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New install: choose propane or oil?
I'm evaluating purchasing a rental property where a renovation of the heating system is needed. All tenants currently run off of a shared oil boiler with baseboard radiators. DHW is electric water heaters. Points below:
1. Property is located in Southern NH which has cold winters.
2. Multi-unit dwelling where I'd like to segregate the tenant utilities. I absolutely do not want to pay for tenant's propane or oil so this is non-negotiable. Future design must include this element and have tenant responsible for own fuel.
3. No Natural gas, Must be electric, oil or propane. I also don't trust a tenant to tend a solid fuel burning device like a wood or coal stove.
4. Building has a chimney so all units could be vented there. I would like to use it for venting rather than powerventing through opening in side of building. Arguably, a powervented condensing boiler/furnace is the most efficient but there will be a cost to buy such a sophisticated efficient boiler/furnace. A cheaper non-condensing boiler/furnace is better for me to purchase from a landlord perspective. note: This is just a preliminary pricing of equipment with minimal research that I have done and not indicative of what I may actually find. If this were my own residence, I would undoubtedly want the higher efficiency condensing models, but if cost is unfeasible in a tenant installation, they are not getting it.
5. Basement has the space for each tenant's oil tank assuming I went that route. This is one strike against oil since that space could be rented to a tenant for storage purposes.
6. Outdoor near house has space for each tenant's propane tank assuming I went that route.
I am just stuck on which fuel to choose for my future tenants. If you were a tenant, would you necessarily choose one place over another because one had oil and the other had propane heat?
I am leaning towards propane heat since a local plumber told me that propane can "tolerate short cycling better than oil and is more efficient in the long run". Also propane burns "cleaner" than oil and requires less servicing/cleaning. If I have propane, I can also plumb in a propane cooking stove; I know many people like cooking on a "gas" stove vs electric. (Is that something most tenants want? I love cooking and don't like electric stoves). Also with propane, you need to have it filled by a propane company. Since it is a sealed pressurized cylinder, there is no oil tank sabotage that can occur with propane e.g. someone opening the oil tank nozzle and pouring water etc.. into it. Propane has lower heat energy per gallon when compared to oil, but again the cost of the fuel will be the tenant responsibility and not mine.
Any opinions/help is greatly appreciated. What do you guys think? Thanks...
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