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Oil vs. LP

lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
I guess in a way it closely balances out. In the case of oil, it is highly recommended (and will cost you if you dont) to have your system tuned up yearly. There is also the need for an oil tank which takes up room. The newer systems are quiet and of high quality. You also recieve more BTU's per gallon of oil than you will with propane.

Propane on the other hand should also be inspected yearly (although some will say every other, every third and I am sure you will hear some say never, unless you have a problem. I am one that feel's it should be yearly which should also include a pressure test and flow check. The big benefit to gas is no oil tank in your cellar. You can set your tank's outside or bury them. Some of the new gas system's on the market are also very small compared to a standard cast iron oil boiler. I personally believe that based on the prices in my area gas will cost you longer in the long run than oil will although the initial install will probably be cheaper....IMHO :)


  • Mike Z.
    Mike Z. Member Posts: 23
    Oil vs. LP

    I am getting ready to buy a new boiler and I want to know what is the difference between the 2 fuels? I will probably getting a high efficiency unit if that makes a difference. I live in Upstate NY. I have oil now. Cost is not an issue for initial setup but will be over the long run. Does one fuel require more service to the boiler on a more regular basis. Well anyhow you get what im trying to figure out. Thanks in advance.
  • Boston Boiler
    Boston Boiler Member Posts: 70

    I like oil over LP or natural gas. Eveything has pros and cons. BTU's are 1,000 per cu.ft. of natural vs. 2,500 per cu.ft. of LP vs. 140,000 per gal. of oil. As for gas being cleaner than oil that held more of an arguement with #3 oil not so much with #2 or Kero. Oil tank in your basement always leaves the chance of a spill and your house being removed from the foundation for clean up vs. gas being piped in and explosion removing your house off the foundation to be cleaned up. As Ichmb states oil brings yearly maintenance but why would you not have a gas system gone through yearly also. supposedly gas systems never need to be cleaned until there is a problem and thats why preventive maintenance should be done to prevent a problem.
    I believe even with the prices of oil on the rise it is still cheaper to heat with and I don't believe gas, natural or LP will sit back and not keep up with those price increases. Whatever you choose......enjoy!

  • Mike Z.
    Mike Z. Member Posts: 23
    Oil vs. LP

    Thanks for your help so far. Any other opinions will be greatly appreciated.

  • Mike Kraft_2
    Mike Kraft_2 Member Posts: 398
    New times in US heating!

    The market offers several condensing gas fired wall hung and free standing boilers.These boilers will save you dollars in fuel bills.They offer a versatility for venting and are small in physical size.They cost more up front(typically)then a cast iron boiler.They also have a higher level of expertise requirement for installing.Oil in this country presents us with complications and I can only think of one manufacturer that offers us one condensor in oil.

    You want to make sure before you invest that your home and emitters will take advantage of the savings that condensing offers.

  • Ken D.
    Ken D. Member Posts: 836

    Fuel oil and LP are made from the same stuff,so the LP prices follow the oil prices. You can get a 90% LP furnace or boiler where oil cannot get that high as of yet. Lp most definitely needs to be at least inspected every year and possibly cleaned. This is a must for safety. An LP furnace is basically a converted gas furnace so it is not as easily cleaned. Oil needs to be cleaned so most manufacturers make ample provisions for cleaning.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    How to figure it.............

    Use a ratio formula like this to get $$$ / btu out

    LP first

    Cost of lp per gl - 92,000 = N? - 100,000

    Say lp is at $1.39

    $1.39 X 100,000 = 139,000

    139,000 / 92,000 = $1.51 per 100Kbtu

    Now divide by the efficiency of the appliance, say 90%

    1.51 /.90 = 1.67 per 100,000

    Use the same formula for oil and the prevailing
    pricing for the fuels in your area.
  • Geno_15
    Geno_15 Member Posts: 158
    Look at it this way

    you said you have oil now, if you don't have a gas stove or clothes drier I'd stick with oil, LP will have you stuck with the tank supplier, oil you can shop around or run down to the staion and get diesel or kero to run it if you have to. LP nets @96,000btu per gallon and oil 140,000btu per gallon, so you can get a 90+ gas unit, big deal, you're losing 44,000 btu hr right off the top, with oil systems like Buderus and System2000 running right under 90% it's a no brainer.
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    What's predominant in your area?

    In my area we have 20 or so LP dealers and one fuel oil dealer. That makes the choice easier!

    You can shop prices for deals and dealers, with LP, if you own your tank. Leased tanks run around $2.00 per month. Used tanks go for around a buck a gallon, or less. New 500 gallon tanks run $700.00.

    Today's LP cost are $1.30, I expect much higher before winters over. Paid $.79 two winters ago!

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