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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    The deep South
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    Default Heating oil costs

    I wasn't sure where to post this thread , so it wound up here .

    Since I live in the deep South , I have NO experience with heating oil and all of it's complicated systems . I'm curious about how much it costs to heat an average sized home . Figure on 2000 sq. ft . and let's say this hypothetical house in in , oh , say Ohio . Just a ballpark figure to satisfy my curiosity .

  2. #2

    Default Re: Heating oil costs

    hey, it's unbelievable what they want here in New jersey.

    I got oil.

    I paid over $5000 so this winter an its still cold in the house.

    they won't deliver unless you give em cash or a cashiers bank check before they put theo oil in. the tank is only hlaf full an they want %3.30/gallon or no delivery.

    they think we're made of money. i can see the oil barges from my house comming up the bay into ney york, so theres plenty of oil out there, they just wont come down on the price so we can afford it.

    it's terrible..it's getting worse every day over here.

    did you say you lived in south jersey????
    Last edited by Manual Labor; 02-14-2008 at 11:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,558

    Default Re: Heating oil costs

    I don't know about oil because I switched to propane many years ago. Our propane for heat only, 2000 sq ft home will be between $1400 and $1600 this year.Southern Ohio. Oh, and we're a little older so we keep the temp on 70 during the day and 60 at night(electric blanket).
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 02-14-2008 at 11:29 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    The deep South
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    Default Re: Heating oil costs

    When you give me a yearly cost , I'm not sure how many months you are talking about . Down here , you might only use the heat off and on for 3 months or so .

    Jack , are you using Propane because Natural Gas is not available , or because it's cheaper ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,558

    Default Re: Heating oil costs

    I use propane because NG is not available.
    Our heating season usually starts in October with on/off heat, full heat sometime in late December through early March, then on/off again sometimes into April.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Heating oil costs

    djohns,

    Unfortunately, there's no way that I/we can give you a usable cost figure of an oil-fired heating system on any given hypothetical house because there are just too many potential variables involved such as insulation type & thickness, number of windows, type of windows, efficiency of the boiler or FA furnace, etc.....not to mention the future price variability.

    IMO, oil-fired systems aren't *that* complicated.....but I grew up with them, still heat with oil here, service the unit myself....as well as servicing other units in the area. If you have to hire someone to do this, then that has to be figured into the annual operating costs. The pieces/parts that require semi-regular replacement aren't really that expensive. Those would be the nozzle at around $10 or less, the electrodes at around $12.50 and the fuel filter element at around $5. It's the service call, time to replace the parts and post tune-up procedures that adds up.

    Then again, today's gas-fired units are also "complicated" to the average HO and usually also require hiring a tech to perform the troubleshooting and servicing.

    Here's a link to a calculator that may prove helpful to you. It should help you do a real-world comparison.......but of course it has no knowledge of how the cost figures you install today might vary in the future.

    http://hearth.com/econtent/index.php...on_calculator/

    When it comes to oil-fired units, the operating costs can be substantially different depending upon whether your tank(s) is inside (basement usually around here) or if the tank(s) is above ground outside. Reason being that in extremely cold locales (such as here in NW Illinois)....if the tank is outside then it will likely require a blend of #2 and #1 oil to prevent fuel gelling when the temps fall below zero. #1 is considerably more per gallon/BTU than #2. Example; #2 is currently $2.80 here while #1 is $3.30. At a 60/40 or 50/50 blend that increases the cost considerably. We have a pair of 275-gallon tanks here in the basement which I filled with #2 in early fall for $2.60/gallon (including all taxes).

    Another consideration when comparing potential costs of oil-fired vs LP/propane units is contract pricing. Around here you cannot contract heating oil, but you can contract LP. IOW, you can lock-in a price with a supplier for the entire season.........instead of falling victim to the current market price when you are about to turn cold and desperate.

