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Old 01-12-2010, 10:21 AM
83 posts, read 628,950 times
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Hello, I have a oil fired Hot water heater in my home. The price of oil here in southern New Jersey is 2.90 a gallon. It is very expensive to heat my home and for hot water. Can you please give me some suggestions on what alternative I have ? Does anyone else have this problem? I was thinking about switching over to a electric water heater. Or even gas. How much would this cost to make the change over. I would welcome your comments and suggestions! Bradshaw
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:28 PM
Location: Ridgewood
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What type of heating system do you have? A hot water boiler heating system could be capable of also providing domestic hot water.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:05 PM
Location: Alaska
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Oil or electric are about the only options where I live. For our area, electric is more expensive than oil. Several years ago, we replaced our furnace with a more efficient one. It heats the house via hot water baseboard heaters and also heats our DHW supply through a heat exchanger. The furnace we got was a System 2000. If you google the name, you can find info on it. There are likely efficient models from other companies available too.

When we replaced the furnace, we went from burning 100+ gallons per month to around 65 gallon per month during the winter. That includes heating our DHW too. With our old "efficient" electric water heater, we were able to take maybe 3 showers in the morning and the last person usually ended up with cool water toward to end, and that's with everyone taking quick showers. With the oil heating the water, we can take continuous hot showers. The only time we ran low was on the second shower, after one shower, washer and dishwasher were going at the same time.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:39 PM
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Considering New Jersey you should consider coal, I have an extensive post here:

Heating with Coal, is it for Me?- A Beginners Guide

Just to give you an idea, assuming the the oil is $2.90 per gallon and the coal would probably be in the $250 range per ton.

Per million BTU costs:
Oil - $29.87
Coal - $13.02

It's much cheaper closer to the source and in the summer, depending on where you're at and if you had access to your own truck you could for example made a trip here into Northestern Pennsylvania last summer and purchased it for $130 per ton in which case it would have been $6.77 per million BTU.

Those numbers are adjusted for some average efficiencies too.

Other than coal if natural gas is available I'd be looking at that. The trouble with any of these markets is they are always volatile except the anthracite coal market which doesn't see such wild swings.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:39 PM
Location: Central Fl
2,902 posts, read 10,014,040 times
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As others have said, if you have a boiler system, just adding a zone to heat your domestic hot water is very efficient. your boiler is more efficient, (a newer one), then a hot water tank, and when your boiler is heating your house anyway, (most of the time in alaska), it is like getting free hot water. This is what I have, a dunkirk boiler with a Weil McClain hot water maker running off a zone from the boiler. The boiler is 10 years old, but still efficient. The newer ones are even better.

A friend just installed a new tankless boiler for his whole house. It was called a "Luna"....hangs on the wall, heats your whole house AND domestic hot water, and is up to 98% efficient. Costs about $2500.....but worth it.

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:54 AM
83 posts, read 628,950 times
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Default Thanks for your suggestions !!

Thanks to all of you with the suggestions! I appreciate the comments and I am looking into a tankless Hot Water Heater. Bradshaw
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:34 PM
286 posts, read 1,145,243 times
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bradshaw - congrats on the tankless. we just got one last month and love it!
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