New install: choose propane or oil?

Re: New install: choose propane or oil?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:09 pm

I dont have enough experience with fuel oil to answer that. Each company has its own policy regarding whose name the bill is under I suppose. I'm from Northern NJ and never had seen fuel oil/propane heat or even an electric stove until I moved to NH; everybody is nat gas there. I lucked out in NH to get a nat gas heated home. Because oil/propane is so popular here and I'm trying to buy property, I'm trying to educate myself as much as possible on these fuels.

Regarding the fuel, I did start a thread a while back asking for best practices on how to bill a tenant for oil/propane and many people agreed that the best thing to do would be to provide a full tank on lease start and make it a tenant responsibility to fill the tank at lease end. Tenant is required to maintain his own tank levels.
NJJoe
 

Re: New install: choose propane or oil?

PostBy: Berlin On: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:10 pm

If you're paying over $60 for a burner motor you're getting ripped off, not to mention it's at most a once/decade expense.

If you're using a non-condensing gas boiler with its less complex controls you're going to be getting less efficiency than your standard oil boiler. Oil can run higher efficiency in a non-condensing appliance. What this means is that if you're running the simpler, far less costly (than complex condensing propane boiler) cheaply controlled propane boiler, your fuel costs will be even higher with propane to get the benefit of less complex control.

Solution: Use oil, keep the heat in your name, charge flat fee or build into rent heat, install dummy thermostats in apartments; set real thermostat in air return (not possible w/ boiler system unless there's a hydro-air zone) or relatively inaccessable common area and set to 68. http://www.landlordstat.com/product/hc7 ... o-setback/
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: New install: choose propane or oil?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:27 pm

Thanks and good idea to put the thermostat in the cold air return (per chance I ever run into a forced air setup). I like those dummy thermostats. Great idea!
NJJoe
 


Re: New install: choose propane or oil?

PostBy: BlackBetty06 On: Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:15 pm

Berlin, where do you buy your burner motors?? There are five major supply houses by me and nobody has a burner motor that cheap! Also, are you a boiler mechanic? Some of the things you have said in this thread aren't necessarily true. Oil is not more efficient than modern gas appliances that's a fact. Until you get down to the standing pilot level of gas boilers are you comparable with oil efficiency .(78-80% 82-84% if conditions are ideal) I'm not oil bashing either, it's my favorite form of heat and I still have a hot water heater in my house running on oil. The problems with efficiency are a combustion analyzer is looking at the efficiency of the fire(combustion), not the heat transfer/retention. You have excess air loses with each type of fuel but a little more with oil generally. Easy way to see this is look at the size of the flue pipe on a residential oil boiler versus a propane/ nat gas boiler. You won't see water vapor rising from a chimney (white smoke) with an oil appliance until it is extremely cold outside, because enough heat is making it up the chimney to prevent the quick condensation of the flue gases (white smoke). That's dollars out the flue. Not USUALLY the case for gas appliances. You will see the "white smoke" at much warmer temperatures. While you will still lose heat it's not as extreme. Also back to the multiple vents in the chimney, that is a very gray line and each individual case will have its own set of circumstances. Also again you have to check codes. A boiler inspector won't generally smile at that. It's too bad oil has gotten so expensive because it is the fastest and warmest central heat. (Other than coal, lol). To the original poster, it all comes down to what is the best way for YOU to provide heat to the tenants. I just wanted to point out some issues you will have with each type of fuel. Like mentioned by others, electric will be the easiest. Another option is to put in a central boiler with a seperate circ pump for each apt. And land it to a zone panel. Then hook a programmable stat to each appropriate zone and set a max heat setpoint in the programming menu. (Honeywell focus pro 6000 and Vision pro 8000 are good choices) Good luck with the whole project!!
BlackBetty06
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Elite Coal insert
Coal Size/Type: Mammoth materials Nut Anthracite
Other Heating: Wood, oil, dual fuel heat pump/condensing propane furnace
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Magnafire coal insert

Re: New install: choose propane or oil?

PostBy: Berlin On: Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:01 pm

blackbetty, nothing I've said in this thread isn't true. If you're going to start explaining differences in efficiency by looking at condensing moisture at the top of stacks, then you need to re-evaluate your understanding of these fuels, combustion, and these appliances.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: New install: choose propane or oil?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:03 am

The condensing temperature of the flue gasses from LP or NG is lower than oil.

Something else to consider, wet base cast iron oil boilers can do pretty well with a conversion gas burner. An example is a Smith Series 8 with a Carlin EZ-gas burner. Better efficiency than many atmospheric boilers, and much less complex than a modulating/condensing unit. In the case where someone gas an modern oil boiler already installed and wants to switch to gas, I think a conversion burner is worth considering. It also allows the owner to skip repiping the system to primary/secondary like most of the mod-cons require.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: New install: choose propane or oil?

PostBy: BlackBetty06 On: Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:18 am

Wow it's pretty amazing then that I was able to tune a 1956 General Motors AC delco boiler to burn at 82.6 percent the other week. Who new they made furnaces so efficient back then? Maybe I'm not the one who needs to research combustion and thermal dynamics. I spent enough time in class and theory learning about it. No sense arguing over this. ;)
BlackBetty06
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Elite Coal insert
Coal Size/Type: Mammoth materials Nut Anthracite
Other Heating: Wood, oil, dual fuel heat pump/condensing propane furnace
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Magnafire coal insert

Re: New install: choose propane or oil?

PostBy: BlackBetty06 On: Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:20 am

Rob R. wrote:The condensing temperature of the flue gasses from LP or NG is lower than oil.

Something else to consider, wet base cast iron oil boilers can do pretty well with a conversion gas burner. An example is a Smith Series 8 with a Carlin EZ-gas burner. Better efficiency than many atmospheric boilers, and much less complex than a modulating/condensing unit. In the case where someone gas an modern oil boiler already installed and wants to switch to gas, I think a conversion burner is worth considering. It also allows the owner to skip repiping the system to primary/secondary like most of the mod-cons require.


I put one of these on the other week, it's around 750 give or take a bit. The owner was pretty happy with the results!
BlackBetty06
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Elite Coal insert
Coal Size/Type: Mammoth materials Nut Anthracite
Other Heating: Wood, oil, dual fuel heat pump/condensing propane furnace
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Magnafire coal insert

Re: New install: choose propane or oil?

PostBy: whistlenut On: Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:32 am

Who knew that most all coal boilers burned in the high 70's efficiency back in the 40's, 50's......even better since the late 50's. No arguments today guys, opinions are just that, and theory works wonderfully in the lab, but the words ' Steady State Efficiency' and Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency are still the path to the answers. The demands are the same, satisfying them is the tricky path to an affordable solution. You can throw all the money you have at the problem, or sit back, read and experience other points of view. When I go into a basement and still see an oil burner or gas burner stuck in Michelin Man Monster boiler, I am too shocked to even say 'WTF'. I know someone who said the propane truck was there yesterday, and the bill was 1575 for the last 30 days. OUCH!!!!! I was there because he wants a coal boiler, duh!!! Yes, I am working on it today. :idea:
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: New install: choose propane or oil?

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:40 pm

Titleist gave the best answer :idea: how many tenants would go without electric for their refrigerator,tv,lights,etc.electric heat -no maintenance,100 % efficient,sounds perfect for rental units,BUT don't go thinking you can go that route instead of coal for your own house!!!!!! :nono:
windyhill4.2
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both