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TorontoCon





Joined: 14 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject: Question about Oil vs. Gas furnaces Reply with quote

What are the pros and cons?

I'm considering purchasing a house that is at a great price but has an oil furnace. My family thinks I should go with natural gas.

Anyone out there have experience with both? Are there differences in monthly cost? I've also read some blogs that the air quality in your home can be compromised. True?

Thanks for your help.
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3130
Reputation: 114.9
votes: 10
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How old is the oil furnace? I understand that newer ones are very efficient.

I guess the only air quality issue would be if they aren't properly vented outside...
skuleman





Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 5
Reputation: 1.3

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I can tell you from experience that a big disadvantage to oil is if for any reason you're away in the winter and the oil runs out repairing all the frozen plumbing will make you wish you had gas. :x
Alan A.





Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 237
Reputation: 22.4Reputation: 22.4
votes: 4
Location: Western Canada

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natural gas is much cheaper. Reserves are domestic, plentiful across the continent and reliable. The price is independent of world political events. Natural gas burns cleaner.
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 6155
Reputation: 156.2Reputation: 156.2
votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oil furnaces basically run on winter diesel (doesn't gel up when it gets cold). You have to fill up a tank outside, or have someone fill it for you. Fire is fire, trenching in a natural gas line can be very expensive. I would say, oil is just as good and probably indistinguishable from gas.

PS. Do not forget propane. That is another option, if you do not have a gas line. Same deal as with oil, you have to fill your tank or have someone fill it for you periodically. Propane used to be very common in rural Sask, but since the advent of pushing city services out to the remotest outpost of humanity, pretty much everyone has a gas line these days. Hell, they are even pushing city water out to farms these days, all at collective expense of course.
Alan A.





Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 237
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Location: Western Canada

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you like encouraging imports from the Middle East? (conversely, natural gas is domestic).

"Domestic crude accounts for only about 45% of Canada's oil consumption. Imports represented the remaining 55%, mostly coming from either North Sea countries or the Middle East. Imported oil feeds refineries mostly in Eastern Canada." ----Source: Statistics Canada, 2005


Last edited by Alan A. on Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was unaware that zero oil came from Saskatchewan. I guess all those people investing in the Baken should have realized it was just another Bre-X.

Ass hat.

PS. Also a revelation that the oil sands did not produce any oil at all, only natural gas. Guess "oil sands" is a misnomer?
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.energyandcapital.co.....al-gas/529

Yeah, so obviously, natural gas, fuel of the future, and we will never need to import any. I wish it didn't get me so hot under the collar when people made ignorant comments without basis in reality, but it just does for some reason.

PS.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/ca.....alGas.html
Alan A.





Joined: 31 Jul 2009
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Location: Western Canada

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

- "Domestic" means North America in my own book. Natural gas everywhere. Shale gas abundant, including in Canada, and cheaper to extract thanks to new horizontal drilling technology. Huge plays discovered almost every year. There's a reason why natural gas is so cheap: too much supply.

- for Canada-East (including Ontario): Oil from Western Canada is more expansive to move there than importing it from the Middle East. Extraction cost in the Middle East is a fraction of Oil Sands'. I don't know where Saskatchewan's oil is sold (probably down south).

- kmlafayette: peak gas religion = peak oil religion. Nutjobs who've been crying peak for 50 years and it's always delayed, and they push the peak date farther every 5 years because of constant new discoveries. Try some global warming chicken-littling with that.
Alan A.





Joined: 31 Jul 2009
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Location: Western Canada

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
I was unaware that zero oil came from Saskatchewan. I guess all those people investing in the Baken should have realized it was just another Bre-X.

Ass hat.

PS. Also a revelation that the oil sands did not produce any oil at all, only natural gas. Guess "oil sands" is a misnomer?


Award of the most ludicrous comment ever should be given to this one (unless I am missing some tongue-in-cheek that's too subtle for my small brain). Who is he calling "ass hat"?...

