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
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
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
Any feedback and advice would be appreciate.
Thanks in advance.
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.
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, 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
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
Air Conditioning\'s Affordable Path to the "Human Comfort Zone Goal"
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.
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
If you want to add air conditioning I would go for high efficiency
The design of most oil furnaces' creates unnecessary airflow resistance
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
I am not responsible for anything you or your contractor/ tech screw-up!
Air Conditioning\'s Affordable Path to the "Human Comfort Zone Goal"
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.
On 23 Sep 2006 09:57:19 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
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.
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
Thanks everyone for your help. I'm kinda new at this homeowner thing!
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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