    I contract the LP for the 125 gallon tank here which runs the stove, clothes dryer and water heater....... and for the LP unit heater over at the shop.......and for the stove, WH and clothes dryer over at my mother's house......all on the same contract. This year's price was/is $1.45 gallon. (Houses and shop are all rural and so there is no NG available) Our LP supplier also supplies their tank(s) for "free" along with that contract.....and our supplier also has the lowest prices around. If you go the LP route, I highly suggest you shop around as there are suppliers around here whose contract prices are 50% higher than their competitors. I have no idea why they have any customers left/manage to stay in business........but they do. Same holds for FO suppliers; shop around as price can vary substantially. When you get a price quote....make sure you are comparing apples to apples. IOW, make sure the quotes also include all taxes and any delivery charges, etc.

    With a readily available $20 kit I also refill my "B" tanks for the grill and such from those bulk LP tanks. That way the cost of that gas is half of what it would be if I did the "normal" tank exchange route instead.

    Another consideration is whether this hypothetical house has a usable chimney for a fuel-oil fired unit. Modern high effciency/condensing gas-fired units are vented out without a chimney being required/needed.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 02-15-2008 at 11:00 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    The deep South
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    Default Re: Heating oil costs

    Thanks ****hiller . I was just curious about oil fired units .
    There is so much talk about them here and I can honestly say that I have never seen one except on TOH , etc . Down here it's primarily electric , NG or Propane heat .

    I have a little over 2000 sq. ft. of living area with two NG water heaters and two NG heating units . Electric dryer and stove . I'm expecting this month's gas /electric bill to be in the neighborhood of $225.00 Maybe a little better .

    When I said that oil fired units were " complicated " , I guess what I really meant was that there are so many different components . I have watched Richard work on some systems that looked like they were designed by Rube ****berg .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Heating oil costs

    ***!

    I'm natural gas and electric. Granted, I'm not home a whole lot and heat it from 60 to 67 for a couple of hours a day average. I'm very conservative with utility consumption and am at 1500 sq/ft but a high bill for all my energy needs has not been over 75 bucks a month this winter.

    I'll count my blessings I suppose.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Heating oil costs

    Quote Originally Posted by kentvw View Post
    ***!

    I'm natural gas and electric. Granted, I'm not home a whole lot and heat it from 60 to 67 for a couple of hours a day average. I'm very conservative with utility consumption and am at 1500 sq/ft but a high bill for all my energy needs has not been over 75 bucks a month this winter.

    I'll count my blessings I suppose.
    I just talked to my accountant ( my wife ). She said that the gas/electric bill for this month was $175.00 . That's with 4 people living here . That's a lot of laundry , showers , etc .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Heating oil costs

    djohns,

    Suffice it to say that you won't likely save any money switching to oil-fired. OF used to be cheaper, but.........not anymore......and I doubt that will change. This OF furnace is about ten years old now and when it dies of natural causes.....I'm sure I'll give serious thought to switching over to LP.

    My understanding of the situation is that OF is still pretty dang common out east yet because the ledge/rock out that way isn't financially cooperative to running underground NG lines. I think that's why you see Richard servicing OF units on TOH. However, it's becoming more difficult around this locale to find HVAC techs who are schooled in OF.........because OF has lost favor with the masses. The old guys are retiring and the new ones don't know how.

    On a related note.........I had to service an OF boiler about two weeks ago......which turned out to be a 1942 unit. Yikes! Guy showed up at the door in the early morning cause the thing had fallen on its face and they'd spent a chilly night. It was -25F that night. Little did I know what I was about to encounter when I arrived at his house. Took some doin', but got it up on its legs in about three hours.......including a run for parts. Still runnin' fine as of today. He intends to replace it come spring. Good idea, dude. I encouraged him to go LP this time.

    I'm also considering a corn-burner for here. We have corn out the whazoo.... although when you burn it....you're out the money you could sell it for........at least I'd know that I had heating fuel available....no matter what comes to pass as regards the middle east and all that stuff.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 02-16-2008 at 12:24 AM.

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