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Oil or Gas?

Monica Member Posts: 2
When we build our new house this spring, should we use natrural gas(it is in the street) or Oil?

I think(without knowing why) oil is less expensive and gas is more convenient(no oil trucks and less maintenance?)

I would like to hear some expert opinions. And yes the house will use a lot of radiant for sure!

We are in Massachusetts.


  • David Sutton_5
    David Sutton_5 Member Posts: 87
    Thats the age old Question

    Hello Monica,

    There are as many ansewers to that ??? as there is different kinds of equipment, But by no means can a gas run unit go with out service. there are trade offs with each, you need to find what will make you comfortable.

    Where in mass are you?

    How many oil dealers?

    Are there alot of gas service companys there?

    What are to going prices for fuel Gas / oil?

    These are things you need to reserch, ask friends and family or people in the area you are going to build in, How are the companys in the area to deal with?

    No matter what fuel you choose you will need to find a good service company that will be there for the long haul.
    good luck and happy building

    Merry Christmas......DAvid
  • Big Ed
    Big Ed Member Posts: 1,117
    Your Right

    Your right in what you say. The only time gas has been cheaper is between 1978(oil put on the big board down in Wall Street) -1992 (gas was put on the big board)....

    Gas has less maintenance over oil

    Oil can be a mess if you have a leak but at least you can clean it up !!!

    Oil is a lot safer then Gas..

    You buy oil before you use it and you pay for gas after you burn it...

    Gas equitment is quiet compaired to oil..

    Oil tank vs. gas lines...

    A few pro's and con"s

    P.S.I had gas in my home , switch over to oil a few years ago and glad I had....

  • John McArthur_2
    John McArthur_2 Member Posts: 157

    I would answer that question with the answer to be Oil. You get 140K Btu from a gallon of oil and 92K Btu from gas. With that being said you would have to have a high efficiency gas appliance at 95+ percent to even come close to an 80% oil boiler. I would also take it a step further and say to be sure to get a boiler versus a furnace. Remember for system efficiency water has mass and can store more heating energy. Air from a furnace has no mass and does not store energy....Good luck
  • Uni R
    Uni R Member Posts: 663
    You can't compare btus per unit.

    You have to compare therms or btus per dollar. Here gas is far cheaper than oil per btu and the price level is far less volatile. In other places around North America oil is cheaper than gas.
  • Uni R
    Uni R Member Posts: 663

    Obviously compare the cost per btu of each.

    Pros for oil: Natural gas demand is rising but I think that natural gas supply would fall long before oil does, making oil much cheaper in the long run. Oil doesn't go boom and take out your house and your neighbor's house on either side. Also, you would notice poor combustion more easily with oil so many would argue there is less chance of CO poisoning.

    Pros for natural gas: You don't lose inside space to a tank if that's where it will be - nor do you have to worry about the tank leaking or needing to replace it every 15 years or whatever the insurance decides for its policy. You can power your range, dryer and BBQ from one account. It is cleaner burning and there is a better supply of condensing boilers and furnaces available for it. Where I live it, a house with gas has much better resale value than a house with oil but that is a regional thing. Gas burning furnaces and boilers are often many times quieter than oil buring devices.

    I would solicit input from the people who live near you as well as what you get here.
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    How many BTU's Will you be needing?

    How well is the insulation and vapor barrier installed? with radiant are we speaking of panels, floors ,ceilings, walls? it would be my contention to start at those questions and answer them early in the game.....some questions shouldnt be answered with a question so, once you are sure of the needs then you can determine wants a little better. Oil fired appliances tend to have a lower level that they behave badly in,in reference to btu out put...modulating stepped condensing units of the natural gas variety, behave much better and at lower btu demand requirements... just something to ponder on while your thinking...there are some modulating oil fired boilers out there ,however, i have had no experience with them and cannot speak to availability of the product nor to how well it preforms nor to what the long term operational costs might be...i do think there may be some changes made to oil. a friend who is a truck driver owner operator and i read the same article that he reminded me of recently, where the bio fuels proportedly to bring heating and trucking oil prices Down ... close to half of the current prices . whether that is true or not remains to be seen...........the quality of the oil is supposed to change also at that time. there are lots of other considerations....these are just a few....personally the fuel available economically that best meets the need would probably suit me.
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