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pandora
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[House&Home] Oil's end

This morning was my last shower using oil heat. This evening, our oil furnace and it's related hot water tank are being removed. Tomorrow our old chimney is being removed.

Replacing our current 80 gallon oil heated hot water tank will be a 50 gallon hybrid electric tank which uses a combination of resistive heat and heat pump technology.

Later in the month, we will likely install 2 4 ton 18 SEER heat pumps with resistive electric axillary heat.

The home is being remodeled, all legacy hot water baseboards are being removed, and we shall no longer be concerned about the price of oil.

My hope is very high SEER heat pumps will cost less than oil. However I've become sick and tired of the price fluctuation of oil. Once the heat pumps are installed, our oil tanks and oil lines will be removed.

This change is part of a massive remodel. I'm curious to see how it feels in the old utility room when it's no longer warmed by the oil furnace.

There are about 200-300 gallons of oil left in my tanks. I'm curious how much the oil company will charge to clear that oil and remove the tanks.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."


Grumpy
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NW CT
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Underground oil tanks?

If above ground, I'd pursue the obvious - they can have the oil if they remove the tanks. They're going to re-sell it anyway. A pump out and tank removal shouldn't take more than an hour, theoretically. If they make 30 cents on the re-sell, that's 300 X .3 = $90.00 for an hour's work. Then there is the tank disposal fee. Maybe peel 'em a crisp Franklin or two to wipe their tears with.

Might be worth calling around to various oil companies to what up?

pandora
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These are above ground tanks in my garage. These will be the last remnant of my oil system to go. I'll be happy to see them gone.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to pandora
Keep the oil for auxiliary. It's much cheaper than resistive heating...
I have heat pumps with hydrocoils for auxiliary heat. Although 2x4ton may just give enough heat with minimum (if any) need for aux, depending on the size of the house and losses...
With your intended setup make sure you use a programmable thermostat that will start heating earlier to achieve the desired setpoint at the desired time. You don't want to go on aux heat by requesting a sudden temperature increase or all the savings will go down the toilet...


Grumpy
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join:2001-07-28
NW CT
reply to pandora
Used to be that CL&P would offer lower rates to certain customers. Ones with electric hot water f'rinstance. Don't know if this could find relevance to you.


meskinct
Mad Scientist at Work
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join:2002-01-07
Southbury, CT
I tried to get on rate 5 (electric heat) from rate 1 as we had a heat pump at the condo. They said, "Nope."
--
Rich. My Website

pandora
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reply to cowboyro
said by cowboyro:

Keep the oil for auxiliary. It's much cheaper than resistive heating...

I am done with oil for my home. Natural gas isn't available, and the cost of propane is way too high (it's a product of oil refining and related somewhat in cost to oil).

I've requested heat pump sizing and capability to allow my home to be 77F during the winter at 0F outside without auxiliary heat, and 70F in the summer at up to 110F outside.

Below 0F in Winter, I'm willing to pay for resistive heat. Not certain how many nights a winter that will occur on, but my guess is not that many.

My belief is oil and related products will become significantly more expensive over the next few years, but that natural gas prices may keep electric prices slightly more stable at least in the near term.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."


cowboyro
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join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by pandora:

Below 0F in Winter, I'm willing to pay for resistive heat. Not certain how many nights a winter that will occur on, but my guess is not that many.

You also need to take into account the defrost cycles. Depending on your heatpump, temperature and humidity they may be more seldom or more frequent... Some units go in defrost programatically, some only when they detect a performance drop. My units shut down and request auxiliary below 10F although their performance is still good.
Oh, and since you're installing a new system, get a central humidifier...

pandora
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reply to Grumpy
said by Grumpy:

Underground oil tanks?

If above ground, I'd pursue the obvious - they can have the oil if they remove the tanks. They're going to re-sell it anyway. A pump out and tank removal shouldn't take more than an hour, theoretically. If they make 30 cents on the re-sell, that's 300 X .3 = $90.00 for an hour's work. Then there is the tank disposal fee. Maybe peel 'em a crisp Franklin or two to wipe their tears with.

Might be worth calling around to various oil companies to what up?

The foundation guy has a friend who turns old oil tanks into pig roasters. Not certain how he does it, but I'll have the oil pumped soon, and if someone wants to clean and cut them into a giant bbq that's fine with me provided they are gone.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."


SwedishRider
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reply to pandora
said by pandora:

...and the cost of propane is way too high (it's a product of oil refining and related somewhat in cost to oil).

Well now that all depends...

pandora
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The oil furnace has been removed and sits in our driveway waiting to be loaded into a dumpster. The new electric heat pump water heater has provided it's first shower.

It will be interesting to see how well the unit works over time, both in terms of cost, and capability. Our old tank was 80 gallons, the new tank is 50.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

pandora
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reply to pandora
Yesterday the chimney went. $400 to remove it, all real brick.

After some additional demolition and construction, it should be possible to install new ducts for the replacement heat pump system.

