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oil or gas furnace?

I need to change my oil furnice(hot water circulating through radators). What is the cost between oil and gas furnice year round.What are the advantages and disadvantages? thanks

Re: oil or gas furnace?


The unit you have there is known as a boiler, since it heats and circulates hot water (a furnace heats & circulates hot air).

How old is your present boiler?? Are you sure you need a new one now?

Whether you should select an oil-fired boiler over a gas-fired boiler would depend on first, the fuel cost comparison in your area of what they are charging for the equivalent amount of energy in a million btu's of gas energy & a million btu's of oil energy.

The fuel cost comparison charts at the sites below can help you determine if oil or gas is cheaper to burn in your area.

The second factor to consider is the efficiency of the new gas-fired boiler as opposed to the efficiency of the new oil-fired boiler.

Usually, gas-fired boilers are 90% to 96% fuel efficient; meaning only about 5% to 10% of the fuel burned goes up the chimney & is wasted.

Oil-fired boilers are closer to 83% efficient, meaning 17% of the fuel is wasted, going up the chimney.

A third factor is the higher annual service costs associated with oil-fired equipment, which has to be cleaned at least once a year, & requires nozzles, new filters & often fuel additives to the oil to keep it in good condition.

Gas-fired boilers require much less service, since they burn a cleaner fuel.

On the other hand, gas is purchased from a single corporate supplier, & the customer has no control over the price they charge.

Fuel oil can be bought from any of hundreds of dealers, each of whose prices vary slightly.

A fourth factor that affects both types of boiler is the amount of insulation your house has in the exerior walls & attic; you can spend $300 to have additional insulation blown into the walls & attic & add storm windows or new windows & greatly reduce the amount of gas or oil you burn each heating season.

If you have natural gas service in your area, the gas co. may do a free installation of the new gas boiler, if you're converting from oil to gas.

Recommended gas-fired & oil-fired boilers would include Crown boilers, Energy Kinetics system 2000, Hydrotherm, Buderis, Burnham, Dunkirk, Biasi, Utica, Peerless, Munchkin, & others.

The most efficient gas boilers are the condensing 3-pass boilers like Munchkin, or Viessmann, etc. that have a fuel efficiency rating of 95% or better.

These condensing boilers are more expensive than standard boilers, but pay for themselves, especially if you intend to stay in your home for the forseeable future; you can expect to see a 25% to 30% drop in fuel usage with even a standard cast iron new boiler, if the one you have now is past its prime.

In conjunction with the boiler, it is important to also buy an indirect hot water heater for the domestic tap water.

Good indirects are made by Triangle Tube, Crown & Burnham.

How to buy: consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors", & also Under "Oils-Fuel" for dealers who install boilers (oil dealers are also licensed to install gas equipment).

Get at least 5 separate estimates, as the choice of equipment & price quote will vary widely; make sure the deal includes taking out the old unit.

The prospective installer should do a HEAT LOSS CALCULATION of your home to determine how many btu/hr are oozing out of it on a cold day & match this number with the btu/hr rating on the new boiler.


Re: oil or gas furnace?

I don't know about boilers but when we changed from oil to LP furnace i figure we saved almost 50% when you include maintenance.

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