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Convert to Nat. Gas or keep Oil??

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by kingston73, Mar 19, 2011.

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  1. kingston73

    kingston73 Member

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    Our street is getting a natural gas line and so now I have a choice of converting or just keep my oil furnace. Have any of you converted, and if so was it worth it? Our furnace is about 30 years old and needs some serious servicing, but we don't use a lot of oil, only about $700 for the past 6 months. The natural gas company said it will cost about $850 for them to run the line from the street to our house, but then we still need to pay somebody else to install the new furnace and get rid of the oil tank, and I don't have any idea how much that'll be. Opinions and ideas welcome, thank you ahead of time.

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  2. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    At least get the line installed . That way you'll have options. $850 is CHEAP for a line install.
    LOT'S of nat gas is going to make it cheap and stable for some time.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Gas is very high here. Not the gas but the service!
  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I'm swapping out to NG this summer. I'll only have to swap out my burner.

    Matt
  5. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    The service isn't cheap here either, but I want to put in an indirect tank for water heating at the same time. The water heater has an 8/78 date code on it.

    Matt
  6. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    +1 Certain-lee have the line installed. Install a new furnace when the old one is done. You'll be able to install a gas kitchen stove with that service line if you want. You could even get a high-effiency furnace that vents out pvc pipes out the side of the house and possibly free up a flue for other wood burning appliances. Depends on your provider, if they have the Mass Save program, you may get a break on a new furnace if you get rid of your old one.. I smell some ca$h being spent...



    www.masssave.com
  7. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    Ive probably spent $700 in 6 years on oil and would still switch if I could. An oil furnace will run 86% at its best for efficiency and requires more maintenance cost. A natural gas unit can run at 93 to 96% efficient. Less heat up the stack. A 100F compared to 425F with oil. Get that line in. Especially what you are consuming now. Thats incredible usage for 6 months in your climate. A complete natural gas furnace high efficiency unit will run around $1600. A new oil burner not counting the furnace is worth more than that. Get that line roughed in to your home now. It will be money well spent.
  8. rehabbingisgreen

    rehabbingisgreen New Member

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    See if you can calculate the cost of the nat gas vs the cost of oil in your area and see if it is cost effective. I know there are energy conversion charts that would help you but off the top of my head I don't have one handy. If I was looking at the long run over a lot of years I'd go with gas because the price is so much lower than heating oil the places I've lived.
  9. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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  10. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    The long term outlook is that the demand for oil is going to rise worldwide as its getting hard to get plus it needs to be imported, its alos needs to be refined. Natural Gas doesnt ship well so it pretty much is tied to the north american market. The amount of processing required to make it usable for supplying a pipeline is minimal compared to oil. Currently there iare 200 years of proven reserves in North America so the odds are gas is going to be more available which usually means less expensive. Obviously its dependent upon the local utility on price, but natural gas looks to be a good bet. If it was in the street, I would be hooked up to it. Its also requres far less service compared to oil.
  11. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Natural gas is a no brainer here
  12. KarlP

    KarlP Feeling the Heat

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    Advantages gas:
    Something like 18 out of the last 20 years its been a cheaper fuel than oil. (I expect that to be the same over the next 20.)
    Higher efficency furnaces are available for gas
    Less routine furnace maintenance required.
    Gas is cheap in the summer, so hot water/stove/dryer cost very little to operate outside the heating season.
    Natural venting hot water heaters require no electrical power. If you have town water, a hot shower is a nice luxury during an extended ice storm power outage.

    Disadvantages gas:
    A fuel leak could blow your house off its foundation.
    You are tied to a single supplier.
    Delivery charges & fees keep increasing a lot (for me anyway).
    While rare, you can have a gas outage or broken meter leaving you without fuel.

    Advangates oil:
    A fuel leak won't blow up your house.
    You typically have a choice of many suppliers.
    You can fill up off season when it is cheaper.
    A hundred gallons of fuel oil + a diesel generator gives you energy independence in a disaster like Japan is seeing right now.

    Disadvantages oil:
    Its usually more expensive.
    Furnaces are a little less efficient.
    It pollutes a little more.
    It smells a little more.
    Need to snowblow a path to your oil fill pipe in winter.
    Need to keep an eye on the tank to make sure you don't run out.
    Basement & environmental cleanup from a fuel leak will cost a bundle.
  13. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Natural gas here in the East if you can get it. Coupled with a modulating boiler you can save a boatload of cash.
  14. kingston73

    kingston73 Member

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    I appreciate all the replies, and I agree with you all that nat. gas is the way to go, but the unfortunate fact is I'm not going to be able to afford it, at least not anytime soon. I got a couple of estimates and the lowest so far has been about $8000 total, including removing the oil tank and old furnace. I think we are going to get a new, more efficient oil burning furnace which should cut down our oil use a lot, plus we are getting a new wood stove at some point before next winter. In an ideal world and for long term use I know gas is the way to go, but it's just too much right now.
  15. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Feeling the Heat

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    I know $850 isn't small potatoes but if possible, strongly consider getting the line put in to keep your options open in the future. Probably won't be $850 (or anywhere NEAR that) in the future.
  16. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    run the gas line and put on a gas burner on your exisiting furnace... get a new furnace when you can afford too.. in the meantime you will save money just not as much compared to a brandnew high eff unit
  17. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    A new oil furnace is sort of like throwing good money after bad. Continuing to burn oil because you have a new oil furnace is exactly throwing good money after bad.

    There are so many things that could push oil higher, that there's almost no chance you'll ever come out ahead when natural gas service is available for $850. That $8,000 is a steep price to switch over, how much are they charging for removing the tank and furnace?
  18. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    remove the tank later... someone will be glad to do it ... someone will want to use it ...
    also look around you can get a new install for way less than 8000
    There is always a plumber who moon lights... take the furnace info and price the furnace yourself ... Prolly be 2g or less most guys I know usually double everything meaning 2g furnace for them is 4g for you and 4g labor= 8g
    if its alot of comp then labor is 2g for 6g total...
    guys around here, after work will charge 500-1000 cash, depending on difficulty, plus what the furnace costs them.
  19. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    If your oil tank is above ground and they want $8000.00, you are getting yanked. Is your area finished where they need to run the gas line?
  20. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    Where exactly in mass are you?
  21. kingston73

    kingston73 Member

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    I'm in se mass, near the corner of RI. My set up is this: rectangular floor plan with the long side parallel to to street. It's split in 1/2, the front, street side half is finished and rear is unfinished with the oil tank on the end and furnace in the center. I did get a 2nd quote and this person said it may be around $6000 total. The $850 street to house install is just a 1 time price, so I will most likely have that done at the very least. I'm really split on this decision, I really hate being in debt and the wife and I are almost but not quite all paid up on our credit card debt, and we don't have nearly enough cash so if we did this it would all be on credit and put us back into debt again.
  22. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    If you get a new system the use the money you would spend on oil.and it will be paid of in no time
    You spend about 700 every six months? That's 3400 over 3 years
    Trust me its worth it I am doing the same
    I am just waiting to see if I can get 0% through mass save
  23. kingston73

    kingston73 Member

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    I looked into the MassSave program and scheduled a visit from an "energy auditor" to take a look at the house and let me know what my options are, so I haven't ruled out the conversion yet. By the look of things and based on the weather, the gas company won't reach my house for at least another couple weeks, they've been majorly slowed down by the SNOW(!) and rain we have had recently. It looks like at the very least I'll be eligible for a zero interest loan, so that might be a possibility. I haven't scheduled any other estimates yet due to this energy audit.
  24. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    Don't forget to negotiate with the contractor! Maybe you can get high eff central air!
  25. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Lee nailed it, get the line in to give you options down the road. I had an ultra-high efficiency propane boiler installed as there is talk that they will be running gas lines near my house in the forseeable future. had I gone with oil, no soup for me. I used a grand total of $400.00 of propane this winter, and we have a gas stove in the kitchen.
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