Again, here are the facts that Lafayette obviously didn't read or didn't understand: "Domestic crude accounts for only about 45% of Canada's oil consumption. Imports represented the remaining 55%, mostly coming from either North Sea countries or the Middle East. Imported oil feeds refineries mostly in Eastern Canada." ----Source: Statistics Canada, 2005
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
Oil furnaces basically run on winter diesel (doesn't gel up when it gets cold). You have to fill up a tank outside, or have someone fill it for you. Fire is fire, trenching in a natural gas line can be very expensive. I would say, oil is just as good and probably indistinguishable from gas.

PS. Do not forget propane. That is another option, if you do not have a gas line. Same deal as with oil, you have to fill your tank or have someone fill it for you periodically. Propane used to be very common in rural Sask, but since the advent of pushing city services out to the remotest outpost of humanity, pretty much everyone has a gas line these days. Hell, they are even pushing city water out to farms these days, all at collective expense of course.


Propane is pretty common around here in Ontario too.
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3130
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skuleman wrote:
Well I can tell you from experience that a big disadvantage to oil is if for any reason you're away in the winter and the oil runs out repairing all the frozen plumbing will make you wish you had gas. :x


On the other hand, with oil or propane, if your neighbor digs in the wrong spot you don't have to worry about your service being cut off or the neighborhood blowing up.
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To get back on topic, short term, natural gas is set to become the most expensive of all fossil fuels. It is the least plentiful, and both North American and Canadian production peaked more than 10 years ago. With the advent of all the "green" initiatives, things like natural gas fired power plants are being constructed. The oil sands uses natural gas to extract oil. So we have falling production, and rising demand. Saskatchewan is in particularly bad shape, I think within a few years there won't be enough gas coming out of the ground to supply the power plants and heat all the homes. We have actually built power plants here, not knowing where the gas will come from in 10 years. One of the reasons I went geothermal with my new house, and did not even bother getting gas service.

Within 5 years, Canada will be an importer of natural gas, and within 10 years our current proven reserves will be completely exhausted. So unless they make some big advances in coal bed gas and the like, and there turns out to be a LOT of viable alternative sources, I would stick with oil if that is what I already had. You really have to look at the cost of putting in a new service and buying all new equipment.

PS. Actually, come to think of it, natural gas is the fuel of choice for greenies worldwide who are in nuclear denial. So expect a huge spike in demand over the next decade or two, as shortsighted governments shut down coal and fire up gas generation. Gas also goes hand in hand with wind power, as you need something that can quickly spool up and down as the wind varies.
crazymamma





Joined: 18 Aug 2007
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Location: The kitchen

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to the original question:

My hubby has his heating and gas licenses. One of the first things that he did when we moved into our house? Remove the Oil furnace and tank and have a high efficiency Natural gas furnace put in. He loved working on Oil furnaces ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$) before he switched to being an electrician.

Oil must be delivered by a truck, the tanks are often in the home basement and now if it or the furnace leaks it is considered a bio hazard. Can you say hazmat team, very expensive to get cleaned up. Insurance companies are getting increasingly itchy about oil furnaces.

My 2 cents.[/code]
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 6155
Reputation: 156.2Reputation: 156.2
votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Question about Oil vs. Gas furnaces Reply with quote

TorontoCon wrote:
What are the pros and cons?

I'm considering purchasing a house that is at a great price but has an oil furnace. My family thinks I should go with natural gas.

Anyone out there have experience with both? Are there differences in monthly cost? I've also read some blogs that the air quality in your home can be compromised. True?

Thanks for your help.

Crunch the numbers. Find a similar house you like with the gas furnace in place, what is the price difference? Contact the gas utility, what will it cost to bring gas into the house? Find an HVAC guy, ask what it would cost to do the job. How old is the current equipment, does it need work or replacement regardless? Get good numbers, not ballpark.

If the house + gas install + new equipment is still cheaper than the other house with the gas and furnace already there, maybe buying then switching makes sense. If the house with gas already is cheaper, maybe you buy that house. If you find out it would cost an extra $40,000 to trench in gas and get new equipment, ask yourself how long you are actually going to stay in that place. Ask the realtor if that changes the value of the house (often, stuff like furnaces, water heaters, insulation does not). Will you make up the difference in 5, 10 or 20 years?

A house is just a building. You do not have to love it, all you have to do is live in it and take care of it. Make the decision with your brain.
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