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Old 05-28-2008, 10:55 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I stopped looking at the electric rates a while ago, but they are in the .15 to .20 per kwh range. I pay extra for a "green" power blend, since the more I learn about coal the less I want anything to do with burning it.

We have an early 90s vintage heating oil-fired furnace. There is nothing wrong with it and it will probably last another 20 years, but I believe the last efficiency test came out at 83% or so. How would we go about making some kind of rational decision as to whether to switch to natural gas heat?
We had a similar situation: oil furnace (though our was on the way out) and available NG (our gas came right to the corner of the house, but the prev owner hadn't run the gas inside). So, our costs to convert were moderate, as I was faced with having to buy a furnace anyway. We decided to convert to NG, bought a high-efficiency furnace. It was a good decision.

Relevant article from the NYT:

YOUR HOME; Choosing Oil Heat or Natural Gas - New York Times

Here's a site with more information on converting. The bar on the right side of the site links to sites with calculators you can use to crunch the numbers.
EERE Consumer's Guide: Selecting Heating Fuel and System Types
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:15 AM   #62
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Thanks, very helpful.
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:18 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by youbet View Post
You didn't invest any sweat equity into that heat source did ya T-Al?
He's been hedging his equity costs...

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Old 05-28-2008, 05:22 PM   #64
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We converted to NG ~5 years ago to free up the second chimney. Went with a Munchkin Boiler ... been very happy (no maintenance issues, highly efficient). The boiler vents at ground level via PVC (no heat waste). So the plan is to pull the gas insert from the fireplace and replace it with a wood stove.

Here's the link to the boiler:

Munchkin Boiler
FIRE'd since 2005
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:05 PM   #65
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We live in a rural area without natural gas service. Our primary heat source for the last 12 years has been a wood pellet burning stove. There is a lot of logging and lumber industry in this area. However, with the housing slump, there is less lumber production and consequently, less wood waste available. Pellet prices have risen accordingly to $200+ per ton. For us it remains the most economical heat source vs. electric or propane. The pellets burn very clean compared to most wood stoves and are exempt from air stagnation burning bans in this part of the country. The heat can be controlled much more precisely than a wood stove using a thermostat to vary the burn rate. Also very little creosote type build up which causes chimney fires. Most pellet stoves vent through the wall. Did I mention I like our pellet stove? (No, I don't sell them)
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:05 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by hankster View Post
Did I mention I like our pellet stove? (No, I don't sell them)
Can you provide additional detail? How big a house, how muxh do you burn in a season, any recommendations on specific stoves? Thanks.
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