# home buyer with questions about a strange heating setup

• posted on March 8, 2007, 1:55 am
Hi all,
I'm a first-time home buyer here in Connecticut. I just saw a great house at the right price, but I'm worried about its combination heating setup.
The house is small, a little over 1,300 square feet. Originally it was just 1 story with an unfinished attic, but the investment company that is selling it converted the upstairs into 2 bedrooms and a bathroom.
However, they were too cheap to extend the house's main heat source, an oil furnace, to the upstairs. Instead they put in electric baseboards in the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom. Each of the 3 rooms upstairs has a separate thermostat, and there is 1 thermostat for the oil heat downstairs.
Heating with oil is expensive these days, but then in New England heating with electricity is even more expensive. My worry is that the combination of paying for both electric heat and oil heat each month will be more than I can afford.
The house should be well-insulated, since it has all brand new windows, but I probably can't be sure until I live through a winter in it. My questions are:
Since the baseboards heat around 1/3 of the house, will the cost of heat-related electricity roughly be 1/3 of the cost if baseboards heated the whole house?
And the same question for the oil-heated part of the house, will the cost of the oil roughly be 2/3 of what it would be if oil heated the entire house?
Basically I just want to know if I'm going to be paying a lot more for heat than I should be because of this combination heating setup.
Jim
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• posted on March 8, 2007, 2:11 am
On Wed, 07 Mar 2007 20:55:35 -0500, Jim Faulkner

Hold on Jim........Let me get out my crystal ball. ... ... .... Ok, Ive got it. Yeah, sure. 1/3 of the cost will be from the electric Yeah, sure. 2/3 of the cost will be from the oil 1/3 + 2/3 = 3/3. Your lights and appliances will be free. Anymore dumb questions? Break open your tight little wallet and pay for a knowledgeable home inspector or HVAC company to look your system over and give you the "scoop". The crystal ball is now being turned off. Bubba
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• posted on March 8, 2007, 2:36 am
On Wed, 07 Mar 2007 21:11:54 -0500, Bubba wrote:

Well I did say "heat-related electricity."

Thanks for the tip, that's exactly what I'm going to do. :)
Jim
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• posted on March 8, 2007, 3:03 am

What's the cost of each fuel in your area?

Hum, see the above question... get the figures and I'll figure it for you real quick. (you might find out they are pretty close to being equal)

What's the 'all new windows' have to do with the overall insulation in the walls?

Ask to see the last couple of years 'heating bills'. That will give you an idea...

Load Calculation...

Load Calculation...

Do a manual J and you'll than know what the homes requirements for heating and cooling are... till then, everything is a guess.
If you want the figures for each fuel... get me your cost per gallon and cost per kw for your area.
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• posted on March 8, 2007, 3:20 am
On Wed, 07 Mar 2007 21:03:28 -0600, kjpro wrote:

12 cents per KWHr
\$2.85 per gallon
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• posted on March 8, 2007, 3:46 am

12 cents/kwh = \$ 35.14 per million btu
\$ 2.85/gal #2 fuel oil at 80% efficiency = \$ 25.72 per million
What's that really mean to you?
It means that the electric heat is costing you 36.6% more than the 80% fuel oil furnace.
***These calculations are based on #2 fuel oil with a 138,500 btu/gal content operating at 80% efficiency.
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• posted on March 8, 2007, 6:44 am

those numbers are grossly inaccurate. first off, the oil burning furnace is also burning electricity that isnt factored in, second your wiz-bang spread sheet doesnt include repairs & maint on the cost of the oil heat. Also, fuel oil pricing flucuates alot more than electricity.

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• posted on March 8, 2007, 7:40 am

and
fuel
Well slick, we are talking 'operational cost' and not 'cost of maintenence' (no one has a crystal ball that can accurately figure that, except Bubba -) ).
Since both figures are just for the cost of fuel... both are going to have a blower that runs on electric... so 1=1, 2=2, 3=3, etc...
And as for as the cost of oil "flucuating", what doesn't? But his cost of oil would have to raise to \$ 3.89 /gal to equal his current cost for electric.
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• posted on March 8, 2007, 3:09 pm

well since a broken oil furnace consumes zero oil, it seems to me one must include repairs in the 'operational cost'. surely you dont expect an oil furnace to operate forever without any repair or maintenance. If a person spends money to keep it operating, those are 'operational costs'

HORSESHIT kj- Name one base board electric wall heater that incorporates a fan.

face it. your wiz-bang spread sheet is nothing more than smoke & mirrors. a gimmick.
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• posted on March 8, 2007, 5:00 pm

gallon
maintenence'
Well, it's kinda like MPG, people want to know the cost of the fuel consumption.

have a

I'll give you this one... I was thinking 'electric furnace'. :-)

Think what you want, but it gives a client an idea to what their fuel bills are going to be. I have estimated yearly heating cost and it's pretty damn close.
Does this include a service call? No Does it include maintenance? No
Does it include money for pain and suffering? No
But it does provide a starting point for people to get a grasp on heating cost.
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• posted on March 9, 2007, 3:15 pm
On Thu, 08 Mar 2007 15:09:41 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@gonefishin.net wrote:

Damn fish.............take a pill dude. We all wake up on the wrong side of the bed once in a while. We all know that charts, percentages and figures can be construed askew to show whatever the hell one wants it to show but it does provide a starting point and I did fail to see the chart/graph/figures you provided. :-) It'll all be better in the morning after a few beers. Laterz, Bubba
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• posted on March 8, 2007, 3:31 pm

Ask for the previous years oil bills. That will give you the cost of running the oil furnace for the year. That probably won't change. The cost of heating the new addition is going to be on top of that. Just for a swag you could probably multiply the prior year oil cost by 1.5 to get a total.
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