This took 6 months of work to get designed and approved, however, now that it's approved, construction (and demolition) seem to be moving along quickly.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."


gregamy

join:2003-05-22
Middletown, CT
reply to pandora
Man, that's not just putting all your eggs in one basket, that's putting all your eggs in one basket and then ensuring that the remaining baskets are completely destroyed and never re-usable.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your one basket... - GA


meskinct
Mad Scientist at Work
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Southbury, CT
reply to pandora
What happens when the power goes out?


SwedishRider
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said by meskinct:

What happens when the power goes out?

Pray that Home Depot has a really big generator on the endcap.

pandora
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reply to meskinct
said by meskinct:

What happens when the power goes out?

With oil I'd have no heat, with heat pumps I'd have no heat. Not certain what the difference would be?

For a generator, running heat pumps without auxiliary heat would require a maximum of approximately 5 KW a piece to keep the house comfortable down to 0F. That's 10 KW on top of any other household load I'd have. I'm not certain how much energy the air handlers would require.

My old oil fired system would use virtually no power (less than 1 KW for sure), but would need to power an air handler to heat a portion of my home that no longer had baseboards. A 15Kw propane generator from Lowes is under $5,000, a 30Kw unit is about $10,000.

Not certain if either is needed, as a prolonged power failure may be easier handled by going to a hotel.

But without power, oil, gas, or heat pump do not provide any central heat to a home to the best of my understanding. Each requires a burner igniter, and air handler or water pump (for hot water baseboard).
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."


SwedishRider
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said by pandora:

said by meskinct:

What happens when the power goes out?

But without power, oil, gas, or heat pump do not provide any central heat to a home to the best of my understanding. Each requires a burner igniter, and air handler or water pump (for hot water baseboard).

True, but remember that in a nat gas or propane system, the only power needed is to run the actual air handler. In an electric system, the heat itself is generated from electricity in addition to the air handler, thus requiring a much larger generator to power the home.

That's why a home running all propane appliances (heat, hot water, dryer, oven) needs relatively little in the way of backup power to run most of the home. My 6000 watt generator can run practically my whole house essential needs simultaneously. My biggest draw is my well pump... as that doesn't run off propane.


cowboyro
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join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to pandora
said by pandora:

With oil I'd have no heat, with heat pumps I'd have no heat. Not certain what the difference would be?

The difference is that you need 1000W to heat the house. Even a small-ish generator will do. Air handlers take about 300W each (some 800cfm if I remember well) and a burner (oil, propane, NG) takes even less - my oil burner takes 180W.

You may be able to start a 4-ton unit on generator... or not. The initial surge on my 2.5ton unit is routinely 10kW (for a fraction of a second),but my 7200W generator can do it...
Start a 4-ton unit while the other is running? Doubtful without a really beefy generator.
said by pandora:

a prolonged power failure may be easier handled by going to a hotel.

Doesn't take that long for the house to cool and the pipes to freeze and burst...
The difference with a fossil heat source is that you can have heat with very little power required.

pandora
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said by SwedishRider:

True, but remember that in a nat gas or propane system, the only power needed is to run the actual air handler. In an electric system, the heat itself is generated from electricity in addition to the air handler, thus requiring a much larger generator to power the home.

Heat pumps aren't exactly the same thing as resistive electric heat.

We have no access to natural gas, or I would have gone that route.

At the moment our home seems to have sufficient hot water from the heat pump water tank, which claims to use about 1/4 the electricity as a resistive electric hot water tank

I'm not worried about the price of oil when my kids are in the shower.

We shall see what the electric bill brings.

Normal operation for my home IS with electric power. The number of hours we have had no electric power over 30+ years here is about 168.
--
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pandora
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reply to cowboyro
said by cowboyro:

Doesn't take that long for the house to cool and the pipes to freeze and burst...
The difference with a fossil heat source is that you can have heat with very little power required.

We shall see. Frankly I got tired of the cost of oil, of the clogging of my oil furnace.

It is my belief our cost for energy will be less on electric, if that means we need a small propane heater for emergencies, then so be it.

Does anyone want to see a picture of the hot water heat pump??
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."


SwedishRider
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said by pandora:

Does anyone want to see a picture of the hot water heat pump??

Sure, why not?

pandora
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reply to pandora
The oil tanks were removed today. The oil lines were partially drained (via gravity) tomorrow the builder tells me they will blow the lines clean, cut, seal then pull them out.

The attached garage and office are to be demolished in the early afternoon. Then foundation and excavation work begins.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."


wood pellet

@verizon.net
reply to pandora
Spend 2500 and put a wood pellet stove in. You will be amazed how it heats your house and saves you a ton of money. You may no longer have a big oil bill but your electric bill will be just as expensive, Lipa likes to add the fuel surcharge which cost more than the electric you use. My wood pellet stove heats over 2500 sq ft of home my oil is only used to heat hot water. I fill my tank once a year 275 gallons. i spend on the high side 1000 dollars on oil and 1200 dollars on wood pellets for a grand total of 2200 dollars annual thats a savings and my home is above 70 if id like 24/7 best investment of my life.


cowboyro
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join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT

1 edit
said by wood pellet :

i spend on the high side 1000 dollars on oil and 1200 dollars on wood pellets for a grand total of 2200 dollars annual thats a savings and my home is above 70 if id like 24/7 best investment of my life.

