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Old 03-21-2013, 01:47 PM
 
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In comparing homes, for a similarly sized and insulated, 3BR colonial 1900-30s , how much would it cost over the year to heat, with oil vs. natural gas? Could anyone respond with how much you pay during the winter months, the temperature you set it at and heat source. also if anyone converted from oil to natura gas, how much did it cost to convert and how much do you save each month.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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My parents converted from oil to natural gas two years ago. They have an early 1900's home, 3-story, 4br, 1ba, full basement. At the same time they switched they did a lot of energy efficiency work by adding insulation, capping windows, etc. They keep their thermostat at around 68 degrees in the winter and the year before they converted they spent around $2,500 on heating oil. The winter after conversion they spent about $750 on natural gas. The total cost of the conversion I honestly can't tell you as it included a new AC system as well as the insulation work. They also received numerous energy credits. They ended up paying $8,000 which was financed for 10 years at no interest. Taking into account that they did way more then just replace the oil with gas, the payback is still less then 5 years for all of that work. I know a large portion of the cost was the gas furnace conversion.

One side benefit they have noticed since my mom is a "clean freak" is that they have way less dust in the house and the air quality has noticably improved. Of course, that was going from a 30 year old oil furnace to a brand new gas furnace and I hear the newer oil systems aren't as "dirty" as the older ones. So, I'm not sure if the same issue would be present when comparing a new oil furnace to a new gas furnace.

There are plenty of calculators and articles on this online. Bottom line is, the US has a lot of natural gas reserves and the price of natural gas is very low. The price of oil is high and climbing ever higher. If you go back to the 90's it was not nearly as beneficial to switch to gas, if at all. However, with the current prices of heating oil that don't look to be going down anytime soon, gas easily pays for the covnersion itself in a few years.

Good article echoing much of what I said above:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...s-home-heating
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:48 PM
 
Location: NJ
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I have a 3BR colonial, built in the late 30's. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing the insulation is not great. I have natural gas and pay about $200-250/month for heating about $1700 square feet.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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Thanks for your replies.
Ansky- Is that just during the winter, or do you somehow spread it out over the year? And at what temperature?
Asking because I am from New England and most people don't keep the heat above 66 during the winter unless someone is ill/elderly. I might even keep it at 62 or 64. I find it's easier to get used to and you don't feel so cold if you spend time outdoors.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:28 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
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A few years ago I lived in a 800-900 sq foot home (small) 2 br 1 bath. I worked out a plan with the oil co so I would pay a flat rate of $190/month, if i went under that I would get it back in the spring. Ever year, in the spring I ended up getting a bill for like $500 because the oil was so freaking expensive. It is dirty, too. I now live in $2k sq foot town home with gas. It averages to about $100/month (I just pay what I owe for the amt used every month-Jan-Feb has been expensive around $250, but it averages out to $100/month because in the summer months it is like $30). Gas is much cleaner, too.

My father has a heating & AC business, someone asked him how much it would cost to convert from electric to gas-he told them around $8k.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:47 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
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I have natural gas, boiler, steam heat. i believe it's an 85% efficient boiler, which is pretty good, but not as good as you can get. my winter heat with a programmable thermostat set at 62 for the hours we're not in the home, and 66 for when we are in home, with the occasional times we tick it up to 68 because the air has a bit of a chill...we pay roughly $250/month in natural gas costs (that would include tankless hot water usage as well as our clothes dryer, and oven/stove usage). the highest it will typically get, in the coldest month of the winter, is around $350.

from what I understand, oil fluctuates in price more, and could sometimes be cheaper than natural gas, but generally is more expensive and less efficient.

my home was built in 1928, and shortly after i moved in in 2010, we had a home energy audit performed and did air sealing and insulation work to reduce the amount of heat-loss in the home. we still have a reasonable amount of heat loss, as we did consider buying a space heater for two rooms that stay colder than the rest of the house. we also occasionally use our fireplace to help keep us toasty in the living room. and when we redid our kitchen, we added radiant floor heating to the kitchen, powder room, and upstairs bathroom, which allows us to keep the heat in the home lower when we are mostly in the kitchen since it keeps your feet toasty.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,508,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
My parents converted from oil to natural gas two years ago. They have an early 1900's home, 3-story, 4br, 1ba, full basement. At the same time they switched they did a lot of energy efficiency work by adding insulation, capping windows, etc. They keep their thermostat at around 68 degrees in the winter and the year before they converted they spent around $2,500 on heating oil. The winter after conversion they spent about $750 on natural gas. The total cost of the conversion I honestly can't tell you as it included a new AC system as well as the insulation work. They also received numerous energy credits. They ended up paying $8,000 which was financed for 10 years at no interest. Taking into account that they did way more then just replace the oil with gas, the payback is still less then 5 years for all of that work. I know a large portion of the cost was the gas furnace conversion.

