First of all, why? Is the existing furnace out of date or in need of major
repair? Is fuel oil currently cheaper in your area per unit of heat times
efficiency factors of typical oil or propane furnaces? Is it likely to
remain so? If there is a savings to be had how long would it take to
recoup the cost of making the change at your rate of consumption? Will you
be in this home long enough for this to happen? Will an oil furnace have
greater maintenance requirements and how much will that cost?
I would stay with LP. First new high efficiency furnaces are almost
maintenance free, where oil needs regular maintenance to ensure proper and
efficient operation. Plus oil efficiencies run in he 80% range where gas can
run as high as 98% efficient.
so it looks like it's up to each one of us to choose what we prefer.
In the long run, it may all add up to the same
I was mostly concerned about the safety part of it.
How about the LP hot water tank in the basement?
a small leak and it goes boom with the pilot light
or are the new hot water tank electric start like the furnace?
Some water heaters are electronic ignition, some are standing pilot yet.
Did you know that more houses start on fire from electric problems?? Are you
going to disconnect the electricity from your house too?
Fuel oil companies over fill oil tanks, running the excess all over your
We had a house explode from a NG leak here a few years age, funny thing was
there was no NG in the home! The leak was in the street, and followed the
water supply into the home, then boom!
How many people die in car accidents, EVERY DAY?!
The point I am trying to get across is don't worry about it! Thousands of
homes have LP or NG connected to them and yet it is an occasional thing when
one blows up. Probably more turkey cookers burn down houses every year!
Today's equipment is so safe there is little chance of a fire from a gas
leak. Most fires from leaks I have heard about are because the homeowner
tried to do a repair himself, and left a gas fitting leaking!
Buy oil if it give you the warm fuzzies! I work on all of them and damned
near every oil burner I see is so far out of tune it is just scary! Then
most home owners will not allow me to do the proper cleaning and tune-up
needed to get their burner running to even 80% efficient. Every oil burner I
have worked on without fail is full of sot or ash, to the point that I would
bet the efficiency is less than 50%, still customers will refuse the proper
repair because it will cost them $300-$400!
Again, I work on all sorts of heating equipment, oil is my LAST choice in
Do oil furnaces burn any cleaner than they use to? The last time I
lived in a house with oil heat was about 10 years ago and the furnace
was relatively new (< 5 yrs old). Every year or two when my wife did
her spring cleaning, she would wash the drapes and curtains. The water
from the washing machine would almost be black. Whenever I did
painting in the house, I would wash down the walls and have to emply
the bucket 5 or 6 times due to the grime from the oil heat. Is this
still typical for many people with a modern oil buring furnace?
I have hot water heat. An oil furnace (versus the boiler) may be a whole
different story though. My house has the original heater from 1987 when the
house was built. I've never experienced the problems you had and my house
exterior is white. Hot air heat from any fuel source is more likely to
spread contaminates in the air.
Yes they do burn cleaner now. Oil is still oil though. If left without
regular maintenance your unit can be a thorough mess.
If you get oil, make sure it is cleaned and serviced EVERY year.
You also have to have it initially setup and then maintained by
someone that knows oil. That includes a combustion efficiency test
EVERY year. If you dont, then I wouldnt waste the money.
1: Yes, they're cleaner.
2: The grime on the inside of your house is unlikely to
have come from a properly functioning oil furnace anyway,
since the combustion products are supposed to go OUTSIDE.
Thus, the grime was probably from someone who's house,
factory, or power plant was upwind of you.
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