Yes, Natural gas is becoming very attractive now with all of this drilling and surplus. I've been following the process over the past year and watching my bill. Just last July, a local Supermarket chain here in Pgh, PA, Giant Eagle, installed a CNG, Compressed Natural Gas, Filling Station for owners of natural gas vehicles. They also converted their fleet of 20 tractor trailer delivery trucks to run on CNG! Interesting? This has got me thinking too, CNG conversion? The cost to convert a gasoline vehicle will end up paying for itself in about two years at the current gasoline price of $4.00 a gallon. Hum?
I like the steady even heat provided by coal and wood too. So, I've been actually actively researching what a natural gas conversion burner set up will provide by installing a gas burner in the coal/wood furnace? Just from using the NEPA fuel comparason calculator, my gas conversion coal furnace would need to be less than 60% efficient to equal the price of burning anthracite coal in it if I purchased anthracite coal locally here Pgh, PA. Hum again?
So I been running the calculations for converting a coal furnace to natural gas from some of the old HVAC installers manuals I have from the 1950's. Interesting stuff these old timers did in the day. After shopping for some of the needed parts for a gas conversion, it appears that a simple gas conversion can be completed for around $500.00 for a non-electric gravity unit, a little more if electricity is requierd. A simple millivolt gas valve with pressure regulator, a thermoplile to control the millivolt wall thermostat, a gas burner rated for the specific square foot of furnace radiating surface, a thermiser inline before the draft hood to increase efficiency, and a draft hood to an exsiting properly sized chimney is all that is required. For extra control, a commercial oven thermostat can be added to the mix to regulate the burner flame for a more continous lower fire setting, giving the gas conversion similar attributes of a manually operated coal fire.
I'd like to give it a try just to see if it works as well as they said it does in the books for gravity warm air furnace heating plants. It definitely has me considering it. Any thoughts?