Oil vs. gas heat in this scenario?

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says...

Well, thanks, but no news there.
Looked into the heat pump, BTW. Not recommended for where most of our heating needs are when the outside temps are well below freezing. Plus I already have A/C.
Banty
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You buy insurance, you are insured unless the insurance co tells you you are not.
Look into spacepack AC.
Your utility rates are local to you, you have to run the numbers, nobody knows where Ng oil prices will be in a year or 2, but likely Ng might be cheapest, but then maybe electric will be.
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Yes, that's true. But what the policy covers and excludes is a big factor. Many insurance companies have exclusions for buried oil tanks. I'd carefully read the policy regarding oil tanks period.

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-- Stamford, CT house built in 1925 Cold enough to think about this now and old enough that the functionality of unused pipes is in question

Get it tested for leaks, and verify it is still connected to the gas company service end. Make sure it will pass code (big enough for your use) before you get all excited about using them for a new service.

Even an Old boiler may have many years left in it if maintained well. Estimating its efficiency and comparing that to your new heating options would be a rational analysis.
Oil tanks do need replacement periodically. New fiberglass tanks are easier to move and decommission and last longer and don't rust.

You'll want to stick with forced hot water system if you want to use them. If you go with central air (which also heats) these will be obsolete. Old radiators are in demand at salvage yards and newer baseboard radiators have copper and Al that can be recycled to recover a tiny bit of the cost. Is this a hot water or steam system (hard to guess from the date)

If you restore the Gas service you might as well stub in a pipe for the range and dryer and maybe a bigger one (than typical) for the water heater should you desire a tankless system. You'll already be paying a plumber some bucks. Even if you never upgrade your appliances, it will be a selling plus when that day comes.

Residential A/C is almost always electric. If you go that way, you will need to install ducting for the whole house as well as a heater A/C unit. A very expensive upgrade for a small home. A less intrusive solution is to leave your heating system alone and install separate split system A/C units in each room. You only need a small hole in the exterior wall to run the pipe and power through. The Compressor is outside on the ground and the A/C fan and cooling coil is hung on the wall. About $3000 for a system to cool a couple rooms
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Another popular option, especially if it's a one story house is to do all the A/C ductwork in the attic and ceilings.
If you can avoid switching to forced air heat, you will retain more value in the home. Many people would never consider a home with forced air no matter how nice a deal it is otherwise. It's a deal breaker.
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On May 19, 5:16�pm, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

theres high pressure ducting, small lines, a few inches in diameter used to save costs. can add noise so they have atuneators in the lines.
you should get some estimates including high pressure, which works for both heating and cooling
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Since it sounds like you have hot water heat, central air would be really expensive to add due to ductwork that doesn't currently exist. Regardless, gas is almost always more efficient than oil. But - is the gas line big enough for the task? Only a heating pro can tell you that.
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On Mon, 19 May 2008 07:03:30 -0700 (PDT), Dairy Godmother

I'd see if a gas burner couldn't be installed in the boiler, and use window units or mini splits for ac. Oil is likely to continue its upward trajectory, and the liability of an uninsured tank is something to be taken seriously.
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wrote:

What liability for an uninsured tank? I beleive he's talking about a basement tank, typically 275 gallon capacity, not an underground tank that could indeed offer environmental hazards.
When small basement tanks leak it almost always starts as a pinhole leak giving on a drip onto the basement foor. I've seen people go for an entire heating season with a bucket under the drip, or a temporary patch.
Replacement of such a tank, as long as there is easy basement access, is a simple affair. At wholesale equipment outlets around me, new steel tanks cost only about $300. Installation costs may bring a replacement up to about $1000.
By insurance I suspect that he meant an annual burner/tank service policy. When oil companies see advanced age on burners or tanks, they won't insure it for a service contract.
To the original poster:
With Connecticut making a dumb experiment with electric rate deregulation (as did California under Gov. Gray out Gray), electrical rates have skyrocketed. Connecticut, except perhaps for Hawaii, now has the highest rates in the nation. Don't even consider electric heat.
Electric heat pumps are also generally a poor choice here in CT. There are simply too many winter days that are cold enough to make the backup electrical resistance heaters in the heat pump come on, spinning your service meter and drving up your costs. Heat pumps only are efficient down to about 35 degrees. Most CT winter days are below that.
Doug
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wrote:
[...snip...]

Hi Doug,
In an earlier reply to the OP, I recommended that she consider a ductless heat pump to address her a/c needs and to help out with her heating requirements as well. I also provided a link to the following brochure:
http://www.friedrich.com/downloads/Ductless_Sales_Brochure.pdf
One of the models listed is the M24YF. It has a nominal cooling capacity of 24,200 BTU/hr and in terms of heat output is rated at 27,600 BTU/hr at 47F and 21,000 BTU/hr at 17F. Thus, this two-ton unit still provides nearly 90 per cent of its rated heat output at a temperature well below freezing (this particular model operates down to 5F).
The HSPF rating is 10.0 (Zone 4, which, if I'm not mistaken, includes all of CT). In effect, it provides, on average, 2.94 kWh of heat for every kWh consumed, so if the OP pays $0.18 per kWh, her effective cost per kWh of heat over the span of the entire heating season is just $0.061. At an AFUE of 82%, that works out to be the equivalent of oil heat at $2.04 per gallon -- in this case, less than half the going rate.
If the OP ultimately decides to keep her oil boiler, it makes good sense to pay a few hundred dollars more for a mini-split that both heats and cools; the incremental cost could be recaptured in as little as one or two months.
If she switches to natural gas, then a ductless heat pump could still make sense, even if is only used during periods of relatively mild weather; again, the difference in cost between an a/c only system and a heat pump is relatively modest and it's always a good idea to have a backup source of heat in case the main system goes down for any reason.
Then again, it might make sense to use it all winter long. According to the DOE's most recent numbers, the average (six month) retail price of natural gas in Connecticut is $1.766 per 100 CCF (roughly speaking, 100 CCF = 1 therm = 100,000 BTUs). A gas boiler with an AFUE of 86% provides about 25.2 kWh of heat (net) so, on that basis, natural gas costs about $0.07 per kWh(e). That means the seasonal operating costs of aforementioned heat pump at $0.061 per kWh(e) are lower, even when the homeowner pays $0.18 per kWh to their utility.
Cheers, Paul
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On Tue, 20 May 2008 18:47:38 -0300, Paul M. Eldridge

I'm a bit puzzled by the literature of that heat pump. The electrical wattage for heating is over double that of cooling. The compressor shouldn't draw any more when its cycle is reversed. Is it that they are using an electrical strip heater when temp drops in order to maintain output?
Doug
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wrote:

Hi Doug,
I'm looking at the specs for the M24YF (page 6 of this brochure) and without the benefit of morning coffee I can't find where this is printed. The only wattage I see listed is for cooling and this is shown as 2.31 kW. Power consumption in heating mode is normally slightly lower and will more or less follow heat output, so as heating capacity starts to taper off with outdoor temperature, so too will wattage. There are no backup strips in these units.
As I recall, my ductless unit (a 14,000 BTU/hr Friedrich, nee Fujitsu), draws 1,290-watts in cooling mode/1,230-watts in heating (nominal) and, again, as it gets colder the number of watts pulled will dimmish.
Cheers, Paul
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