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jbmaine

gas for heating / cooking / advantage ?

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Hi all, 

We are in the market for a new house. We've always had oil heat, but some of the houses we are looking at have gas heat. We've always been Leary of gas ( never saw a house explode from heating oil), but lots of houses have it, so I guess my question is, why have gas over oil, what's the advantage?

                                             Thanks

                                                   Jim

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Natural Gas is way cheaper, more efficient, cleaner. You may have never seen a house explode from fuel oil but when I did heating and cooling the joke was if you got a no heat and it was an oil furnace you ask the home owner how many times they hit the reset button so we knew how far away to park the van. Lol 

 

 

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I grew up with natural gas & looked for it when renting an apartment, mobile home, or house. When I bought houses they all had natural gas & the one I own now has natural gas.

 

I love cooking & natural gas gives you quicker temperature control.

 

As for problems with natural gas, oil heat, or electricity; they all have inherit problems. Y'all mentioned explosions, I've seen electric hot water heater go straight through the roof like a missile!

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I don't think oil heat is a thing in the south.  I've never known anyone that had it so I can't compare the two.  Nature gas heats fast and is much cheaper than electricity.  You can get detectors if you're concerned about leaks and you should always have a carbon monoxide detector when you have gas heat.

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45 minutes ago, Catt said:

, I've seen electric hot water heater go straight through the roof like a missile!

The pressure needs to go somewhere. Lol

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2 hours ago, jbmaine said:

Hi all, 

We are in the market for a new house. We've always had oil heat, but some of the houses we are looking at have gas heat. We've always been Leary of gas ( never saw a house explode from heating oil), but lots of houses have it, so I guess my question is, why have gas over oil, what's the advantage?

                                             Thanks

                                                   Jim

Maybe I can ease your mind a little bit about explosions. I’m a utility locator. I’m a contract locator for the largest natural gas company in Michigan. Most of the explosions you read about or see on tv are from a damaged gas main or service outside the house. The main reason the house/building explodes is because the gas that’s leaking underground seeps into the sewer which finds it’s way to the house.

 

Just last week in North Carolina a contractor hit a gas main while boring underground and hit the gas main, the gas made it’s way into a strip mall and caused an explosion killing one and injuring over a dozen. 

 

My point is very very rarely do houses explode because of a gas leak inside the house. Almost always gas explosions are due to human error or total negligence. There are plenty of other things that will kill you in your house way before gas does. 

 

Hopefully this helps. 

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Only house gas explosions I know of are either insurance related or Mafia related. Had a Mafia related explosion in the neighborhood I grew up in, about 3 blocks away. Growing up, my next door neighbor was "connected". No explosions, but he did time in the federal penitentiary.  

 

I'm in the hvac industry. Oil burners are inherently more dangerous than gas burners. If you haven't blown up by now, I'd say your chances are slim that natural gas will kill you. Natural gas is less expensive and cleaner burning. If the oil tank was in your basement, you will never get the oil smell out of the house.

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Like many others have said natural gas is cleaner and safer than oil burners. I have natural gas furnace and water heater. In case of a power outage we still have hot water and I can run my generator to run the furnace and some lights. I have done this twice when we lost power for a week each time due to ice storms.

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OK, I'm just going to come out and say it.

I have gas and I like it.

:smiley:

A-Jay 

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16 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

OK, I'm just going to come out and say it.

I have gas and I like it.

:smiley:

A-Jay 

I’ll bet the Mrs. doesn’t like it though. 

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33 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

OK, I'm just going to come out and say it.

I have gas and I like it.

:smiley:

A-Jay 

 

15 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

I’ll bet the Mrs. doesn’t like it though. 

You should have seen that one coming across the ice covered lake @A-Jay.

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38 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

I’ll bet the Mrs. doesn’t like it though. 

 

22 minutes ago, Gundog said:

 

You should have seen that one coming across the ice covered lake @A-Jay.

Blame a dog ~

There's enough of them.

