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Old 11-13-2011, 09:06 AM
 
18 posts, read 19,823 times
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Hi y'all. Your friendly environmental wacko is back I would like to know, since I have only ever lived in places with natural gas furnaces, how does heating oil work? That is to say, is there a power company that provides it like electricity, or does a homeowner contract individually? Also, if you have gas cooking and therefore a gas line to the home, how hard would it be to convert to a gas furnace? Also, for those who have lived with both, which would you recommend, especially as to heating costs... Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
35,610 posts, read 64,896,360 times
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If you already have gas in the house, go for it! I'd do it in a heartbeat if gas was available on my street.

You buy heating oil from private suppliers. Some will give you discount payment plans and automatic fill schedules; others are strictly COD and only come when you want a delivery. Depends on what you're looking for.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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Thanks Ohiogirl! That's kinda what I was thinking but wasn't sure.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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I personally like the type of warmth oil provides for blown air heat - BUT given the volatility in the oil markets the past 5 years, gas is the way to go. Preferably gas furnace and some kind of radiator - free standing or baseboard. Gas blown air heat tends to dry you out and just never feels quite as warm as oil.

A group like PA PIRG offers group discounts for oil to their members -well worth it if you stick with oil.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:44 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,630 posts, read 13,264,986 times
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I own a 120 year old Victorian house in University City.

I have gas for my oven and stove, my clothes dryer, and also my hot water heater. I think next year I'm going to convert to gas for home heating as well ... my oil bills have been CRAZY. My only problem with gas is that I will be stuck with a single monopoly: PGW, and I can't switch providers.

The type of heat I have in this old place is oil. There is a 235 gallon tank in the basement. It is forced hot air - no radiators - and the warm air comes through these ornate grilles near the baseboards. There is a furnace in the basement. I will be honest and tell you that last year it cost me $500 a month to heat my house from Nov. 1st through Apr. 1st. I do have a digital programmable thermostat and my attic is insulated, but there are drafty windows and doors in this old place. It's a 3 store 6 bedroom house with high ceilings.

I get a discounted rate as a member of the Energy Co-op; the supplier is a company called Action Oil which is a subsidiary of Haab. They do provide good service, I'll admit to that.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:06 AM
 
18 posts, read 19,823 times
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Wow, Clark, thanks for the info. I have a 50's ranch here with a finished basement; I think Denver gets colder than Philly (?) and the highest natural gas bill from last year was probably $150 or so. My house is pretty well insulated though and of course, we get a lot of sunshine here so there is some residual heat after the sun goes down. I think if I move to Philly I am going to try to find a place that already has a gas furnace to save myself the hassle.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunflowergirl View Post
Wow, Clark, thanks for the info. I have a 50's ranch here with a finished basement; I think Denver gets colder than Philly (?) and the highest natural gas bill from last year was probably $150 or so. My house is pretty well insulated though and of course, we get a lot of sunshine here so there is some residual heat after the sun goes down. I think if I move to Philly I am going to try to find a place that already has a gas furnace to save myself the hassle.

Your gas bill will average 150 a month if you live in Philly.
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