I'm interested in some info from people that live in cold climates and have
oil based (water baseboard) furnaces for heating.
how much does your furnace use per year? how cold does it get (and for how
long), how big is the house and is it well insulated?
I'm trying to figure out if it's really worth it to replace a furnace (after
following the "should I replace a 9 y/o furnace" thread).
We live in a 50 year old duplex (900 sq ft floor times 2 floors, plus
basement and garage) where the walls aren't well insulated and the windows
were bad (we changed the windows but I can't say if we'll use less fuel yet,
winter's just beginning). It gets really cold in winter (-20, -30 celsius is
common) for a long period of time. the furnace is an old iron tank and it's
feeding about 18 baseboard heaters around the house.
the hot water tank (common to the whole house, so serving 2 families) is
also running on the same oil as the furnace (from same fuel tank)
for the whole year we go through maybe 8000 liters of oil.
I live in 75 years 1500 sq. ft two story house in WI. The boiler is cast
iron "Ideal American Sectional Boiler" or something like that, originally
built to burn coal or wood, with retrofitted oil burner. Don't know how old
the burner is, but the oil pump had been replaced in 1965. The house has
separate gas hot water tank. I used about 800 gal. of oil last season. The
windows are original 75 years old sash with newer aluminum storm screens.
The walls are insulated as good as they insulated them back in 1928 and I
also have a layer or R19 additional insulation in the attic. The windows on
the first floor have "honey comb" blinds, which I think have a small R
factor, about 1 or so.
JJ - if you live in Canada, you should have an idea how cold it gets in
What was the cost of the fuel oil. How many people live there, Do you
know what was consumed in the summer months ,without heat running. Im
trying to see what you use in the winter. minus water heating, and
downstairs, family of four
upstairs family of 5 with 3 small children, mother used to was daily with
I dunno, less than a tank. how big is a big tank of oil? about 900 liters?
either 600 or 900, I'm not sure.
but the thing is that during winter the people upstairs washed every day,
several loads, with hot water. not the best tenants around. now they're gone
and we're putting insulation in the walls and ceiling upstairs. we'll see
how much we use this winter.
Does the boiler, (you have a boiler, not a furnace!), have a rating plate on
it? That will give you its efficiancy. I was surprised when I looked at my
father-in-laws boiler a while back. It was rated for something around
190,000 BTU in, 95,000 BTU out, in other words, 50% efficiancy. Yours may be
simular. It is pretty easy to get 80% efficiancy in a oil unit. The
differance is with the 50% unit, 50 cents of every dollar is going up the
chimney, with a 80% unit, only 20 cents is wasted. Your savings could add up
Also often oil burners are oversized greatly, we often remove oil boilers
and furances and put in units 1/2 the output of the old one! We did a change
out the other day where they had a 140,000 BTU oil first, then years ago
went to a 100,000 gas unit. We removed that and installed a 60,000 BTU 90%
Check around, get some refrences, talk to some pros, and get some quotes!
If you have baseboard water heat you have a boiler not a furnace .
Some areas of canada and US have electric costs comparable to oil or
gas . I pay .125 KWH which is double the cost of NG. If you are paying
more than .06 kwh gas would be better for cooking.
Only heat water so you shower without adding cold. No reason to
waiste money heating it more. Reduce water flow with reducing inserts.
Insulate Hot water pipes with foam slip on pipe insulation , the one
that the seams have glue on them.
I have a tankless water heater, hot water for shower and laundry and
gas cooking cost me 8$ US a month per person. Figuring yours is hard ,
because you have a tank. I cant figure your heating usage but your unit
may not even be 50% efficent. If you figure the numbers im sure you will
see a 4 to 5 yr payback. A good investment.
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