56d203e39f44d_StinkGas.jpg.fb2f73f820f7adc5c2b9dbfc07d0b622.jpg

A-Jay 

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I just want to say this about the natural gas vs. oil debate. In the little town that I grew up in there was one house that had natural gas heat. It was considered a "model" home meaning someone built it as a example of what could be. The house was lived in for 10 years or more. Then one day the owner noticed a rotten egg smell. He immediately left the house and called the gas company. The technicians they sent over to check it out decided that one guy would go to the back of the house where the tank was and disconnect it and one would enter the house and find the leak. The guy that entered the house made the mistake of flipping on the lights and the house exploded. The guy in back of the house was hurt a bit but the guy that was in the house was killed. The explosion leveled most of the house and sent debris across the 2 lane road and onto a friend of mine's front porch. Also his windows were broken.

I've never had a problem with my oil burner but my friend did have a problem with his that nearly burned down his house. If he had not been home at the time it happened his home would have been ashes. The truth is there is no safe way to heat a home but I'll take my chances with oil. 

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Thanks everyone,

  You've given me a lot to think about.

                                    Jim

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8 hours ago, Gundog said:

I just want to say this about the natural gas vs. oil debate. In the little town that I grew up in there was one house that had natural gas heat. It was considered a "model" home meaning someone built it as a example of what could be. The house was lived in for 10 years or more. Then one day the owner noticed a rotten egg smell. He immediately left the house and called the gas company. The technicians they sent over to check it out decided that one guy would go to the back of the house where the tank was and disconnect it and one would enter the house and find the leak. The guy that entered the house made the mistake of flipping on the lights and the house exploded. The guy in back of the house was hurt a bit but the guy that was in the house was killed. The explosion leveled most of the house and sent debris across the 2 lane road and onto a friend of mine's front porch. Also his windows were broken.

I've never had a problem with my oil burner but my friend did have a problem with his that nearly burned down his house. If he had not been home at the time it happened his home would have been ashes. The truth is there is no safe way to heat a home but I'll take my chances with oil. 

Your example echos what I’m was saying. Human error is the main cause of gas (since there was a tank I’d assume it was propane) explosions. 

 

Anyone that works with or around gas should have the proper training and know that flipping a light switch or turning anything on is a big no no. Every three years I’m required to get re-qualified to on gas, I imagine that’s a national standard. 

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10 hours ago, A-Jay said:

 

Blame a dog ~

There's enough of them.

56d203e39f44d_StinkGas.jpg.fb2f73f820f7adc5c2b9dbfc07d0b622.jpg

A-Jay 

How do you explain the dutch oven in bed?

 

To @12poundbass post about gas explosion being human error, I couldn't agree more. We just had a county section that had multiple explosions that killed, I believe 1 and multiple injuries while leaving countless thousands displaced from their homes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrimack_Valley_gas_explosions

 

I've had natural gas all my life and love cooking and heating with it. When my wife and I moved into our home 25 plus years ago, we had an opportunity to switch from oil to natural gas, which we did. To this day, we still find traces of soot from the old oil furnace.

 

In my home in ME, we had a choice between propane and electric and believe it or not electric was the cheaper route from both a constructability and utility costs at the time. I hate cooking on electric stoves though.

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I have had both fuel oil and natural gas.  All of the pro's and cons have been pretty well covered.  When I lived in New England I had a house that was built during the Bay of Pigs incident and everyone was on high alert for possible war.  My house had 2, 250 gallon fuel oil tanks in the basement and it also had a concrete underground bomb shelter and the house was built on top of the Artesian well head.  Paranoia at its finest.  The one thing I liked about fuel oil above everything else was the actual heat the system put out.  I had a forced air fuel oil furnace.  In the cold New England winter once that furnace kicked on, the house was warm in short order.  The downsides were the smell in the basement (most tanks are exterior), the large cash outlay to get the tanks filled and of course having to fill the tanks and track your usage.  There was more required maintenance on the oil burner to keep it performing at peak.  That being said, my current house (built in 1975) was originally fuel oil with a buried 250 gallon tank but was converted over to natural gas before we purchased in 1991.  They didn't disclose the buried tank that I had to have removed but that's another story...  Natural Gas is what we heat with now and although efficient and cleaner, I have had to replace my furnace twice, I am on the third one.  There have been more repairs to my "high" efficiency units than I would like.  Circuit boards, flame igniters, heat exchangers, exhaust fan, and on and on...Just for reference, I am not buying budget units either.  All professionally installed as well.  I sure did like my old fuel oil furnace but that might just be a little nostalgia kicking in and frustration with my current setup.

