinks, faucets, and bathtubs in the house can exceed 150 degrees. This is a very dangerous temperature that can result in instant scalding and burning of exposed skin. To prevent accidental scalds, a tempering or mixing valve should be attached to the main hot water supply line. The tempering valve mixes cooler water with the hot water from the boiler to reduce the temperature of personal use hot water to a safe level.

Summer/winter hook-up systems also have a temperature & pressure relief valve. Its purpose is to discharge water from the boiler if the internal water temperature of the boiler exceeds 210 degrees F or 30 PSI. If water temperatures or pressures were allowed to exceed these points, the boiler could become damaged or worse, the boiler could explode. The TPR valve should have a directional pipe installed that points towards the floor and ends about six inches above the floor. This helps prevent anybody standing nearby from getting burned with scalding water if the TPR valve were to open. This exhaust pipe should never be capped or plugged shut.

/tricia


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RE: Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

Thanks so much for the info, carol and tricia. Good point about the location of the tank. I don't know where the tank is but now I will certainly find out. I guess if I don't see a tank in the basement this will be a big clue (HA!).
The listing sheet says "new oil hot water heating system with summer/winter hookup (2006)," so I'd imagine whatever safety features/valves that are required are there, but again I will certainly find out. I have young kids so the thought of scalding hot water is definitely scary.

I've called our REA to ask her if she can find out if there's anything seriously wrong with the house. If not we will get an appointment to walk through it over the weekend.


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RE: Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

If the roof is leaking or is that shot that it needs to be replaced, you may be able to get a new one or money towards the roof. Make sure you have the house inspected if you do put an offer in.

Too bad the heating system is new, if it wasn't and gas was available, I would suggest converting it to gas. The gas companies have good programs for low rate loans.

While the owner may not know if the house ever had an under ground tank, the inspector probably knows what to look for. Hubby & I killed a deal for property years ago because the owner wasn't cooperating with us trying to find out if there was an under ground tank at one time. I'm pretty familiar with the EPA and stories of people having their yards excavated due to old tanks and wanted nothing to do with it.


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RE: Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

My DD bought a house that had oil heat. The tank was underground and they required the seller to remove the tank and do any EPA clean up, then DD paid for the gas line and new boiler.
Remember, if you are a fan of A/C, there are NO ducts to run it through, so to get A/C it is very expensive.
Kathy G in MI


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RE: Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

Thanks, rose and kathy. I do wonder now if there isn't indeed an underground tank. The asking price (which has dropped) seems low for the size of the house and the neighborhood. However this could also be due to the roof and what I suspect must be an older kitchen (due to there being no kitchen pics on the listing). This house is listed with a big RE agency. There is another house for sale on the same street that's a FSBO for $180K more that's been completely remodeled, central AC'd, new kitchen with granite and new SS appliances, EP Henry patio, all high high end stuff everywhere. I suspect the one we're interested in will need some work...it's how much work that I don't know. But I guess we'll find out this weekend!

Central AC, BTW, is not a big deal to me. Our house now is from 1920 and we are used to the old fashioned window units! ;-)


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RE: Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

We had the sellers of the house we purchased in NH remove an old underground oil tank. It made a mess but wasn't difficult nor expensive. That said, however, as a lender I've experienced EPA nightmares. So, yes...check.

/t


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RE: Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

Regarding the roof. I've seen several roofs here in the NE that have octagon shingles, and they are slate and very, VERY old. Usually they are gray in my area though. They are also highly desirable to old-home lovers.

Have that roof thoroughly checked out and if it is slate, you could have a big $$ roofing job there.


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RE: Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

We live in NE Ohio and have an oil boiler and baseboard heat. Our house was built in the 50's and we had the underground tank removed shortly after we moved in. The removal plus a new above ground tank were somewhere around $1000-1500, can't remember exactly.

Many people consider hot water baseboard heat to be an excellent heat source, because it's very efficient and uniform. Ours works great. I also like not having a water tank where energy is used to keep water hot whether you need it or not. With a boiler, it's on demand. The downside is that oil is a little more expensive to heat with, although I've read that it's a more efficient heat source then gas and certainly electricity.

We sign a contract each year with a "not to exceed" price per gallon. The company delivers the oil on a schedule so it's convenient. It's delivered about every 4-6 weeks in the winter depending on how cold it is, then not at all after spring until the fall.


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RE: Any info about summer/winter hook up, oil heat?

Pompeii, you're right, the heat is great.

Thanks, rose and kathy. I do wonder now if there isn't indeed an underground tank. The asking price (which has dropped) seems low for the size of the house and the neighborhood. However this could also be due to the roof and what I suspect must be an older kitchen (due to there being no kitchen pics on the listing). This house is listed with a big RE agency. There is another house for sale on the same street that's a FSBO for $180K more that's been completely remodeled, central AC'd, new kitchen with granite and new SS appliances, EP Henry patio, all high high end stuff everywhere. I suspect the one we're interested in will need some work...it's how much work that I don't know. But I guess we'll find out this weekend!

Look at it this way, if the kitchen is usable, that's a plus. You can then redo it on your own schedule the way you want to. Depending on the size of the house, putting central air in isn't that expensive. We had it done on our rancher for under $4,000 IIRC. We did not tie the heat in though. For what you would save on the not updated house verses the one already done is a lot of money. If you do work yourself you'd have money left over.


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