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  1. #21
    Corgi Wrangler
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    If everything else about the house was GREAT and wasn't likely to cost me tons of money, I might consider it, but oil and propane are both well below natural gas on my list of preferred heating. (I like gas--geothermal racks up the electricity bill to run the blowers, though it's still cheaper than having oil or propane delivered, and gas allows you to have gas stoves, which I vastly prefer to cooking on electric.)

    It would also depend on the system--when I was looking, I passed on one house that had oil more because the furnace was coal converted to oil. It was ancient.

  2. #22
    engaged to dupa
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    I wouldn't have a problem but it sounds like it's a deal breaker for you.
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

  3. #23
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    I have oil heat, in a 13 room farm house, yet. It can be very expensive if the house is not very well insulated. It would be good to find out how old the tank is, as the older ones are not double-walled. Single walled tanks can develop leaks under certain conditions and those leaks are extremely expensive to deal with when the oil escapes and saturates your basement flooring.

    Double-walled tanks are much less likely to develop a leak. Incidently the leak develops due to moisture or water trapped in the tank, due to condensation which develops when the furnace isn't being used over long periods. So, it makes sense to keep the tank filled during the off-season to prevent this kind of occuance. Heating oil tanks develop leaks from the inside out. I learned this the hard way four years ago when my outside tank, a single-walled one, had an undetected leak. The weak spot in the tank's bottom let go during a cold winter's night and drained into my basement. I awoke to a horrific odor of heating oil throughout my house. To make along story shorter, the fire department and the EPA were involved and fixing the whole problem cost me nearly $20,000!

    If you decide to go ahead with the purchase of that house, find out who is the best heating oil repairman in your area and have him vet out the furnace and take care of its needs.

  4. #24

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    Wow, thanks for all this info everyone!

    I knew FSU would provide a fountain of information

    Blue Beard's story aside, I think I could handle it for a few years before I convert the whole system and add central air.

    I'm thinking I'd put some kind of liner under the tank and look into getting a new line run, as the existing one is under the basement floor.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  5. #25

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    I have lived with oil heat all my life. This year I have to have to have the oil tank in the basement replaced - it's 50+ years old and while it doesn't leak (and never has), the fill and vent pipes need to be replaced, which can't be done separately because the tank is mounted to the ceiling and has to be moved to access the pipes. Ceiling mounting is now against code so once they take the tank down, they can't remount it and it's so old they can't guarantee that it won't leak after moving so it's being replaced.

    My house has 8 rooms, five of which are heated with the oil furnance (forced hot water) and the second floor two rooms heated with electric baseboard registers. The cost of heating the two second floor rooms for a typcial New England winter has been equal to or greater than heating the rest of the house with oil.

    Oil prices fluctuate greatly. Shop around for the best prices but keep in mind that cheap fuel doesn't always come with good service. I pay a few cents more a gallon to a company that services my furnace annually and has emergency call service - which I've used exactly twice in the last 15 years.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    If everything else about the house was GREAT and wasn't likely to cost me tons of money, I might consider it, but oil and propane are both well below natural gas on my list of preferred heating. (I like gas--geothermal racks up the electricity bill to run the blowers, though it's still cheaper than having oil or propane delivered, and gas allows you to have gas stoves, which I vastly prefer to cooking on electric.)

    It would also depend on the system--when I was looking, I passed on one house that had oil more because the furnace was coal converted to oil. It was ancient.
    We put a new oil furnace in our house about a year ago, after the old one was destroyed by Hurricane Irene. The new one is very quiet and efficient, and it heats our hot water as well as giving us heat. We have unendingly available hot water, which I like.

    We also have gas for our kitchen stove, so no loss there.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    My house has 8 rooms, five of which are heated with the oil furnance (forced hot water) and the second floor two rooms heated with electric baseboard registers. The cost of heating the two second floor rooms for a typcial New England winter has been equal to or greater than heating the rest of the house with oil.
    When we were looking for houses about 10 years ago, the agent showed us one with electric heat throughout. We looked at him like he was nuts. And he laughed. Electric heat in the northeast is I can't imagine it for an entire house up here. At least yours is only in two rooms!

    How much would it cost to hook those rooms up to the central heating system in your house, I wonder?
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  8. #28
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    We have oil heat in our home, and it's expensive! We're actually changing it over to gas heat this year to get rid of having oil. The gas company will be installing lines at some point soon. I'll be happy to be rid of oil.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    When we were looking for houses about 10 years ago, the agent showed us one with electric heat throughout. We looked at him like he was nuts. And he laughed. Electric heat in the northeast is I can't imagine it for an entire house up here. At least yours is only in two rooms!

    How much would it cost to hook those rooms up to the central heating system in your house, I wonder?
    Way too much, which is why they're electric. Now that I'm alone in the house, I don't use the second for much beyond storage and the occassional houseguest, so I don't turn the lectric heat on much. I keep the doors closed in the colder months anyway.

    Gas scares me. In my experience, gas lines rupture and explode more often than oil tanks leak. And a leaking oil tank usually only affects the house the tank is in. Gas fires can level an entire block and you're dependent upon the city/gas company to maintain the lines. My aunts heated and cooked with gas; I can't tell you how many times they went without both while the lines down the street from them were being "repaired."
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  10. #30

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    New Englander here, too. I've never lived in an area with gas service. Yes, it's pricey, but if you get a good oil company, they'll tune the furnace and check the connections to makes sure you're not wasting any fuel. Our oil line is just below grade in a plastic sleeve as required by our building code.

    When we bought the house, the tank was underground in the front of the house. As a condition of sale, we had it dug up and replaced by a 250 gallon tank in the basement.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  11. #31
    snarking for AZE
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    coco, did you get the house with oil? i'm looking at houses and a lot around here are heated with oil. i havent lived with oil heat in a long time. in the winter, my electric bill varies betw one hundred and some and 300 so i wonder if it evens out in the end.
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  12. #32
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    I have oil heat in the house we purchased earlier this year. I am still on the oil tank we paid for at closing, but I have serious anxiety over what this winter is going to cost me. I plan to convert to natural gas (we have a line) as soon as we can swing it. But the house is being renovated (LOL! DON'T BUY A HOUSE THAT NEEDS A LOT OF WORK), so god knows when that will be!

  13. #33

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    I didn't buy the house with oil heat. I'm still in my "free heat" apartment. (I didn't have heat until last night, so it's something of a sore point!)

    It didn't sell and was taken off the market, but it remains very cute with a nice sized lot in a decent neighborhood. I don't know if they are renting it or not.

    Good luck with your renovations, Hannahclear. I think if I do buy this house when it comes back around, I would probably convert right away. As a first time homebuyer, I can tap into my 401k and my Roth for the acquisition, so I'd rather have the conversion costs in the sale price.

    I think owning a "normal" home will be enough work and stress, I wouldn't want to deal with contractors and any distribution issues.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  14. #34

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    Updating on prices. Oil has gone up again and is now a little more than 50% higher per BTU than gas. That said, the houses in my area sell for $300-500k, so the mortgage on a new sale in our area is typically in excess of $2,500/month. If someone's financially stressed so that oil/gas decision is a deal breaker on price, they likely aren't buying in my neighborhood.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  15. #35

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    By contrast, houses on my street are selling between $130K-$175K and the only options for heating are oil or electric since there are no gas lines in town. One neighbor has put in solar panels on his south-facing roof and another had propane delivered in tanks for years but his heirs sold the house and the new owners convered it to electric.

    I just had my oil tank replaced over the summer, and the boiler replaced a year ago so I'm good for probably the rest of my life in this house. Add to that the new roof, new back and front porches, new wiring and insulation, new bathroom and soon-to-be new kitchen and floors throughout, and my heirs should be able to get a nice return on my investment.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

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