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9 minutes ago, Jigfishn10 said:

How do you explain the dutch oven in bed?

 

To @12poundbass post about gas explosion being human error, I couldn't agree more. We just had a county section that had multiple explosions that killed, I believe 1 and multiple injuries while leaving countless thousands displaced from their homes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrimack_Valley_gas_explosions

 

I've had natural gas all my life and love cooking and heating with it. When my wife and I moved into our home 25 plus years ago, we had an opportunity to switch from oil to natural gas, which we did. To this day, we still find traces of soot from the old oil furnace.

 

In my home in ME, we had a choice between propane and electric and believe it or not electric was the cheaper route from both a constructability and utility costs at the time. I hate cooking on electric stoves though.

Wow! I hadn’t heard about this one. 

4 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

I have had both fuel oil and natural gas.  All of the pro's and cons have been pretty well covered.  When I lived in New England I had a house that was built during the Bay of Pigs incident and everyone was on high alert for possible war.  My house had 2, 250 gallon fuel oil tanks in the basement and it also had a concrete underground bomb shelter and the house was built on top of the Artesian well head.  Paranoia at its finest.  The one thing I liked about fuel oil above everything else was the actual heat the system put out.  I had a forced air fuel oil furnace.  In the cold New England winter once that furnace kicked on, the house was warm in short order.  The downsides were the smell in the basement (most tanks are exterior), the large cash outlay to get the tanks filled and of course having to fill the tanks and track your usage.  There was more required maintenance on the oil burner to keep it performing at peak.  That being said, my current house (built in 1975) was originally fuel oil with a buried 250 gallon tank but was converted over to natural gas before we purchased in 1991.  They didn't disclose the buried tank that I had to have removed but that's another story...  Natural Gas is what we heat with now and although efficient and cleaner, I have had to replace my furnace twice, I am on the third one.  There have been more repairs to my "high" efficiency units than I would like.  Circuit boards, flame igniters, heat exchangers, exhaust fan, and on and on...Just for reference, I am not buying budget units either.  All professionally installed as well.  I sure did like my old fuel oil furnace but that might just be a little nostalgia kicking in and frustration with my current setup.

You are right about the old fuel oil furnaces they like everything else back then we’re built like tanks. I remember one specific oil furnace we swapped out this this was over 40 years old! The heat fire pot was huge and thick steel. It took us several hours to cut that thing up just to get it out of the basement. 

 

The fuel oil tanks would be my big worry too. I get several jobs each year where a homeowner is selling their house and before they can those old tanks if not in use need to be removed. If one of them has leaked....you might as well take it off the market.

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19 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

Wow! I hadn’t heard about this one. 

You are right about the old fuel oil furnaces they like everything else back then we’re built like tanks. I remember one specific oil furnace we swapped out this this was over 40 years old! The heat fire pot was huge and thick steel. It took us several hours to cut that thing up just to get it out of the basement. 

 

The fuel oil tanks would be my big worry too. I get several jobs each year where a homeowner is selling their house and before they can those old tanks if not in use need to be removed. If one of them has leaked....you might as well take it off the market.

And my old fuel oil system being forced air was rare in New England.  Most had boilers if they had fuel oil.  Luckily my tank at my current house did not leak but it had about 100 gallons of product left in it.  We called a local fuel oil dealer and although they did come out and remove the oil, they made it clear it wasn't what they would normally do because of some regulations that I was unaware of regarding the removal of the tank.  We also had to have soil samples taken after it was removed.  Big PITA.

