OIL VS. PROPANE

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: bdawson On: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:49 am

Thanks everyone for your responses, it is appreciated. We did have someone come out and give us an estimate and they told us to also consider adding a heat pump. What are your thoughts on that??
bdawson
 

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: Berlin On: Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:27 am

btw, if you choose to go with oil (which you should if you don't like wasting money) an air/air heat pump is an excellent idea since you're installing A/C anyway. For oil furnaces (should your current one not be large enough etc.) I highly recommend Williamson or Thermopride; by far the two best choices. Both Thermopride and Williamson have very heavy heat exchangers, solid construction, and relatively simple controls.
http://www.thermopride.com/home

http://www.williamson-thermoflo.com/en/williamson/products/furnaces/oil-furnaces.aspx
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: HanSoSlow On: Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:54 am

With the option is NG better (cheaper) than oil?

I'm still keeping my sf150, but oil is getting stupid expensive and I can now get NG.
HanSoSlow
 


Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:17 am

The completely depends on the price of NG.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: Berlin On: Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:53 pm

In general NG is much cheaper right now. Historically there has not been a vast gap between oil and natural gas, this is a very recent phenomenon. Natural gas will probably maintain it's price advantage for the next few years and then it will disapear. NG use will increase dramatically on the east coast for power generation, home heating, and finally, export. In the last year, construction on hundreds of large (200MW+) NG powerplants have begun with plans to shut down low-cost older coal-fired power (quite short-sightedly on the utilities part because the wholesale price of power under contract from an older coal plant with less pollution control is less than $.025/KWH) and replace it with higher cost NG generation. Of course, this will take up much of the current slack in the gas market, and, coupled with increased domestic and export use, will cause the cost of NG per million btu to be on par with oil.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: lsayre On: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:40 pm

Once they get around to making gasoline and diesel fuel from natural gas, just watch it skyrocket in cost then!
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: Berlin On: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:46 pm

they're already making gasoline and diesel fuel from natural gas and this usage will likely increase. Much NG is used to "sweeten" heavier crude stocks such as crude from parts of canada and venezuala which allows more light distillates and gasoline to be produced from a barrel of oil. Which, by the way, brings us back around to propane and why it will always cost, on average, more than #2 distillate (heating oil), it is a hydrogen rich fuel which is valued at most refineries more than heavier fuels because of it's hydrogen content and subsequent ability to "sweeten" heavy stocks. Since LPG is typically derived primarily from oil refining operations, is hydrogen rich, and, is produced at the expense of higher btu and carbon rich fuels such as gasoline and heating oil/diesel, it will always cost more.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: rberq On: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:25 pm

A little off-topic but it seems there are some knowledgeable heating people here, so I will ask.
My domestic hot water (130 degrees) comes from a cold-start oil boiler with an external storage tank. Since I burn coal, the oil boiler is used solely for dhw all but a few days per year. Would I save oil by lowering the boiler high-limit? I think it is now at 170 or so. If it does make sense to set it lower, then what temperature should I set it to?
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: SMITTY On: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:04 am

You can lower the limit, but it will take longer for your hot water to recover during high demand. Not sure if there's any oil savings there, because the burner will run longer. I've tried a bunch of different combinations of high limit/low limit/differential settings without noticing any drastic effects on oil consumption.

The best thing to do, in my opinion, would be to install a hot water coil in your stove. Just don't buy one from Hilkoil (thermo-bilt) ....I think everyone knows that story by now. :x

But anyway ... if it's a cold-start, the coil will keep the boiler fairly warm ... and even up to temp when the stove is really crankin'. Mine have paid for themselves easily - even factoring in getting ripped off by Hilkoil.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: rberq On: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:37 pm

SMITTY wrote:You can lower the limit, but it will take longer for your hot water to recover during high demand. Not sure if there's any oil savings there, because the burner will run longer.

When the burner shuts down due to the high-limit, but the external dhw storage tank is still calling for heat, will the circulator keep running?
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: franco b On: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:51 pm

Yes I think it will unless you also lower the setting on the external tank. If you lower the low limit on the boiler then it will run less except when the domestic tank calls for heat.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: rberq On: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:19 pm

franco b wrote:Yes I think it will unless you also lower the setting on the external tank. If you lower the low limit on the boiler then it will run less except when the domestic tank calls for heat.

OK, thanks Smitty and franco, I set it significantly lower. At least I think I did. There is a control attached to the main pipe out of the boiler, with a transformer and thermostat connection and various electronic things and lots of wires, but nothing adjustable that I could see. There is another control box mounted atop the boiler itself, with a single adjustable dial that was set at 208, so I'm assuming that is the high limit. That's the dial I set lower. I could not find a low/high aquastat. I am guessing that, since it is a cold start boiler, the burner just runs flat out whenever any zone is calling for heat, and only shuts down the burner when all the zones are all satisfied or when the high limit is reached.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: OIL VS. PROPANE

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:57 am

By lowering that high limit you might save money if the oil burner is heating faster than the pump can transfer it to the domestic tank, causing it to hit the high limit. The only other way is to lower the temp. on the domestic tank which might be OK in the summer.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea