Oil Vs Gas and Combo heat/AC ????

I own this house for less than a year, and while running with only one minor problem, the furnace must be 40 years old and is the size of an oldsmobile! The one minor problem that exists is caused by the mechanism which flips when the temp falls below the set tempature and tells the furnace to open or close the zone that's caling for heat. This has caused several 3AM trips to the basement where I have to rig up a temp solution and I have yet to find a company that want to touch this old thing.
Anyway, getting back to the subject of my post. I am now considering putting in a new furnace. My house currently uses a oil fueled forced air heat system and has a 350 gallon tank in the basement. In addition, the house does currently use gas for the hot water heater and kitchen.
I have been researching in an effor to determine advantages and disadvanges between OIL an GAS but haven't found any good and recent information. I have read some information saying that gas is cleaner and that high efficiency systems can be vented using PVC out the side of the house (as opposed to re-lining the chimney). But being that gas is provided by a utility company there is no price competition and there are issues with who is responsible for equiptment maintenance etc.
On the other hand, I'm kind of getting the feeling that OIL is a heating fuel of the past. Is this the case? Also, I live in New York. I though I would add this because my understanding is that OIL heat systems have a different history in the North East (not originally coal).
Any feedback and advice would be appreciate.
Thanks in advance. Josh D
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I expect the cost of oil to be going up rather sharply in the coming years. I would also expect gas prices to be going up, by my opinion is it will be less sharp. Only time will tell about that.
You should do a comparison of the current cost of gas vs oil. Remember that the equipment may well have different efficiency, so you need to factor that in. I would call the gas company and ask them for some information. Most will have it. It is far more likely to be accurate than what you may get from the oil company. :-)
Then price out the cost of replacement equipment and the cost of removing that oil tank.
I would guess that overall gas is less expensive for the equipment and more reliable, but I would not bet too much money on it.
After you get the facts, I would then make a decision. You already know that oil does have one inconvenience of possibly running out if you don't get a delivery.
Good Luck
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Oh yeah...forgot to add something. Does anyone know advantages and disadvantages to get and Heat and Central Air combo. I know that haveing the AC in the basement isn't the best situation. I also know that heating has it's vents near the group (which is the situation in my house) and AC is supposed to be higher (from the ceiling). Does anyone know the impact of putting the AC unit in the basement (combined with the Furnace) and having lower ducts. Will this cost me a lot more money to run? Will it still cool the house well?
Any feedback is appreciated.
Josh D
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Josh, your post was not up during my first reply. Having it in the basement "normally" should not be a problem, however, an assessment of your specific situation has to be done! If possible, I would get some Returns installed near the ceilings; the same goes for the Supplies, with diffusers' with decent static & long throws. They are set up so you can block one combo set off, depending on whether you are heating or cooling your home. A manual D ductwork system assessment should be done, - so you know where you can make changes for improved airflow. - udarrell
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

So many variables... As others have indicated, this is a good time to check your existing ducts. Also assess how hard it will be to run whatever new ducts might be desirable.
I'd also think about zoning. Do you really want the whole house to be on one heating zone? And then, do you want the whole house to be on the same cooling zone? Most folks could probably use more independent control than they currently have. But it is typically rather costly to install (even thought it can help significantly with the running costs).
Since you already have the utility connection I personally think it's a no-brainer to go with gas (versus oil) for convenience, cleaner combustion, lower maintenance and more.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you want to add air conditioning I would go for high efficiency natural gas. The design of most oil furnaces' creates unnecessary airflow resistance problems. http://www.udarrell.com/oil_furnace_heating.html
First, I would do everything you can to reduce the heat-loss heat-gain of your home!
Then I would get a heat-gain heat-loss manual J calc done, and size the equipment to match the calc. Also, I would have the ductwork static pressure checked, checked for capacity sizing of the mains & runouts, diffusers, etc., & all air leaks sealed. I am not responsible for anything you or your contractor/ tech screw-up! - udarrell
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Air Conditioning\'s Affordable Path to the "Human Comfort Zone Goal"
http://www.udarrell.com/airconditioning_eer_ratings_over_seer_ratings_central_systems.html
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Hi Josh,
Since you already have natural gas service in your home, I would opt for gas. I've had both and I'm currently using oil out of necessity and not choice; as soon as the natural gas lines are run in my area, I'll be back to using gas once again.
As you also require CAC, I would take a close look at a combination heat pump/gas furnace; depending upon the cost of electricity in your area, a heat pump could be more economical to operate during periods of milder weather.
Cheers, Paul
On 23 Sep 2006 09:57:19 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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contiuning with oil sounds like you need a relined chimney and probably new oil tank. plus the chimneys venting heated room air forever......
direct vent natural gas furnace much better choice plus facilitates AC.
get several quotes.
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. It's seems obvious that GAS is the way for me to go. I kind of suspected this but it's good to here several replies agreeing.
I'm hoping that I can work the AC into this upgrade as well. Right now I have wall AC's which stinks being that the house is a split level and there are 4 levels including the basement. It's a challenge to cool.
A fairly common theme I'm hearing is to evaluate my ducting situation in the house which, to say the least, concerns me. The house is a 1900 square foot split level. The current ducting doesn't look like the ducting that's used today and I am concerned about its compatiblity/efficiency with a newer system. The duct work looks like a rectangular sheet metal box that is fastened to the sealing in the basement and works it's way up the house suplying each bedroomm, one bathroom, and the living space with heat. There are of coarse returns all over the house as well. For the most part they returns are next to or across from the supplies.
In the basement, their is a maze of this ducting going into the furnace. It's huge!!
Assuming I go with a gas system my concerns are:
How do I go about evaluating the current duct work? Do I need a professional to do this? Will putting in a CAC along with the new furnace save me money? I know that have all in one HVAC units, are there any advantages/disadvantages to having this over two seperate heating and cooling units?
I know it is recomended to put in some returns and supplies on the ceiling for AC? Generally speaking is this a very expensive undertaking?
Thanks everyone for your help. I'm kinda new at this homeowner thing!
Josh
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

For the most part, you need a pro to properly analyze the situation, do a heat gain/loss calculation, examine the ducting (both supply and return), then make recommendations.
For AC, you want supply and return HIGH on the walls, not outside walls, or on the ceiling (under the insulation).
For older structures, that may mean building an insulated box that climbs up the back / side wall of the house to the attic and to the other levels to distribute cooled air.
I do not view this as a DIY project, not at all, unless you work for a HVAC company that does retrofits like this in your area.
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There is supplier competition in natural gas in parts of NY. Just got a mailing offering a one year lock in for $1.11/therm from a supplier. National Giid is currently under $1.00

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