It all depends on the house.
I have heat pumps + oil backup, for the last winter (oct-apr) I paid a whole ~700 on oil + ~900 extra electricity (vs spring/fall) and the oil includes hot water. Kept the house at ~75F, 2350sqft.
Heat pumps are *cheap* to operate and don't require loading a bag of pellets every morning and evening.
Not to mention that pellets are $200+/ton and give 7800BTU/lb (so under 75000BTU/$). A heat pump spits some 50,000BTU/$ at current electricity prices, significantly more when it's warmer outside. Saving $200 or less for the whole winter is just not worth it considering the extra effort required.


SwedishRider
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said by cowboyro:

It all depends on the house.
I have heat pumps...

And it depends on upfront cost too. Your heat pumps give you the highest BTU/$ ratio of anyone on this forum (that I'm aware of anyway), but your upfront cost was MUCH higher than what a pellet stove would be. That also factors into the cost savings vs. expected return on investment vs time frame equation.


cowboyro
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join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by SwedishRider:

said by cowboyro:

It all depends on the house.
I have heat pumps...

And it depends on upfront cost too. Your heat pumps give you the highest BTU/$ ratio of anyone on this forum (that I'm aware of anyway), but your upfront cost was MUCH higher than what a pellet stove would be. That also factors into the cost savings vs. expected return on investment vs time frame equation.

Wrong on both counts.
I have XR14 units, rated at 9.0HSPF. Roughly 2.6COP on average. With my net rate of $0.16/kWh (between peak and off-peak during winter) it comes to 3413*2.6/0.16 = ~55000BTU/$.
The OP is getting 18SEER units which will have a slightly higher heating performance as well...
Now for the upfront cost... it was a 1000 investment for heat pump option (2 units!!!) vs plain cooling. You're not going to heat a 2-story house with a pellet stove, no way... When it's cold ~30F and the lower floor unit is spitting some 37000BTU/h, that's 5lbs of pellets every hour... Both floors would be easily 10lbs/h when it dips in the 15F range. Feel like waking up 3 times in the middle of the night to fill the stove? I surely don't...
Pellet stoves are nice. NICE, not really practical for heating a whole house, unless the house is a matchbox...


SwedishRider
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said by cowboyro:

System itself was some 18k starting from the scratch.
It wasn't made with the primary intention of saving, it was made to 1)have central air and 2)get rid of the ugly baseboards.

Above was cut from another thread in this forum. Dropping 18 grand is a lot of scratch... much more than the $2500 the other poster is talking about for a pellet stove.

I know quite a few people who have migrated to pellet stoves, and one that uses it for primary heat in their new build. They have propane as backup for really cold evenings, but their 2-story home gets pretty toasty when that pellet stove is fired up. Last year they filled their 500 gallon propane tank only once... all the other heat was provided by pellets (granted, it was an unusually mild winter!).

I agree with you that they are too much work, but let's not confuse a pellet stove @ $2500 with your heat pump system that cost more than some new cars.


cowboyro
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join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by SwedishRider:

said by cowboyro:

System itself was some 18k starting from the scratch.
It wasn't made with the primary intention of saving, it was made to 1)have central air and 2)get rid of the ugly baseboards.

Above was cut from another thread in this forum. Dropping 18 grand is a lot of scratch... much more than the $2500 the other poster is talking about for a pellet stove.

Again, the central system was going to be installed anyway (there was just a baseboard system and window AC units). Having the option of going full HP was a very small extra expense.
Same for those who already have central air but no heat pump - when time comes to replace a unit, it's just a small ($500) extra expense to have heat pumps instead of just cooling. Hell it may be worth doing it just to move away from oil at current prices...


disconnected

@snet.net
reply to cowboyro
Wait til he gets his next revaluation and property tax bill for that 'upgrade'. Bethcha' he's not gonna like the extra costs there.

With the 2 week power outages that CT is becoming legendary for since 2002, staying in a motel for 2 weeks every time there's a minor storm that CL&P can't handle, is gonna get mighty expensive. Have to add up all those costs. Why not just get a larger tank and buy oil in bulk for bigger savings?


cowboyro
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join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by disconnected :

Why not just get a larger tank and buy oil in bulk for bigger savings?

Based on my previous calculation of 55,000BTU/$ with heat pump, the break-even price for oil is $2.13/gal. Good luck with that!
Yes getting the heat on generator would be very expensive... and he won't be able to use central air, but it's his choice, his money. That's one of the reasons for which I stayed with oil - possibility to heat on generator.