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Carlin EZ Gas Conversion on Oil Furnace Worth Considering?

HandyFS
HandyFS Member Posts: 57
I know these Carlin EZ Gas conversion kits are available and I've seen people on the web mention they are happy with them. A distant relative swears by his that he had done a few years ago.

Are these systems ideal if my current oil burner furnace is in good condition overall? Any things I need to think about if I were to get it converted? I plan to call around and find a licensed person to do it locally, but I want to understand what goes into it so I have a better understanding overall.

Does the chimney need to be lined if it is not currently? Now the oil furnace vents up a non-lined chimney flu.

Doing the math of having a conversion burner installed and whatever else may be needed, vs. the cost of having a new gas furnace installed.

I already have natural gas to the house and have other things running on it.

Just trying to get some ideas to see if its worth considering the conversion burner.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,960
    The chimney may need to be lined. Probably will. The gas company will have to check if your regulator and meter are big enough. Then you are making a bet that gas availability and pricing will be competitive with oil. Chances are, once you do the math, you may find that the gas conversion will be more expensive than keeping the oil, never mind installing a new gas furnace.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,876
    Furnace may not be as easy, or possible, like a boiler.
    steve
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,336
    Your going to spend quite a bit of money for very little return on investment.  
    MaxMercy
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,654
    "Furnace" as in forced-air, or "boiler" as in steam or hot-water?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 899
    The fuel cost is easy enough: I'm assuming efficiencies will be the same for the conversion.

    Oil: $/MMBTU = $/Gallon * 1000000/138000
    Gas: $/MMBTU = $/Therm* 1000000/100000

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,658
    Reline chimney

    Gas line and meter may not be large enough. First call is to the gas utility

    Furnaces are less likely to convert than boilers. What do you have?
  • Joseph_4
    Joseph_4 Member Posts: 255
    For people with Oil Boilers, Its the best investment out there. here in NYC Oil is 5.60 a Gallon. If you use 1000 gallons oil a year you'd probably pay for the 2500-3500 investment in one season
    Joe
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,960
    As always -- for some people, @Joseph_4 's comment is correct. For others it isn't. Do your own numbers. Don't rely on someone else.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,336
    edited November 2
    Joseph_4 said:

    For people with Oil Boilers, Its the best investment out there. here in NYC Oil is 5.60 a Gallon. If you use 1000 gallons oil a year you'd probably pay for the 2500-3500 investment in one season
    Joe

    And what's the cost of NG? If you post one for comparison you really should post the other.
    Then you can run the #'s.
    https://www.amsenergy.com/fuel-cost-calculator/
    MaxMercy
  • HandyFS
    HandyFS Member Posts: 57
    Thanks everyone, lots of great feedback and things to think about. I have a forced air furnace currently, not a boiler. I've always heard these systems are much easier to adapt to a boiler vs a forced air setup, but I started looking through the Carlin literature and they say it adapts to a furnace so that's why I decided to ask here.

    Oil has been around $5.25-$5.50 per gallon the last few days so I'm just thinking of options. Many houses locally have gas and they just updated the lines to our houses and outside meter not that long ago so I'm assuming I will have no issues with the gas supply. I called maybe 2-3 years back and they said they would drop my gas rate once I had a furnace since I currently only have a stove/hot water heater/dryer and my usage wasn't enough for the whole house appliance rate.

    My parents home was oil forever and maybe 4-5 years ago they switched. Over 100 year old house they used to spend hundreds in oil, now they keep the thermostat warmer and their bill is never over about 35% of what oil was, so even if gas is up, its still not as bad as oil it seems.

    Last year I was paying about $3 per gallon, this year it looks like I'll be stuck at minimum $5.25 per gallon, so I'm just seeing what options I have.

    Thanks for the calculator suggestion, I'm going to start there and try to find someone qualified locally to come have a look and give some real world pricing.
    Hot_water_fan
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,336
    PSE&G just announced an increase in pricing. I don't feel it's the only one!

    Add it into your calculation
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 899
    In my neck of the woods, gas has actually been decreasing vs. the last few months. Let us know what you decide!
  • HandyFS
    HandyFS Member Posts: 57
    Thanks everyone. My utility gives me a discount with a furnace so I'm going to call and get those numbers and do the math. Truth is, the way things have been going it seems like home oil has no major relief coming for a while so the numbers will either make sense quickly, or they won't. I'll keep everyone posted. If I can't find anyone local who seems experienced on the install I'll post back and hope someone here may be in my area to help out.
  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 476
    I'm having a nightmare with a 10 year old Carlin on a steam boiler that no one can get to burn properly. I actually found this thread starting a search for alternative burners.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 6,670
    Jells said:

    I'm having a nightmare with a 10 year old Carlin on a steam boiler that no one can get to burn properly. I actually found this thread starting a search for alternative burners.

    Where are you located? See if @captainco trained someone in your area.
  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 476
    edited November 21
    mattmia2 said:

    Jells said:

    I'm having a nightmare with a 10 year old Carlin on a steam boiler that no one can get to burn properly. I actually found this thread starting a search for alternative burners.

    Where are you located? See if @captainco trained someone in your area.
    How would I do that? I'm in North Jersey
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,280
    edited November 21
    If you are truly talking about a warm air furnace that is more than 5 years old? I would say it is not worth it. Old furnace heat exchangers expand and contract on each heating cycle. Fire makes the metal expand, the fire goes off and the fan cools down the metal and the heat exchanger contracts. This happens thousands and thousands of times over the life of the appliance. The metal gets a memory of this expansion and contraction. As long as the fire and the fan stay the same, the same molecules in the metal keep doing the same thing.

    Now, change the oil burner with it's 2500°F flame to a 1900° gas flame and the expansion and contraction becomes different. That "Memory" in the metal gets confused and the metal starts to break down. Within a year or so, you will discover a crack in the heat exchanger. Time for a new furnace. ...and that new Gas Power Burner goes out with the old furnace.

    Boilers don't have this problem, because there is water on the other side of the metal. The water will always keep the metal temperature in check, if the flame becomes hotter, the water temperature stays the same. If the fire is cooler, the water temperature stays the same, it just takes a little longer to get there.

    I learned this the hard way, by trying to save my summer time neighbor some money on his oil bill over 40 years ago when i was just learning about Flame Retention burners. I added a Delavan Power Head to his old oil burner one summer. When I returned next summer, and asked him how much he saved... he had a new furnace. I asked my service manager about this and he "learned me" about this metal memory thing. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished! Never did a burner change on a warm air furnace after that.

    Mr. Ed
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

  • heathead
    heathead Member Posts: 210
    What else in in your unlined chimney? If you have nothing else ie no water heater then look for a new 95% gas furnace. Why waste money lining a chimney and converting a old oil furnace. Get estimates for a new gas furnace. Most importantly get a heat loss done. The oil oil furnace is most likely oversized. If you get the right sized furnace you will be more comfortable and save some money.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,654
    Actually, I'd reline the chimney and put in a chimney-vented unit. Fewer moving parts that can break down.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting