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Home Heating Oil

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    Home Heating Oil

    Evening fine gentlemen/women of the MCB boards, I'm in the beginning stages of possibly purchasing a home that is heated by oil. Who here uses this heating source? Pros, Cons, what should I look for? Thanks gents!

    #2
    I used to work with a guy who used oil .i think it works well, but ypu have to keep an eye on the level.

    Comment


      #3
      Used oil for years in Vermont. Look into automatic delivery. All the companies near us offered it at a cheaper rate than a single delivery and if they messed up and you ran out on a weekend or holiday they did the emergency delivery at the normal rate
      Originally posted by MAr
      ... Nish deleted it...

      Originally posted by Axel "coffee-fueled, beer-cooled."

      Master Jar-Jar

      Comment


        #4
        We had an enormous oil tank in the basement growing up. 4 foot by 3 foot by 6 foot, I think. So, I dunno, 500 Gallons? It would get us through the winter each year no problem, for around 2000 sq ft in upstate NY. We did wear sweaters indoors, though.

        Upside is you can stockpile. Downside is you pay ahead or run out.
        Feedback: https://www.mcarterbrown.com/forum/b...eedback-thread

        Comment


          #5
          I heat with Kerosene due to an outdoor tank, you’re gonna get similar pros and cons to oil (Kero is a little pricier, I’m “locked in” at $5.109/gallon.

          I have a 900sqft house in upstate NY with crappy insulation, terrible windows and some rough doors (wanna buy it?). I ran through about 730 gallons last year, which was a relatively mild winter for the most part. I do have a small “fireplace” space heater to supplement occasionally, and typically keep my house around 68* during the day and 60* at night.

          when looking at the house, see if you can find the age of the furnace, as well as any maintenance records on it. The people I purchased my house from actually falsified the maintenance on the furnace - hadn’t been cleaned in a few years, but they wrote in it was — about 3 months after buying my house I had some furnace issues, when the technician showed up to repair it, he said it was plugged up worse then he’d ever seen. He showed me the grates, they were almost completely plugged. When I was cleaned 6 months ago, he laughed and asked by who. I said, “by you guys!” And showed him the “records” of the annual cleanings, he called dispatch, they haven’t been to the house in 4 years! (End of rant)

          the home owner should have records on how much oil they ran through the previous year (if they don’t they can get it from their fuel company)make sure someone is maintaining the furnace.

          Rule of thumb kerosene burns the dirtiest (and has lower BTU/gal), oil a close second and propane/natural gas burn the cleanest. Assume $300-$500 in maintenance each year just on cleaning and new nozzles. I always have my cleaning in the middle of the summer (slow time for a heating company, and makes sure Imm ready for winter).

          I’d also recommend getting on a “budget” plan with automatic fills. You’ll pay each month, lock your rate in and you don’t have to worry about running out (I’ve had plenty of COLD nights I ran out when I “filled as I went”)
          JeepDVLZ45's Feedback

          Comment


          • Mr. Hick

            Mr. Hick

            commented
            Editing a comment
            I too, Should heat with kero.... You can use number 2 if you use treat the fuel correctly. That will save you hundred, and hundreds of bucks in the long run.

          #6
          I've never lived with fuel oil, but I used to do HVAC and developed a hatred for it. It just stunk, and repairs were mostly cleaning soot and petroleum gunk. So upkeep is pretty simple I guess, but you're going to smell like diesel if you ever have to tear into it.

          Nearly all the oil homes around here have made the switch to propane. You need a conversion kit, but it'll burn in any natural gas furnace and range. Plus propane is cheaper than oil nowadays. So keep that in your back pocket for the future.
          Feedback

          Comment


            #7
            I would not make having or not having oil heat a consideration of making a house purchase, given the system inspected in good working order. We heated with oil for the 6 winters we were in MA, it was more expensive per btu then NG but NG was not available to our property and the cost of conversion and the cost of propane at the time did not warrant the shift to propane given we knew this was not our forever home. IMO NG is the way to go if you are going to heat with a fuel (unless you want to go the wood boiler route but that is a whole different discussion with its own pros/cons). We had an Oil Furnace (not boiler w/hydronics) that was 20 years old when we bought it and had essentially no issues with it other then basic maintenance that we just paid to have taken care of for us.


            "When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it." - Theodore Roosevelt

            Feedback Link - https://www.mcarterbrown.com/forum/b...del-s-feedback

            Comment


              #8
              Originally posted by JeepDVLZ45 View Post
              I heat with Kerosene due to an outdoor tank, you’re gonna get similar pros and cons to oil (Kero is a little pricier, I’m “locked in” at $5.109/gallon.

              I have a 900sqft house in upstate NY with crappy insulation, terrible windows and some rough doors (wanna buy it?). I ran through about 730 gallons last year, which was a relatively mild winter for the most part. I do have a small “fireplace” space heater to supplement occasionally, and typically keep my house around 68* during the day and 60* at night.

              when looking at the house, see if you can find the age of the furnace, as well as any maintenance records on it. The people I purchased my house from actually falsified the maintenance on the furnace - hadn’t been cleaned in a few years, but they wrote in it was — about 3 months after buying my house I had some furnace issues, when the technician showed up to repair it, he said it was plugged up worse then he’d ever seen. He showed me the grates, they were almost completely plugged. When I was cleaned 6 months ago, he laughed and asked by who. I said, “by you guys!” And showed him the “records” of the annual cleanings, he called dispatch, they haven’t been to the house in 4 years! (End of rant)

              the home owner should have records on how much oil they ran through the previous year (if they don’t they can get it from their fuel company)make sure someone is maintaining the furnace.

              Rule of thumb kerosene burns the dirtiest (and has lower BTU/gal), oil a close second and propane/natural gas burn the cleanest. Assume $300-$500 in maintenance each year just on cleaning and new nozzles. I always have my cleaning in the middle of the summer (slow time for a heating company, and makes sure Imm ready for winter).

              I’d also recommend getting on a “budget” plan with automatic fills. You’ll pay each month, lock your rate in and you don’t have to worry about running out (I’ve had plenty of COLD nights I ran out when I “filled as I went”)
              In the disclosure the furnace is apparently brand new. By googling some oil suppliers in the area it appears the last time oil was delivered was 4 years ago. The heat source is not a deal breaker on the home purchase rather I just wanted to know how big a can of worms it can be.

              Comment


              • JeepDVLZ45

                JeepDVLZ45

                commented
                Editing a comment
                My furnace is about 35 years old (impressed it’s still going)

                Sounds like the homeowner was supplying their own fuel. (I did that for a whole…jerry cans to a gas station….it SUCKED). Only tough part there is you don’t know what the house goes through, so it’s a little tougher to budget.

                I used to have 3 supplemental electric heaters (kitchen, living room and 3rd floor) to help keep fuel costs down (just came out of a different pot is all)

                I look at it this way…..we’ve been burning Dino’s for a long time to heat our houses - there is a reason. Its easy and dependable — maybe not the BEST way, but it just works!)

              #9
              Ok, silly question... does anyone Seafoam or Marvel's their oil to clean the burners? Just curious, considering how nicely some Marvel cleaned carbon off my EJ25 Subaru.
              Feedback: https://www.mcarterbrown.com/forum/b...eedback-thread

              Comment


              • JeepDVLZ45

                JeepDVLZ45

                commented
                Editing a comment
                I do not. But I never really thought about it until now. I wouldn’t bother, you have to get your furnace cleaned anyway, and the last nozzle I bought was $16.

                Plus the last time I seafoamed an engine. I smoked my neighborhood out. I wouldn’t want to back up into my house.

              #10
              you need to keep an eye on your level and make sure you dont run out.
              you can always add another tank.

              if its a buried tank, it might need to be pulled out. some states are requiring that now.
              if it needs to come out, they might require soil samples. if oil has gotten into the ground it will need to be remediated.
              all added costs.

              as said above, cleaning is key. have a pro that you trust do yearly cleaning, inspection, and efficiency test.
              Above ground and basement are fine.
              above ground outside you need you make sure the furnace feed line is insulated or it could gel up.

              how big is the house? is it zoned?

              if there is only one thermostat (one zone), then the whole house will be "on" when the furnace is on. (even rooms you might not be using or might not need to heat).

              if there are rooms with one wall of baseboard and rooms with 3 walls of baseboard, the 3 wall baseboard room will always be hotter.

              keep the baseboards clean and vacuum the dust out.

              dont cover the gap at the bottom of the baseboard or the vents at the top.

              i believe my father puts some kerosene in the tank in the winter. keeps the oil from gelling.

              Comment


                #11
                Dunno about oil but I have a propane boiler for radiant heating. Bosch something or other, really popular in the EU. Works really good, but I had to replace mine because of poor installation and while it was maintained (supposedly) it backed up and died, not a fun expense just after buying the house.

                I'd make sure you have a pro either do a service on it or just a full inspection and give you the rundown. Hell, I'd make it conditional on purchase for an actual inspection, not a home inspector. Same now goes for the AC, plumbing, and if there is a lot of fancy electrical that too. It's arguably pennies with the overall cost of the house but will save you money, time, and stress.

                As far as how well it might work? I think any working heat source will do fine, the real question is how good is your insulation? I think the difference between heating tech is a measure of how well it heats versus heat loss. Heat loss is mostly how well your home keeps the cold out and the hot in. If your always loosing heat it doesn't matter how fast and efficient your heating source is.

                Insulate heavily and as much as you can and you'll spend a lot less no matter what you are using.

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