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Old 03-20-2018, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,007 posts, read 5,287,613 times
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The furnace cannot be converted, you will need a whole new setup. The ducting would work okay, but the furnace and chimney is different.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:00 PM
 
Location: MID ATLANTIC
7,598 posts, read 17,614,249 times
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You definitely need to talk to your state regulatory agency. In Virginia, we had a leak with a 500 gallon buried tank. I was flipping out, but that was before I found out the state insures every buried tank and the resident only pays for the new tank. VA DEQ came out and mitigated the entire clean-up. When the leak was found, the oil company came out and siphoned what oil they could out of the tank, cleaned the oil and stored it for us. DEQ came out immediately and picked up the contaminated soil. Slowly, they picked up and replaced everything that needed to go. When they were done, our oil was delivered.

YMMV, but definitely worth checking state guidelines.

Last edited by SmartMoney; 03-20-2018 at 08:11 PM..
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:07 PM
 
4,480 posts, read 7,935,315 times
Reputation: 6404
Quote:
Originally Posted by CT356 View Post
How much more expensive is oil heat vs gas?
Typically oil is cheaper than propane and provides almost double the heat per gallon. You can also shop around for prices with oil. With propane, your stuck with the price of the company that owns your propane tank and another installer wont refill someone elses tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CT356 View Post
What would it cost to have the heat switched over to gas?
Depends on your house. You will need a quote from a local installer. It wont be less than 10k grand.

I've had propane and oil. Oil is cheaper.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:40 PM
Status: ""Don't count the days; make the days count "" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Eastern Long Island, New York
306 posts, read 88,188 times
Reputation: 1060
I use oil for heating even though I have gas coming in from the street...the only thing gas is my stove....years ago when gasoline for vehicles was high here in NY and fuel oil was high many were making the switch to gas as gas was lower at that time....but over the years gas prices have increased while heating oil came down.

I continue to use oil for a few reasons....my heating oil guy has the same heating system I have ( a Peerless with baseboard heating ) and told me mine has many years left as it operates flawless .....also where I am the only vendor for gas is the company who has the gas line in the street which is National Grid....if they raise prices you are stuck paying them and must pay whatever they are charging at any given time...with fuel oil prices can vary quite a bit as there are many vendors you can choose from....many independents who will deliver fuel oil to you at a lower price per gallon than say a larger company.....one of my neighbors checks online for current prices to see who locally has the lowest price and he call them and never had any issue with anyone except getting the best price.....I am with the same independent family owned business as I have known the family for decades and they also give me their lowest possible price....but they recently retired and sold the accounts but to another independent family I know so I continue to have great delivery service and the lowest prices possible but prices like gasoline are on the rise.....for me I will stick with fuel oil as I would not like at all to be at the mercy of one gas vendor....compared to having many choices for heating fuel oil delivery if ever needed.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:29 AM
 
1,408 posts, read 807,001 times
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OP- I just went through a real estate transaction in Westchester County NY so I think I can help.

First- you're right to be hesitant about the in ground tank. The custom here (Armonk/Chappaqua area at least) is that EVERY seller expects a buyer to require tank removal as a condition to the sale. According to my agent, only a poorly advised buyer would buy a home without requiring removal. So I recommend that you require removal; the insurance policy isn't enough assurance- you just don't want to have to deal with the headache *when* (not "if") a leak is discovered in the future.

Second- oil sucks. I moved from a 2,200 sq. ft. home with natural gas to a 2,300 sq. ft. home with oil. My bills in the nat. gas house were $250/mo in the coldest month, and we kept the thermostat at 73. My worst month in Westchester with oil was $700/mo and we don't go above 70 degrees in the house. And oil is relatively cheap this year! Also, it's smelly, dirty, and the equipment requires more frequent service. Lastly, it's just another company to deal with- oil deliveries aren't perfect. Sometimes they let the tank get too low, or they screw up the billing, or the truck delivers to the wrong house and you almost run out (happened to me this year).

All that said, if there is no natural gas in the area where you want to buy... them's the breaks. There are some things you can do, like if you need to replace the air conditioning system at any point you can get a heat pump; they are cheaper to run than oil furnaces but more expensive than natural gas. Also, if your boiler goes down you can consider upgrading to a newer higher efficiency unit, but then you're talking a long payback too.

Propane is just as expensive, if not more, though does have some benefits like higher efficiency furnaces and other uses (generators, fireplace logs, oven, dryer, etc).

