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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Add Electric Hot Water Heater for Summer Use - Have Oil Burner

    The high oil prices have me thinking of ways to reduce oil consumption...
    I now have oil burner for hot water and hot water heat (radiators/baseboard). Is it possible to add an electric hot water heater to use just for the summer? I'm thinking that would allow me to shut off the oil burner for the summer and rely on just the electric hot water heater for hot water. I would use the oil burner in the winter for hot water, since it's running anyway for heat. That way I'm not burning oil in the summer just to get hot water. This would require some type of valve to direct the line through the Elec. HW Heater and then back to the Oil Burner for fall/winter, correct.
    Any suggestions how to go about this? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Add Electric Hot Water Heater for Summer Use - Have Oil Burner

    mbuter130:

    I assume you have what's known as a "domestic coil" in your boiler that provides the hot tap water supply.

    This DOES involve heat losses in the summer, but to put in an electric HWH would be IMHO a big mistake---you would pay a lot more to heat the tap water this way than what you have now.

    In addition, most boilers are cast iron & will corrode if allowed to stand idle for the summer.

    Depending on family size, many people put in a 40 gal. indirect hot water heater---which is really a heat exchanger for ~$700.

    Since they burn no fuel, they have no flue losses & the oil they use during the summer is ~ 30 gal.

    In addition, the control on your boiler is probably a "triple aquastat", which has to maintain the boiler temp at 160 degrees to 180 degrees-- you could save some $$ by turning down the "low limit" from 160 to 140 degrees.

    If your boiler is over 20 yrs old, & nat. gas is available, converting to gas might provide the biggest savings, the way things are going with oil---buy a "cold start" gas-fired boiler with an indirect HWH.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Add Electric Hot Water Heater for Summer Use - Have Oil Burner

    Thanks. Makes sense. I will get info on IHWH from your other posts on the subject. I think over the long haul this will pay off.
    Cheers.

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