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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2
    I am replacing a 17 yr old oil heating system and Ruud AC.
    Existing:
    2 85K BTU oil furnaces and 2 RUUd AC 2 and 2.5 ton units. The house is a 2-story contemporary with finished basement( total 3 floors of Heat/AC ). The seperate Heat/AC units are for the 1st floor and basement on one system and the 2nd floor on 2nd unit. 1st floor is approx. 1200sg ft, 2nd floor is approx 900 sq ft and basement is approx. 1000 sq ft.
    Suggestions for replacement:
    1. 2 3 TON Heat pumps and 2 air exchnagers. 17 SEER +
    2. 1 ? TON Heat pump and zone 1st, 2nd, basement.
    3. GeoThermal, zone floors and Open loop.
    1st suggestion was from a contractor and I have a geothermal contractor scheduled for next week.

    Thinking of replacing the oil hot water heater with an electric Marathon hot water heater.

    Any thoughts or suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    214
    looks like you're going backwards. oil has the most btu content. ask you're local power utility which fuel has the most btu's. then stay with the oil units.


    " oil heats best! & allways will!!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SouthBlomfield,OH (outside columbus,Oh)
    Posts
    219
    Joe is right! Oil had the most btu content to what is used. For instance 1 gal. of oil is around 144,000 btu's and nat. gas is around 1100 btu's per cubic foot. The only bad thing with oil is smell and high maintenance. But if you have and trust a company to do the maintenance and the tech knows what he/she is doing the unit will last for a long time.
    I if you go with the heat pump the first thing out your mouth when you turn on the heat is, " There is cold air coming out of the registers. The old system was a lot hotter that this." I have heard this before. If you can live with this then go and do it. Stay away from the zoned system. In 14yrs I have only seen 2 that work right. If you do go with a heat pump, Geo is the best because of a constant temp. in the ground. Heat pumps that relie on outside temp don't work well when it is below 36 deg outside. If you have nat. gas in the area I would look into that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,712
    The geo will be the least expensive to operate, and the most to install.

    The temp of the air from your grilles won't be near as warm as with oil, if you choose a heat pump.

    In NJ, I doudt you get any benefit from a 17 seer heat pump, ovetr a 14 or 15.
    On a heat pump you need to check the HSPF rating, not just the seer.

    You might want to consider dual fuel, wheater oil, or gas as the back up.

    You'll get more heat per dollar out of a heat pump then oil, or gas at temps above 40, maybe as low as 36 before needing back up.

    Its not how much heat is in a gal of oil, or cubic foot of gas that counts, but how much you have to pay for it.





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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    south NJ
    Posts
    90
    I work on alot of heat pumps in N.J. and no one is happy with them. You might want to stay with oil you will save in the long run. If your tank is in the ground you might want to pull that out and have one installed above ground. That may lower your home onwers ins.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    214
    btu content does matter. if you're getting more btu's in you're fuel it reflects on the price. if a therm of gas is cheaper than oil (which it usually isn't) you won't save because the fuel is less efficient due to the lower btu content. you'll end up buying more gas than oil to heat the same space to the same temp. as for smell, if your system is done right you won't smell a thing. and,the savings from btu's will pay for PROPER yearly maintainence.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,712
    Which is cheaper to use varies by area.

    This past winter

    My oil was locked at 1.60 a gal.

    NG was at 0.91 a therm.

    10 gals of oil is 1,400,000 btu @ 1.60 a gal = 16.00
    14 therms of NG is 1,400,000 btu @ .91 a therm = 12.74



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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    214
    don't forget to add in all the taxes, surcharges,and all the other charges that go with nat gas. it all counts. i can't see pp&l selling gas that cheap anyway.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,712
    That was from the last gas bill i got, including all the extras, (december 2004)it may be alittle more now.

    There is a second NG supplier here that is .05 a therm cheaper then UGI. Here NG has competition, so they don't charge as much, or they loose customers.

    Co workers are/where paying a buck 83.9 a gal for oil, in January.
    Its an area thing, so oil or gas being cheaper isn't the same in every place, the same as some areas are only .04 for electric.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996
    With the oil HW heater, I assume yo don't have nat gas service in the house. I would look into getting a single hot water boiler to do hydro-air for the 2 air handlers and heat an indirect hot water heater. Gives you the option of radiant heating down the road.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    654
    A hydroair system appears the best choice. Use a quality cast iron boiler (Burnham, Buderus, Weil McLain, Peerless, Utica, etc.) and install an indirect hwh, 50 gallon or bigger. Replacing an oil fired hwh with electric is downright foolish. A house that size will never be happy with an electric hwh, there is no recovery in an electric tank, they just rely on storage to barely get by. I honestly don't think a heat pump will work effectively in the winter months, you might as well say the house is an electric heat house from Dec. thru Feb....yuk! Geothermal is probably the least expensive to run, but install is skyhigh. Routine maintenance on a HP system could troublesome if you don't have a quality company to rely on.

    Stick with the oil, it flatout heats best. Modern oil equipment is safe and doensn't smell whatsoever.

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