I hate oil and knew that going into my purchase, but I still bought the house anyway as I really wanted to be in this area.

Last edited by NYCresident2014; 03-21-2018 at 08:53 AM..
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:49 AM
 
6,359 posts, read 7,321,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 399083453 View Post
Typically oil is cheaper than propane and provides almost double the heat per gallon. You can also shop around for prices with oil. With propane, your stuck with the price of the company that owns your propane tank and another installer wont refill someone elses tank.


Depends on your house. You will need a quote from a local installer. It wont be less than 10k grand.

I've had propane and oil. Oil is cheaper.
I'm assuming that he meant natural gas, which is generally cheaper than oil.
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:58 AM
 
9 posts, read 4,023 times
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I am in Westchester too. I have oil heat with an above ground tank. We have septic and town water. We have NO gas pipelines in town.

Problem with an underground tank is if it leaks (1) the EPA could get involved (2) if you have well water, it could contaminate the water, leaving you without a source (3) even without the EPA involvement, clean up is huge and expensive.

Oil heat prices change like gasoline prices do. If it is more expensive to fill up your car, it will be more expensive to heat your house. When price of gas was $5.00 per gallon, it costed $1,100 to fill my oil tank. When gas is $2.50 per gallon, oil is about $650 per tank. How long that tank lasts depends on the size of your house and how well insulated it is.

There usually isn't much of a heating choice in Westchester. Some people do have wood burning stoves for additional heat.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:37 PM
 
1,145 posts, read 854,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT356 View Post
We found a house we're interested in purchasing, but we're hesitant because it has an oil furnace and an underground oil tank. The owners have some kind of insurance on the underground oil tank, but I wouldn't buy the house unless they dug up the tank. What I'm wondering is:

How much more expensive is oil heat vs gas?

What would it cost to have the heat switched over to gas?
I'm in NJ. A couple quick points:

1. You are correct not to buy the house unless the tank is removed. Do not accept an offer to decommission the tank and leave it in place. There have been too many incidents of decommissioned tanks covering a big reservoir of already-leaked oil and coming back to haunt the new owner. In NJ, buyers will not buy property with a decommissioned tank in the ground. There are no state programs to assist with remediation.

2. The tank insurance may require you to remain with oil heat for a year after the tank is pulled. It does in NJ (Proguard). If that's the case in NY, the seller will need to install an above-ground tank and you will need to remain an oil customer for the following year.

3. The prices of oil and gas fluctuate. In the past, oil was usually less expensive, but in recent years, gas has been cheaper because of fracking. This source of cheap gas may end if Oklahoma keeps having earthquakes, in which case oil might become the more cost-effective option.

4. Once the oil tank is sorted out, there's no compelling reason to switch to gas. Relax and live with oil for a few years. There may be better places to spend $10,000 in your new house.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:42 PM
46H
 
843 posts, read 472,140 times
Reputation: 1590
We switched from oil-steam to natural gas-steam in 2010. Our winter season oil bill ranged from $1800-$2500 over about 8 years. Our natural gas bill for the winter since 2010 is around $500-$800. We are in north NJ and we already had natural gas in our house.

Our oil furnace broke which made us make the decision. It was about $5500 for a new steam unit (installed) including getting the chimney lined. Oil prices have dropped, but natural gas remains cheap and plentiful as Pennsylvania is a huge source for natural gas from fracking. One more positive about natural gas is our electric bill went down because we no longer had to have an electric pump feeding the oil into the furnace. Our oil tank is in the basement and we have yet to remove it.

Natural gas is cheaper, does not smell or produce soot, and does not need to be delivered. We have PSEG so the prices are highly regulated and not subject to the whims of oil prices. For us it has been a great decision.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,305 posts, read 10,044,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kthnry View Post

3. The prices of oil and gas fluctuate. In the past, oil was usually less expensive, but in recent years, gas has been cheaper because of fracking. This source of cheap gas may end if Oklahoma keeps having earthquakes, in which case oil might become the more cost-effective option.
When was oil cheaper as a heat source than natural gas? I live in Upstate NY and oil has been much more than natural gas since I was a teenager. Electric was always the most expensive heat source. Oil and propane have bounced back and forth on which is more expensive over the years. Natural gas was always the cheapest...in my lifetime. I haven't heard anyone say oil has been cheaper.
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