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Energy Prices Through the Roof

Earlier this year, I was thinking about converting my home heating system from diesel gas a.k.a. oil to natural gas or electric. I am not under any contract with a home heating oil supply company and have done some research about new systems, energy efficiency ratings and equipment options.

I feel energy pricing is unpredictable, equipment prices and labor rates are increasing and I should probably go through some kind of HVAC training before being in any way confident about making a final decision.

I just took a look at natural gas prices and they’ve doubled this year, but at the same time diesel fuel prices have doubled over the past two years. Electric prices seem a bit more stable but from what I’ve read the electric systems don’t last as long. Gas systems, for whatever reason, last twice as long or more.

I wish I knew of someone who could just charge me for an hour or two of consulting time to help me nail down the best option for my house. Homeowners with little expertise about certain improvements need better options, other than HVAC companies who are pitching their products.

I currently have a boiler with a large oil tank in my basement. The boiler has something called a summer winter unit attached to hold approximately 5-10 gallons of heated water. If the water temperature dips below a certain point, the boiler will trigger and heat up additional water. A larger 40-50 gallon tank would hold more water but the modern insulation could make it just as expensive to run, and I could potentially heat water hotter to run my washing machines at a proper temperature.

If I upgrade to the separate larger hot water tank, I have three main options; replace with a comparable unit for about $1500, buy a new 40-50 gallon water tank or purchase a wall-mounted tank-less unit for about $1000 plus installation. From what I’ve been told, tank-less units are more expensive but don’t require as much space and won’t flood the basement if they leak.

I am leaning towards an electric tankless unit and hope I can find an electrician to come out and run a new electrical line, and a plumber to install it. If it needs to be vented for some reason – which I doubt – I could need to get the chimney cleaned or, the other way, closed up.

Anyone with advice can reach out to me at [email protected].

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