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oil vs. gas heat?

Hello -- I live in Massachusetts, and I've been told my 30 year old oil burner's life is almost over. It's dripping water, so I have to make some decisions soon about replacing it. My dilemma is: oil or gas burner? I have baseboard radiators, so I think I have steam heat. My water runs off my current oil burner, and I don't have a separate water heater. My oil tank is also old, perhaps the age of the house 80 years old? Is that possible?? Given all this, would you recommend gas heat. I know this means I need to install a gas burner, water heating, and have the oil tank removed. It seems that installing gas may be a bit more pricier, about $6,000 v. $5,000 to install a replacement oil burner. What are your thoughts of what type of system to install-- oil or gas? Thanks very much for your input.

Re: oil vs. gas heat?

From the description in your post, it sounds like you have hot water heat, rather than steam.

Baseboard is usually associated with hot water (hydronic) heat---you would probably hear some steam escaping from the convectors if it were a steam system---there would also be a glass water gauge at the front of the boiler if it were steam.

Both gas and oil are expected to rise in price over the coming years, but if you have natural gas available, this is slightly more efficient than oil boilers, and should be less volatile in price---the current price differential/cost is now 2 to 1 in favor of gas, as to what is being paid for the same amount of heat.

If you click onto my name to get past posts, you can read about recommended gas-fired boilers and companion indirect hot water heaters that you can choose from.

As previously noted, it is important to get 4 to 6 estimates from oil dealers and heating contractors because the price quote and choice of equipment they recommend will vary widely---never rely on just 1 or 2 estimates.

Also take the time to ask neighbors & friends what type of boiler they have & their level of satisfaction with the choice they made--this is also a good way to find a conscientious heating installer who will do a good job at a fair price.


Re: oil vs. gas heat?

Thanks so much, JacktheShack. I've looked at your past replies and I've got a lot of information to go on. BTW, I've got hot water heat. I'll start the process of getting lots of estimates. Thanks very much!

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