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Old 04-25-2007, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Nevada
1,870 posts, read 4,094,216 times
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Hello everybody! We are looking into buying a home back east. Pennsylvania to be exact. Now we are finding many homes have gas heat like we have here in Nevada and many have oil heat in Pa.

But which is cheaper monthly? Oil heat or Gas? And what are the pros & cons of both?

Thank you.
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:17 AM
 
Location: City of the damned, Wash
429 posts, read 1,742,589 times
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Do they still make oil furnaces?
My take is that gas is the future, oil = dark ages heating.
Oil is delivered, gas is piped in. Oil burns dirty, gas burns clean. I know oil fluctuates in price commensurate with gasoline, have no idea the price of nat gas.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:55 AM
 
3,020 posts, read 16,688,489 times
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Default It is not that simple

Quote:
Originally Posted by Positiveone View Post
Hello everybody! We are looking into buying a home back east. Pennsylvania to be exact. Now we are finding many homes have gas heat like we have here in Nevada and many have oil heat in Pa.

But which is cheaper monthly? Oil heat or Gas? And what are the pros & cons of both?

Thank you.
You have to know a bunch more about the local market.

Natural gas is not the be all, especially if you are a very conserative user. Something like only 60 cents out of my heating dollar goes to actually buy the fuel. The rest is eaten up in fees, charges and all sorts of methods to relieve me of even more money. You can have a hefty bill even if you use nothing in a month. Mine might be like $20 with zero usage for natural gas. Plus I pay about every tax known to mankind on top of all those charges, to say nothing of the scams built around estimated bills. I feel like a bank half the time, they do not wish I pay a fair bill, more like an interest free loan with the entire year prepaid.

With fuel oil, you typically pay for the fuel only, no monthly fees, no user fees, etc. Once the fuel is in the tank you own it. Conservation pays off. If you have no usage, like you are on vacation, then you could have no costs just by turning the devices off prior to leaving.

Modern fuel oil devices can be very clean burning. I am getting to hate natural gas because of all the built in fees, scams and billing games. Plus it ain't cheap either. If you bought all your yearly fuel oil at a non peak time, it should be the cheaper fuel for the same house.

Ideally I would like to eventually go to a solar system with a wood fired back up, none of the conventional methods are all that appealing both in price and reliability of interruption.

If I had a good fair fuel oil company I might choose that if I had a choice between fuels.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
25,587 posts, read 32,355,085 times
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The cost depends on where you live. I live just outside of Philadelphia, and oil is definitely cheaper than gas.

Newer oil furnaces burn very cleanly. I haven't seen any more dirt coming out of my registers than I did in my old home with a gas furnace, and my furnace is 40+ years old. In fact, the furnace guy told me if I do see any soot, that it's a signal the furnace isn't burning properly and needs to be replaced.

Many oil companies have automatic delivery plans, so you rarely have to pick up the phone and order oil. And even if you do, it's not a big deal. It's my experience that delivery is pretty prompt.

The price of oil goes up and down; again, many oil companies will allow you to sign up for a guaranteed seasonal price or a price ceiling.

Hope this helps!
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,184 posts, read 18,776,028 times
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I would give the local gas company a call; then call one of the local oil companies and price out how much it would cost for an x-square foot home.

I've used oil (NM, NE, NY) and gas (NM, PA) and price seems to vary. Also as Cosmic said, I think charges beyond the actual gas can be exhorbitant (they were in NM).

However, I do think gas is cleaner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Positiveone View Post
Hello everybody! We are looking into buying a home back east. Pennsylvania to be exact. Now we are finding many homes have gas heat like we have here in Nevada and many have oil heat in Pa.

But which is cheaper monthly? Oil heat or Gas? And what are the pros & cons of both?

Thank you.
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Wi for the summer--Vegas in the winter
653 posts, read 2,503,318 times
Reputation: 238
Default OIl HEAT

When I lived in WI, we had oil heat. NEWER oil furnaces are as clean burning and as efficient as natural gas furnaces. If you notice any "Soot", whether it be from an oil burner or a gas burner, it is an indication of a possibly cracked "Heat Exchanger". That would need to be fixed right away to avoid the possibility of carbon monoxide gas in the homes interior. Don't let anyone try to convince you that all oil furnaces are "Dirty". It's just not true. Sometimes there can be an odor of the fuel oil itself, but that usually occurs when filling of the oil tank takes place. As far as prices go, oil and gas can both flucuate and certainly have been trending up. If I were to ever move back to a colder climate, I myself would take a serious look at a pellet burning heat stove (corn, wood). My brother back in Wisconsin heats his entire 1300 sq ft ranch with one and is his only source of heat!!
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Lake Forest, CA
1,837 posts, read 5,236,815 times
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This is a tough one to answer, pros and cons on both sides, and many of those have already been mentioned. As you know, heating oil is almost the same as #2 diesel fuel that trucks use, except heating oil has none of those additives or detergents that diesel has. When I lived in NJ, had a place with an older style oil burning hot water boiler in the basement that heated up baseboards that were just below windows of the house. Kept the place nice and comfy all winter. I could turn on "zones" in the house to heat up just a portion of the place at a time. It seemed energy efficient to me, but it's been over 10 years since I was there so don't have any current costs. I liked it better than forced air systems, there was no noise of the fan running, very even heating temps in the rooms.
Just a suggestion if buying an older home with heating oil. Make sure the tank and all connections have been inspected and don't have any leaks. Make sure there is no soil contamination around the tank (if it's outdoors) before you buy the house. I have heard of a few horror stories about fuel leaks that caused terrible soil and water well contamination, but none of that should happen if a person just gets the tank and connections certified as good, and re-checks things at least once a year.
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Wi for the summer--Vegas in the winter
653 posts, read 2,503,318 times
Reputation: 238
And just to add to the above post--IF the oil tank is located outside, than you will need to use #1 heating oil. It has an additive in it so that it does not "Gel" up in cold weather. And radiant heat (the old radiators) are indeed a most pleasant, even heat!! Much nicer than "Forced Air" systems which tend to have temperature swings.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Finally escaped from Philly ;-}
1,182 posts, read 1,060,207 times
Reputation: 268
If you live in Philly, gas heat is definately more expensive. PGW is the only gas supplier in the city so you DON"T have a choice. There are alot of oil suppliers in the city & suburbs so that allows customers to shop around for the lowest prices. My brother & I both have homes in the city; he has the larger house. He has oil heat & I have gas heat, but he pays less than I do each winter to heat our homes.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,468 posts, read 15,974,148 times
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Exclamation check-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Positiveone View Post
Hello everybody! We are looking into buying a home back east. Pennsylvania to be exact. Now we are finding many homes have gas heat like we have here in Nevada and many have oil heat in Pa.

But which is cheaper monthly? Oil heat or Gas? And what are the pros & cons of both?

Thank you.
The age and efficiency of the furnace. Oil can be extremely expensive.

If the house is older it will not be energy efficient. Oil also has to be delivered, and you will have to pay the going rate. In 1998 my house in NY cost over 600.00 month to heat. Plus you need the heat most of the year- until May through August. Replacing a furnace is also costly.


sunny
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