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To convert from oil to gas or not?

Needtoknow Member Posts: 9
We are the proud owners of an oil fired circa 1982 Burnham V3 supplying hot water to a two zone 115' loop.  Being very conservative with the thermostat settings, we are able to use a mere 500 gallons of oil annually only because we're not home much and can turn it way down.  The system has worked very well over the years, and probably still has some life left in it.

But with fuel at almost $4 gallon, it's tempting to swtich to gas.  It's in the house.  But am having a hard time justifying the cost.  Is it financially viable to switch?  I calculate the payback period at almost 8 years just to break even.  Help in figuring this out would be appreciated. 

It seems with higher (ie normal) fuel consumption it's a no-brainer, but with 500 gallons annually used it's something to think about.


  • don_9
    don_9 Member Posts: 395
    oil to gas

    Its been my experience when oil goes up gas is soon to follow.if you are only burning 500 gallon annually then i would say stay the course.

    Maybe we should not always think about the oil/ gas war but rather what can one do to reduce the heat loss to the home.

    Maybe more insulation,for the home and heat pipes,or newer windows,sealing the cracks thru out and if you have kids limited the time they spend in the shower,lol.

    I think your return on investment going with a a different boiler would most likely be higher with gas at the same efficiency you have with oil.

    Just want to say many reading your post are envy of you.enjoy the spring summer on its way.then we can start talking power bills. 

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,410

    My old Delco boiler failed in 1996 and i replaced with an oil fired Burnham V75 - after talking with someone who worked for the local gas company who said he didn't see the cost of gas being as low as oil in the near future.

    He was right, for about 5 years. In the Boston area right now 140,000 BTU's of gas costs about $2.70 vs the $3.42 my oil dealer is getting. Last year at this time the difference was about 20 cents.

    When the Burnham dies I may well replace it with gas fired but it would take FOREVER to make up the costs of replacing a working oil system. I used about 334 gallons of oil last year and have used a bit more than that to date this year.

    If the true cost of natural gas is much lower in your area (make sure you know the TOTAL cost of gas - don't believe the gas company), then you have to decide if it's really worth it. Remember you will have to get the oil tank removed and put a stainless steel liner in the chimney to go over to gas.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,046
    Don't change...add

    Look at a mini-split heat pump. First, you get AC/dehu. With the 410A inverter systems the heating performance is excellent. You run the HP in the shoulder seasons and you decide what the balance point is for you to bring on the oil. You will save money.
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