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Old 04-23-2010, 04:17 PM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,211,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadedWest View Post
Tangential question: when I first moved to New England, I was surprised that so few houses are heated with natural gas.

Fuel oil is used elsewhere in the US, but not to the degree it is used here. Natural gas is (most years, depending on relative prices) a much more economical source of heat.
FYI Modern high efficiency oil units are up in the 97% range, and oil has more BTU output then gas "gallon for gallon" so you'll need more gas then oil for the same heat. Used to be gas was more efficient and that made up for it...not so much anymore. The buderus unit we put in a couple years ago is crazy efficient, it's a miser compared to the unit that came out. We also installed a "scale back" unit that lowers the boiler temp according to outside temp. So if it's just say 30* out, it'll only heat the water to 145* or whatever, but if it's 10* out it'll heat the water to 165* or whatever. Saves a lot of fuel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blogspott View Post
Jviello, holy moly! I thought it would be much simpler then that. Shows how much I know!
Yea, it's a big job. Too bad.
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Twin Lakes /Taconic / Salisbury
2,256 posts, read 3,390,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blogspott View Post
Lead is a big one too, good point you brought up. But with asbestos aren't there certain regulations that come with removal? I don't know too much about this, I would be pretty interested to find out too since were looking at moving to the Stamford area and all we can afford are very old houses like the OPs.
Yes, you have to be liciensed to remove abestos. And as previously stated it's real danger is if the fibers get into the air and circulate. That's why it is usually safest just to have it encapsulated. Google it, I'm sure you'll find plenty of info. As far as lead, supposedly homeowners themselves can reno a property built before 1978. If it is contracted out it must be tested for lead by a liciensed 'lead handling" contracter and if it contains it, which it probally will if built before '78 only a contracter liciensed such can do ANY reno.

These are newer, more stringent regs. being enacted, so I am in no way an expert, but this how they have read to me. My best advice is to check with the EPA or liciensed contarcter for the full and complete details. Personally though, if I had a client that had young children or had other worries concerning lead, I would just not recommend any home built before 1978. Many people feel lead is more of worry, esp. for children cause even if it's covered over with good, non chipping paint, places such windows that are opened and closed creates a fine dust in living areas.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,619 posts, read 40,196,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blogspott View Post
Jviello, holy moly! I thought it would be much simpler then that. Shows how much I know!
Are you sure the house does not already have a gas line to it? Many homes on streets that have natural gas do have connections that are not used. You might want to check into it. If the house does have gas, then it will be cheaper and probably worth it to switch.

As for the roof, it really depends on what you are paying for the home. The price may already be lower to reflect the fact that the roof is in need of replacement soon. I would not get to hopeful that the owners will pay for all of these things since they are not selling you a new home. One of the reasonas older homes sell for less than new is that the owners are assuming work will have to be done to them. Jay
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:08 AM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,211,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Are you sure the house does not already have a gas line to it? Many homes on streets that have natural gas do have connections that are not used. You might want to check into it. If the house does have gas, then it will be cheaper and probably worth it to switch.
Good point. Many older homes had it installed when built even if they didn't use it for heating only. I've seen gas ranges and coal/oil boilers in the same house. lol
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,394 posts, read 3,339,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
FYI Modern high efficiency oil units are up in the 97% range, and oil has more BTU output then gas "gallon for gallon" so you'll need more gas then oil for the same heat. Used to be gas was more efficient and that made up for it...not so much anymore.
Heating Cost Calculator - EnergyExperts.org

Using the default values of $2.40/gal and $1.24/therm for oil and gas respectively -- both are probably low -- it shows that natural gas would cost about 1/3 less than heating oil. (Boiler, inside heated area)

If somebody has good solid numbers for the prices they could update this comparison. Looks like a no-brainer at these prices.

I used my house (pre-1990 oil furnace) but even an energy star furnace doesn't help enough to cross over the break-even point.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:46 AM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,211,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadedWest View Post
Heating Cost Calculator - EnergyExperts.org

Using the default values of $2.40/gal and $1.24/therm for oil and gas respectively -- both are probably low -- it shows that natural gas would cost about 1/3 less than heating oil. (Boiler, inside heated area)

If somebody has good solid numbers for the prices they could update this comparison. Looks like a no-brainer at these prices.

I used my house (pre-1990 oil furnace) but even an energy star furnace doesn't help enough to cross over the break-even point.


In that site, putting them both at 95% efficient with the same delivery system, based on the default costs, it's showing $251.00 per year in savings?

My Buderus is actually 97% efficent.

Here is another table based on BTU output showing that if you purchased oil at 2.10 per gallon you would have to purchase NG at $1.46 per therm to break even due to lower BTU output.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,394 posts, read 3,339,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post


My Buderus is actually 97% efficent.
How much is the premium to buy that level of efficiency? What is the payback time? How much more maintenance does it take? If it breaks down, are the repairs more expensive?

I ask because I used to live in a house with a high efficiency ground-water heat pump. One year it broke down and the resulting repair cost wiped out all the fuel savings over the five years I owned it.

These things can be tricky sometimes.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:08 PM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,211,767 times
Reputation: 3279
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadedWest View Post
How much is the premium to buy that level of efficiency? What is the payback time? How much more maintenance does it take? If it breaks down, are the repairs more expensive?

I ask because I used to live in a house with a high efficiency ground-water heat pump. One year it broke down and the resulting repair cost wiped out all the fuel savings over the five years I owned it.

These things can be tricky sometimes.
Sure, all fair questions. The price was not very much higher. I paid $3200.00 for the unit and my neighbor (Plumber) and I installed it. Standard proceedure install.

Maintenance is actually lower because it burns so clean and complete. I have not had to clean it in 3 years. The front opens like a wood stove so you can get to everything easily for inspection and cleaning.

The only thing I did have to do is put a stainless liner in the chimeny because the lower stack temps were causing condensation. There is barely any heat coming out of the top. That was about $390.00

It's a really nice unit. Google it.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:54 PM
 
Location: West End-Hartford
625 posts, read 1,746,316 times
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If the house is in an area that CNG services and there is a gas line on the street near the house, they will usually run a gas line to the exterior of the house for no charge (unless there are major obstructions like driveway, trees, etc.). The homeowner needs to hire a plumber to connect to the outside line and do the interior work. Then CNG will come back and install the meter and hook up the connection. They're willing to do it for free because they want you as a customer...
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:12 AM
 
4 posts, read 18,339 times
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I think its hard to ask for money for the roof once you've signed the contract. If its 25 years old, it should have been fairly obvious before you agreed on a price. Also, the age of the roof should appear in the CT state disclosure form which you should have already received. The purpose of inspection is to check things that are not obvious from pre-contract cursory inspection and to request price adjustments for those items.

Asbestos is safe if it is untouched. That said, if you're nervous, I think you could ask the seller to remove it at their cost, because you didn't know about it before you agreed on a price.

I don't know anything about dual heat systems. Sorry.
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