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The fuel oil tanks if not in use have to be removed and treated as hazardous waste. Prior to moving into our home we had the option of getting rid of it ourselves or have the seller's do it. We opted to have the seller's as that tank was marked with their identity. Can't remember why they mark the tanks with the owner's identity, that was a long time ago. Not sure if this regulation is still in practice.

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53 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

I have had both fuel oil and natural gas.  All of the pro's and cons have been pretty well covered.  When I lived in New England I had a house that was built during the Bay of Pigs incident and everyone was on high alert for possible war.  My house had 2, 250 gallon fuel oil tanks in the basement and it also had a concrete underground bomb shelter and the house was built on top of the Artesian well head.  Paranoia at its finest.  The one thing I liked about fuel oil above everything else was the actual heat the system put out.  I had a forced air fuel oil furnace.  In the cold New England winter once that furnace kicked on, the house was warm in short order.  The downsides were the smell in the basement (most tanks are exterior), the large cash outlay to get the tanks filled and of course having to fill the tanks and track your usage.  There was more required maintenance on the oil burner to keep it performing at peak.  That being said, my current house (built in 1975) was originally fuel oil with a buried 250 gallon tank but was converted over to natural gas before we purchased in 1991.  They didn't disclose the buried tank that I had to have removed but that's another story...  Natural Gas is what we heat with now and although efficient and cleaner, I have had to replace my furnace twice, I am on the third one.  There have been more repairs to my "high" efficiency units than I would like.  Circuit boards, flame igniters, heat exchangers, exhaust fan, and on and on...Just for reference, I am not buying budget units either.  All professionally installed as well.  I sure did like my old fuel oil furnace but that might just be a little nostalgia kicking in and frustration with my current setup.

Major kudos for the Bay of Pigs reference. 

Could be a BR First !

:smiley:

A-Jay 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Major kudos for the Bay of Pigs reference. 

Could be a BR First !

:smiley:

A-Jay 

 

 

It was an eye opener for me.  The house was a builders home so he built it to his standards and was influenced by the events at the time.  The oil tanks were strange for 2 reasons.  First there were 2 of them.  Most homes of that era only had 1 tank and it was outside or buried for easy access.  My tanks had filler necks that went through the foundation and exited above ground outside.  The tanks were switchable from the inside.  Second, he built the house around them in a room in the finished basement.  He also built the house over a super deep Artesian well and the well head was inside the house.  And finally, I found the bomb shelter totally by accident when I noticed the stairs in an unfinished portion of the basement that led up to the outside, were not nailed in.  After I removed some of the steps, I could see a latch.  I removed more of the steps and that revealed a door that when opened led down to a solid concrete room that was 40 feet below ground level with air shafts that led to a fake wishing well in the backyard.  The room was a good 30'x30' and was reinforced with solid steel I-beams.  Interesting place to be sure, I always wondered if there weren't more secrets that I didn't uncover before we moved.

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18 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

And finally, I found the bomb shelter totally by accident when I noticed the stairs in an unfinished portion of the basement that led up to the outside, were not nailed in.  After I removed some of the steps, I could see a latch.  I removed more of the steps and that revealed a door that when opened led down to a solid concrete room that was 40 feet below ground level with air shafts that led to a fake wishing well in the backyard.  The room was a good 30'x30' and was reinforced with solid steel I-beams.  Interesting place to be sure, I always wondered if there weren't more secrets that I didn't uncover before we moved.

Now that’s a man cave! 

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1 hour ago, 12poundbass said:

Now that’s a man cave! 

We were going to make it a wine cellar but we moved before I could start work on it.  

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4 hours ago, Jigfishn10 said:

The fuel oil tanks if not in use have to be removed and treated as hazardous waste. Prior to moving into our home we had the option of getting rid of it ourselves or have the seller's do it. We opted to have the seller's as that tank was marked with their identity. Can't remember why they mark the tanks with the owner's identity, that was a long time ago. Not sure if this regulation is still in practice.

We pulled a 250 gallon tank out of the basement in our Wisconsin home when we converted to NG. Left it outside and it was gone the next day

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