Replace old gas furnace or go to oil?

I have a Weil-McLain gas furnace (which works perfectly) which I estimate to be about 20 years old. Not surprisingly, the cost of heating (hot water baseboard) is climbing and now runs over $3,000 per year to heat my 3,300 sq. ft. home. I'm wondering how much I could save (percentage) by installing a new furnace? Also, which brand or brands would be preferred? In the alternative, would it be advisable to switch to oil, a heat pump or some other arrangement. Suggestions greatly appreciated.
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If you have baseboard hot water its a boiler not furnace and a 20 yr old unit might be 80% efficient. A new regular unit maybe 83%. Get a price on a condensing boiler 94-96% and run your numbers.
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The links I found for condensing boilers were all in the UK. Any suggestions for those in the U.S.? Also, I checked with Weil-McLain and they said that my boiler is probably operating at 81% efficiency vs. 83%-84% for newer models. Obviously, not a cost-effective swap.
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Weil mc Lain has Condensing I believe, Lennox does, I just took out a weil mc lain and put in a new Weil of 83%. But there are many condensing units out to pick from here.
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Munchkin is made in New England. Very small for the power they pack.
http://www.htproducts.com/products/munchkin /
We just had one install in one of our buildings and I'm impressed with how well it works. Ours is a 200,000 Btu unit. Very quiet also.
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www.knightheatingboiler.com
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Thats interesting the Knight goes to 98.6% efficency on low temp instals.
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Dunno about relative prices in your area, but IMHO prime contenders would be condensing gas and ground-loop heat-pump. (Oil gets pretty demanding about regular service or makes a real mess, and max eff is significantly lower than max for gas.) I'll wager that your gas unit is at or below 60% eff on seasonal basis, mostly because of huge full-time opening to draft-hood, so you can guess what 92% would do for you.
Regardless, you first want to find the installer you trust most to steer you straight and do a good job.
And ... you might be amazed how much you'd save, with increased comfort, by first finding and eliminating losses. Stuff like sealing leaks, clock t-stat, vent damper, etc., etc.
J
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Oil may cost you more than gas. It all depends on the cost in your area. In most situations gas is going to cost you less. This year the cost of gas is going up a lot, but in most areas it is still cheaper to use than oil. In any case you need to plan for the next 20 years not just this year, which will be half over by the time you get a replacement.
Gas prices are artificially high this year due to the problems in the gulf. Things should be closer to normal next year. Few people with the opportunity to use gas choose oil.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
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Ng may be artificialy high, but we are not increasing production to keep up with demand from n.i.m.b.y . groups opposing new drilling. Importing LNG is now considered an investment companies are will to pay to develop. The trend is up, maybe more than oil, but both are not going down long term.
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