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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    10

    Thumbs up Oil Furnace Replacement HELP!

    Hi all! I'm a homeowner from Upstate NY (near Albany). I currently have an OLD oil boiler / hot water heating system. It also does my domestic hot water via some heat transfer tank setup. Anyway I use roughly 1200 gallons a year to heat my 1200 sq ft house. The furnace is only 79% efficient as per the gentlemen that comes to clean it.

    I would like to rid myself of the oil barons this year, and find another more cost efficient way to heat my home. I don't believe i can post what I'm paying for oil, but lets say its almost level with the mortgage.

    The layout of the house is too small and awkwardly arranged to make decent use of a wood stove, but I've been looking into a wood pellet burning boiler made by harman. I talked with the gentleman on the phone yesterday and he thinks i would use about 4 tons a year to heat the house. The best part is I would leave my existing system in place as a backup.

    Are there any other ways of heating the house that are more cost efficient than what i have now?

    A little more info on the house - the attic has crappy blow-in insulation (i think that's what it is, its got like little pebbles and some dusty looking stuff). and i highly doubt the walls are insulated well. The house is about 50-60 years old. Everything is on one floor, with a drive in basement below, attic above is not used.

    I would really like some information and some suggestions from those of you that know more about this stuff than I do (read - all of you). I consider myself somewhat handy, I remodeled the kitchen with just the help of a few friends, so I am able to understand and figure some things out. Anyone in my area that you would suggest talking to or getting ideas from? Thanks in advance!

    Wayne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Altmar, New York, United States
    Posts
    5,110
    how old and what kind of boiler do you have?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    10
    i'll have to check the make and model when i get home but its like 30 years old or so from what the guy said who came last year to clean it. We were trying to find those heat retention grates that go down in the tubes in the boiler. He said it was too old to get any parts for it. I'll see what i can dig up when i get home, the name is right on the tip of my tongue but i just can't remember.

    either way i would like to investigate and take suggestions on alternative heat sources. Any ideas?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,763
    Those heat retention grates. Are called baffles.

    The posting of oil, gas, and electric rates is ok. So is teh posting of total heating and cooling bills.
    Just not service, part, or install prices.

    What is your electric rate, and oil per gallon cost.

    Have you, considered upgrading your windows. Can you tighten up your house to decrease infiltration.
    Is your floor insulated.
    You should add more insulation in your attic.

    Is nat gas available to you.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    10
    i'll have to check my electric rate, but my bill is usually around $90 a month. Oil costs currently are $4.59 a gallon, up from the $2.95 i paid last year. I have considered upgrading the windows, but i have alot of windows and it would cost alot more than a new heating system, and like i said, i'd like to get off the oil and just have it as a backup in case it ever (yea right) goes back down. I plan on putting some insulation in the attic in the fall. There is no natural gas where i live, i'm on well and septic, we're out in the country!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    10
    i just looked it up on the interwebs... my bill says i pay approx $0.17c per kwh including the delivery and usage charges.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,763
    Do you have central A/C, if so how old is it.(their is a reason for my strage question)

    The tank for heating the hot water. Is it a tank that sits on the floor. Or is it a tank that hangs off the side of the boiler.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,763
    I would consider getting an electric water heater.
    Although a paper calculation puts the electric more expensive to heat the water. The fact that it has no stand by loss, will make it cheaper to use then oil. And that alone can knock 200 plus gallons off your oil consumpsion.

    Pellet stoves are a good sourse of heat. They take a little more maintenence then some people remember to do.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    I would consider getting an electric water heater.
    Although a paper calculation puts the electric more expensive to heat the water. The fact that it has no stand by loss, will make it cheaper to use then oil. And that alone can knock 200 plus gallons off your oil consumpsion.

    Pellet stoves are a good sourse of heat. They take a little more maintenence then some people remember to do.
    the tank for the hot water is a floor standing unit. has 4 pipes going into it. one to and from the boiler, and then the hot and cold feed pipes for the actual water.

    I was thinking of getting this wood pellet boiler to use instead of my oil furnace as well as an electric hot-water heater. From what pellets are at now the saleman said i would use about 4 tons $328 a ton delivered is about $1500 for the year. Thats ALOT less than the $5500 i estimate for oil.

    What are some of the pros and cons to a system like this?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    10
    my fault, i didn't mean to ignore you, i have no central ac or anything, just a couple window units. up here in Ny its cold longer than its hot

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,763
    Pellets stoves can scale up quick if they burn at a low rate too long. So they need to go to high fire on a regular basis, or they lose efficiency quick.

    If you set your stat back while at work. It will go to high fire during recovery.

    Also, they need the ash cleaned out every so often. But with pellets, it takes awhile till they need emptied.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    10
    hmmm i knew they needed to be emptied, no big deal there.

    About the high-fire deal. I assume you mean that by turning my temp down while at work when i come home and turn it back up the boiler would go to high fire and thus not loose efficiency?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,763
    Yea, it will sort of self clean its self.

    You would be supprised how many people don't give empting it any consideration.
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