Oil or Gas Boiler

Oil furnace folks came out today and said the firebox is cracked and the coils are rapidly deteriorating. We need a new boiler. He had brochures, six-month interest free financing, and could install tomorrow. I said "Wait." I inquired about gas and he recommended staying with oil because it's cheaper, switching to gas would require inspecting the chimney and possibly installing a liner, we'd need a separate water heater since gas boilers won't heat hot water for drinking. I thought his response was pretty quick and they wanted a contract signed TODAY.
Is this the time to switch to gas? I'd sure like a quieter furnace, and I want to be rid of the oil tank. And when the power goes out and oil won't work, won't gas still work?
Here are the details: Live in Virginia, oil tank is in basement and can be removed. There is no gas line to the house but there is gas at the street. We have hot-water baseboard heat. House is 55 years old.
Ed
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Ed wrote:

Before you sign on the dotted line, talk with the gas company. We had an oil burner replaced with a gas boiler in 1999 and I'm delighted we did it. You put in a gas or electric water heater which is separate from the boiler for your residential hot water . The gas boiler still won't give you heat without electricity because the thermostats and circulating pump won't be working. Talk to the gas company and see what kind of a deal they can give you. The gas company didn't charge us to bring the link in from the street which was almost 200 feet.
Just getting that smelly oil tank out of the basement was incentive enough for me to change.
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Let me guess, they supply your oil too, correct? Tell them to screw off, and go shop around. Any time someone goes hard sale on me I wonder why! My bet is this gent does not want you to go gas 'cuz he will quit getting his regular pay offs when he fills your tank.
You can heat your domestic water with a gas boiler as well as oil too.
You will need electricity for both gas or oil heat, so during a power failure you are screwed either way.
My preferance is gas, it burns cleaner less maintainance. Greg
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I agree with the other poster call the gas company, I would think that any good contractor would inspect the chimney before installing any new appliance.
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On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 20:42:08 -0400, Oysters8

No, a sequencer [that does things like purge the combustion chamber, opens the gas valves and engages the blower] requires electricity.
I'm not sure a gas boiler would be any quieter at all.
Michael When I die, I want to go where dogs go!
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I converted to gas a couple of years ago. My gas boiler makes no noise whatsoever except when the flame ignites, you can hear a slight "swoosh" like you're lighting a propane BBQ.
Gas domestic water heater makes no noise either and works during a power outage.
My gas boiler uses substantially less power than the oil burner's oil pump motor and fan blower used, since the fuel is already under pressure. Gas boiler still utilizes 2 small TACO circulating pumps for the baseboard heaters. Might be a consideration if you intend to use a backup generator.
And yes, never running out of oil or ever having to smell either the stored oil or the spent oil in the utility room is more than worth it.
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On 31 Aug 2004 13:48:55 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (HA HA Budys Here) wrote:

That sounds great! The gas boiler I worked with was 36 horse power, 3.5-7.0 PSI. It had a blast tube that was about ten inches in diameter. A powerful squirrel cage fan purged the combustion chamber and ran throughout the cycle. When the main gas valve opened, the total noise was considerable.
Residential water heater don't need electricity because their pilot flame burns continuously. I like that feature.
Michael When I die, I want to go where dogs go!
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Don't they need a 24V source for the controls? What opens and closes the gas valve?
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wrote:

You are probably correct. I didn't think about that long enough. Somehow, I thought the main valve opened by some sort of thermal expansion mechanism. Surely someone will have all of the details.
Larger valves even have a small motor or something to open and close them. When I die, I want to go where dogs go!
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Hi Edwin, hope you are having a nice day
On 31-Aug-04 At About 10:59:08, Edwin Pawlowski wrote to All Subject: Re: Oil or Gas Boiler
EP>
EP> >> >> Gas domestic water heater makes no noise either and works EP> during a power >>outage... >
>> Residential water heater don't need electricity because their pilot >> flame burns continuously. I like that feature.
EP> Don't they need a 24V source for the controls? What opens and closes EP> the gas valve?
Pnuematic valve. most residential water heaters work this way. unless you have a power vented one of course.
-=> HvacTech2 <=-
.. "I bought instant water but I don't know what to add..."- s.w.
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A boiler will heat the domestic hot water just fine, regardless of whether it's oil fired or gas fired.
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Boiler NG ,Sign Today, oil is the way to go ? Get a few more bids he sounds like a BSer
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Oysters8 wrote:

What chimney? Gas doesn't use a chimney - just an exhaust pipe. Well, I guess you COULD call it a chimney...
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Much more detail needed. Cost of each to install? Cost of running the gas line in? The price of any form of energy has gone crazy so I doubt there is a huge difference in operating cost.
Gas has other benefits: Cleaner burning, always there, usually quieter.
Separate heater for water is a good idea in any case. Oil hookups are not very efficient for storing domestic hot water.
Gas will NOT work in a power failure as all the controls are electric, including the valves that let the gas in. If you change to a gas range for cooking, the burners can be lit with a match so you can cook on the top burners, but you will not have an oven.
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I think it's wise to be wary of any and all must-act-now pitches.
If your chimney is unlined, it should be inspected and maybe lined regardless of which fuel you use - if you keep using it. High-efficiency gas (and oil?) boilers today are usually power vented out your basement wall.
The separate WH argument seems particularly bogus, as gas-fired "combo" boilers are readily available. They are often discussed on this NG. (And I presume you mean hot water for washing, not drinking? Or remind me to bring my own thermos of tea when I come to your place!)
The cost difference vary regionally; call your suppliers and ask them for the btus in each cost unit (gas is priced in different cost units in different places, like cubic feet, cubic meters or "therms").
In most places, the gas company will install the main and meter free if you're going to start using it, but interior piping is part of your appliance installation fee.
When I bought my house a year ago, I had the old (decrepit) boiler and tank removed and gas put in without a second thought, since I knew I'd want gas for the WH and range eventually. But the neighbours insist that oil remains cheaper per btu than gas, and the difference will likely grow over the next year or so.
It's hard to get a system that doesn't require power: you'd need to forgo a circulating pump, stick to the lowest-efficiency natural-draft models, and find a system that powers the thermostat and relays from a thermocouple in the pilot flame. This is often called a "millivolt" system - and I'm not sure pilot-flame boilers and furnaces are still sold in the U.S. or Canada.
A final thought: the cost of oil may be more stable than gas, but the cost of legally *disposing of an oil tank* is only getting larger...
Chip C Toronto
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在 2004年8月31日星期二UTC+ 8上午8时42分08秒,Oysters8 道:









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On 4/24/2014 5:44 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You are replying from a post from August 2004?
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Christopher A. Young
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Dear Ed, heirs, estate, or assignees:
I'd suggest to get three or four estimates. A change to natural gas does make a lot of sense. You can get vented wall heaters on natural gas that work when the power is out. Close some doors and live in one or two rooms till the power comes back. Most NG furnace need electric now days.
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