oil vs. electric heat

Page 1 of 2  
I live in an older home where the 30 year old oil furnace has finally kicked the bucket. AFAIK, the heat system is water based versus hot air based. We're trying to decide what to buy for the replacement. Unfortunatley, our house isn't hooked up to natural gas, so our options for upgrade are another oil unit or electric. The house isn't huge -- our plumber said we'd be good with a 96k btu unit, although he suggests a 125k just to have some extra kick.
So, my question is -- in general which kind of heater is more cost effective? Right now during peak cold season we end up spending a couple of hundred bucks a month on oil to heat the house. I can imagine with a more efficient modern say system this price might go down a little. But we will still have to deal with the oil company, and with constant maintenance of the unit (cleaning intake, etc...). Electric seems like it would eliminate all that, but I've heard it isn't cheaper than oil.
Any advice would be appreciated.We've had to turn off our heat for the time being, so it's hella cold in the house!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You local cost for oil and electricity will determine which is cheaper, but electric is almost always more expensive.
You say you are not hooked up to a NG line. Is it available? I know hooking up may be expensive, but it may well be worth the cost in the long run.
Something to consider is a heat pump. With a heat pump you may have a more efficient electric heat and you will should have a high efficiency highly effective air conditioning system during the summer. It will cost more, but it may well be worth the cost.
Think out of the box and consider your options.
BTW your local electric company and or oil supplier should be able to give you the facts about the relative cost.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joseph, I've never heard of a heat pump hot water system....

for
125k
we
it
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joseph M . you recommend dumping the hot water system! Why?
Hot water is clean even heat, air is not. Also air units go to 94.5 % efficiency . Water Ng - propane units are available in 95- 99% efficiency. Also blowers take 300 - 500 watts , circulator pumps run 150 - 185 watts for a large hot water system. Not to mention removing radiators, fixing holes in floors etc. I have both and like water better, more even heat, less dust, no blower noise. The only drawback to a boiler is no winter humidifier
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
m Ransley wrote:

No I recommended considering it. Don't assume hot water. Don't ignore it either.
If your fuel choices are limited and it is electric or some very expensive fuel then heat pumps should be considered.

Hot water heat is clean even, but air is also good heat. Heat pumps are clean and can be even heat if well designed for the use.

It just comes down to not ignoring what may be the best solution out of hand. Consider the alternatives and don't reject something because you just don't know about it.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can fix that by airsealing the house.
Or wear a muffler and latex underwear :-)
Nick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yea right nick, another bad idea of yours. What if it is a brick house
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi m, hope you are having a nice day
On 04-Nov-04 At About 20:53:50, m Ransley wrote to All Subject: Re: oil vs. electric heat
mR> From: snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley)
mR> Joseph M . you recommend dumping the hot water system! Why?
mR> Hot water is clean even heat, air is not. Also air units go to 94.5 mR> % efficiency . Water Ng - propane units are available in 95- 99% mR> efficiency. Also blowers take 300 - 500 watts , circulator pumps mR> run 150 - 185 watts for a large hot water system. Not to mention mR> removing radiators, fixing holes in floors etc. I have both and mR> like water better, more even heat, less dust, no blower noise. The mR> only drawback to a boiler is no winter humidifier
To each his own. with forced air you can filter the air going through it. you can't do that with a boiler. when I first bought my house It had a boiler. I replaced it with a forced air 95% furnace and the house is much less dusty than it used to be. I also added a humidifier and all the static shocks and my sons nose bleeds stopped.
-=> HvacTech2 <=-
.. "I bought instant water but I don't know what to add..."- s.w.
___ TagDude 0.92+[DM] +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ spam protection measure, Please remove the 33 to send e-mail
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And getting a drafty forced air system? Yuck!!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HeatMan wrote:

I have lived with both hot water and various forced air systems. The best and the worse have been forced air.
There is no ONE right system for every person or situation. A poorly sized and designed system of any type is not going to be comfortable. Forced air IMO is more sensitive to proper design (that means design for the particular location not just the design of the hardware).
Sorry you have not had the opportunity to experience the comfort of a good forced air system.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

the
I put FA systems in! I still like the FHW a lot better.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HeatMan wrote:

Maybe you do a better job putting in FHW than FA.
That is something to consider. I would hesitate to hire someone to put in any system that they themselves did not like or recommend. That does not mean I would reject the contractor, rather it means I would rethink both the contractor and the system.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Consider
The
poorly
for
a
put
not
the
Where I live, there is not a lot of FHW. We have to have AC, so the ductwork is necessary. Once the ductwork is there, the heat is almost nothing to install.
Just because I don't like it doesn't mean I'm not good at it. I get jobs that other people lose because I know air flow and spend time to get it right. I don't do new work because it's too cut-throat, but I get the call when the 'duct-and-run' guys are done.
FA can be installed draft free and virtually noiseless. FHW is draft free and is noiseless, if installed properly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HeatMan wrote:

I was not trying to say you were not good at it. I have no way of knowing. Sorry if it sounded that way to anyone.

I agree with that.
-- Joseph E. Meehan
26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How hard would it be it to convert the existing hot water system into a mini split system where you install a heat pump and reuse the existing hot water piping for hot or cold water? I doubt that you could reuse the radiators, but who knows. Would be much easier than retrofitting it with a forced air system, and they would get central air as part of the deal.
Just checking.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Electricity for 99% of the US , unless it is subsides Hydro is double to 150% more than gas - oil. You can go Propane. Gas boilers are more efficient than oil. You are probably at 70% or less efficiency. There is a 99% efficient gas boiler made and many 93% models. Go NG or Propane gas, less maintenance, electricity is a rip off. I believe the boiler called System 2000 is a high efficiency oil burner if you want oil.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Call someone besides your plumber....
Here would be a good place start. http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm

kicked
another
good
of
time
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
axis wrote:

Hi, Oil = dirty. Electric = clean. Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Since you are being forced to do something, and in light of sky high oil prices with no end in sight, you may want to consider the electric option and, if you want to invest a little, a geothermal system like I have.
I live in SE PA, last year was pretty cold and our heating costs were $75 - $100 over the base electric cost (a month of no heat - no a.c). Cooling costs are twice that.
This is in an area with very very high electric rates - $0.145 per kWh, 3000 ft.^2 house.
We have two wells, the system pulls water from the first and runs it to the exchanger (all in the house) and then dumps the water back into the other well. This way you are guaranteed a constant 58 F (roughly) temperature source. This is why the heat pump works so damn well, a relatively constant and fair amount of heat to extract, no resistive elements, etc.
I don't know of the install costs - we bought the house with the system in place, but I hear they can be pricey - although there are several flavors of system. The one we have is the simplest, just two wells, bury a pump and power/water lines. Everything else fits in the house and is amazingly compact. _________________________________________________________________ JG... Jeff Givens mailto: snipped-for-privacy@comcastXX.netXX
"My hovercraft is full of eels."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.