One side benefit they have noticed since my mom is a "clean freak" is that they have way less dust in the house and the air quality has noticably improved. Of course, that was going from a 30 year old oil furnace to a brand new gas furnace and I hear the newer oil systems aren't as "dirty" as the older ones. So, I'm not sure if the same issue would be present when comparing a new oil furnace to a new gas furnace.

There are plenty of calculators and articles on this online. Bottom line is, the US has a lot of natural gas reserves and the price of natural gas is very low. The price of oil is high and climbing ever higher. If you go back to the 90's it was not nearly as beneficial to switch to gas, if at all. However, with the current prices of heating oil that don't look to be going down anytime soon, gas easily pays for the covnersion itself in a few years.

Good article echoing much of what I said above:
Oil vs. Natural Gas for Home Heating: Which Costs More?: Scientific American
i did the 10 year, 0% loan also. excellent improvement for your parents! i didn't have an oil to gas conversion, so their improvement is much better than mine. i think my gas boiler cost about $6,000 to install through the program, so whatever your parents had to pay to remove their oil tank (if they had to) would be the only additional cost, plus some plumbing for the natural gas line to the new furnace, if it was necessary. assuming they already had natural gas in their home, or that would be additional plumbing costs. maybe $10,000 - $15,000 is a fair assumption for worst case scenario?
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:30 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJfriend View Post
Thanks for your replies.
Ansky- Is that just during the winter, or do you somehow spread it out over the year? And at what temperature?
Asking because I am from New England and most people don't keep the heat above 66 during the winter unless someone is ill/elderly. I might even keep it at 62 or 64. I find it's easier to get used to and you don't feel so cold if you spend time outdoors.
That $250 is the cost during the winter months. We keep the thermostat at 66 when sleeping or not home, and 68 when we're home. We have a small child so we can't let it get too cold. Also, it's a steam boiler, and steam boilers are not supposed to have large temperature fluctuations, so we never raise or lower the temperature more than 2 degrees unless we're away for an extended period.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:00 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,508,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ansky View Post
That $250 is the cost during the winter months. We keep the thermostat at 66 when sleeping or not home, and 68 when we're home. We have a small child so we can't let it get too cold. Also, it's a steam boiler, and steam boilers are not supposed to have large temperature fluctuations, so we never raise or lower the temperature more than 2 degrees unless we're away for an extended period.
where did you hear this about steam boilers, and why? i've never heard that.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:52 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 38,575,685 times
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Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
i did the 10 year, 0% loan also. excellent improvement for your parents! i didn't have an oil to gas conversion, so their improvement is much better than mine. i think my gas boiler cost about $6,000 to install through the program, so whatever your parents had to pay to remove their oil tank (if they had to) would be the only additional cost, plus some plumbing for the natural gas line to the new furnace, if it was necessary. assuming they already had natural gas in their home, or that would be additional plumbing costs. maybe $10,000 - $15,000 is a fair assumption for worst case scenario?
I'm not exactly sure what they paid for each thing individually, but this is what they had done:

1. Drain and remove existing oil tank from basement, cap/seal oil delivery tube.
2. Replace existing oil furnace with gas furnace, extend existing gas line to furnace.
3. Replace AC system.
4. Add insulation to exterior walls and attic spaces, cap windows/doors.

Their total out of pocket ended up being right around $8,000 which they financed for 10 years at 0%. I know they got a whole slew of energy credits that offset a lot of the cost. I think the total project was around $13,000 before the credits.

I tried to take advantage of the program as well, as my HVAC system is original to the house, so roughly 20 years old. The only problem was that whoever specced out my house just happened to pick a very high efficiency Trane system, at least by the standards of the time and there weren't any upgrade options that would net enough of an efficiency improvement to qualify.
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