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 03-26-2002, 15:35 Post: 36745
NHnewt
2002-03-26 15:35:10
Post: 36745
 Oil or gas

Can anyone offer input as to which fuel system I should go with in a new home? I prefer natural gas (what I have now), but there is no gas at the street where I will be building, so my thoughts were that it would have to be oil until I saw a new home that had a buried propane tank.

Now I am thinking maybe go with the propane, if I can hide the tank. Any suggestions?

Also, Hot air or Hot water?






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 03-26-2002, 16:06 Post: 36746
Stan



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 Oil or gas

Can't help w/ the oil vs gas - have had both. If you can hide the propane tank and have a good dealer in the area, propane is cleaner burning, and givs the options of a gas stove if desired (or for future resale).

Don't know about a buried propane tank - I've only seen people hide them w/ landscaping.

As for heat - forced air allows for easier installation of central air - but in a new home you can run the ducts for it, you just end up w/ the extra blower / air filter.

I've seen several of the radiant systems using hot H2O in tubes in the floor. The houses are pretty comfy, and zone control in each area is nice. Especially good if you are going to have any tile work.

just my $0.02 - let us know as you start building...






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 03-26-2002, 18:36 Post: 36751
warren



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 Oil or gas

I have had both we had base board hot water heat like it but you have to run duck work for central air so cost more than force air heat you can use the duck work for both. Depends on how much cash you want to spend
Warren






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 03-27-2002, 06:29 Post: 36764
TomG

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 Oil or gas

If you've seen a buried propane tank, then they're probably code approved in your area. I don't know about my area, but I'd be surprised if simply burying a tank is acceptable. A gas impermeable pit with a gas detector is likely requirements. I'd check regs carefully.

Propane from a leaking tank could travel underground and enter a house. Occasionally you hear about explosions due to methane from abandoned septic systems that traveled underground for considerable distances. Same is true for gas mains, but gas lines just have joints--no valves, tank certification years or refills. Iíd just as soon not have any chance of underground gas migrations rather than depend on the putty stuffed around the basement entrance of my underground electrical serviceóthatís one of the purposes of the putty.

We has a new oil furnace installed three years ago. There have been two warranty repairs so far, and the electronic ignition occasionally fails to start again. My dealer says he's been having reliability problems with virtually all burner control equipment of recent manufacture--there are only three manufacturers of ignition transformer apparently. Anyway, I don't know if the problem is dirty rural AC, or that so many safety checks are built in that the equipment became safe but unreliable or the new stuff should just be sold in a box store.

I do know that it doesn't take too many times for the reset button to be needed before you're running to check the thermostat every time you feel a chill. My experience with oil could be better.






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 04-06-2002, 19:25 Post: 37116
JJT



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 Oil or gas

I've had both fuel oil and propane furnaces as well as warm air anf hot water heat. I prefer the fuel oil and the warm air heat. Fuel oil prices in my area are not as volatile as fuel oil and I think the oil is safer. I like the warm air for 2 major reasons - 1) you can condition/filter the air, I have both an electronic air filter and a humidifier, 2) adding A/C was simply a bolt on.






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 04-07-2002, 09:01 Post: 37136
TomG

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Some people around here have outdoor wood furnaces that feed hot water tanks and radiators. I've heard that these furnaces aren't as efficient as modern wood stoves and are initially pricy. I guess they burn quite a bit of wood, but they can be cost effective in the long run if the price of wood is low. It is around here.

A new electronic ignition transformer on our new oil furnace hasn't entirely fixed its start failure problems. There is a resister that is in a circuit that senses presance of flame. I'm starting to think that if the utility voltage is low or sags when the furnace is starting up, then the problem might be the rural AC rather than the furnace. Low voltage may result in too low a voltage or current for the circuit to test normal.

I wish I could remember if the furnace came on when our utility voltage was 85V while a tree was on the 14KV utility lines. I suppose I'd have to come up with a device to log utility voltage changes for a conclusive diagnosis. If AC is the problem, I'm ware that there are devices that can adjust for short and long term voltage problems.






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 04-07-2002, 09:24 Post: 37138
Peters

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Propane;
We had a small house in MA with a high effiency propane boiler. It ran small base boards aound the perimeter of the building. We heated the house for ~ 70$ a month on the coldest days. The unit we had also heated the hot water. The unit was smaller than a hot water tank.
I have an outside wood burner with hotwater heat. The unit is fairly efficient and due to its remote location. You can burn almost anything without worry of chimney fires etc. I have it hooked to the barn and pool currently.
I put an inground heat pump in the new house. This allow heating and cooling of 4k ft for 40-50$ a montn. It also heats the hot water. It is about 10 K initially but, in your area my electric hot water bill ran 40-50$.
Down side you need the land to run the lines. I used a Nordic system from your area.






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 04-08-2002, 09:25 Post: 37169
NHnewt
2002-04-08 00:00:00
Post: 37169
 Oil or gas

I guess I am leaning toward the hot air, which is what I have now. From what I have heard, there seams to be a stigma about air, IE hot water is the "Upscale" way to heat. However I like the hot air system I have now because with the humidifier set up properly, and the air filter kept clean, our indoor enviroment is quite cozy and clean. My brother has an air system with an intake hood just above his woodstove. He and his wife hate the system because of the dust, but I believe they have no filter!! And the wood stove is in the cellar, so the intake is always sucking up dust! I cant understand why the installer didnt put in an in line filter. (Must have been more money)

In my house now, we have a vermont Castings woodburning insert that I installed in an existing double sided fireplace opening. We can easily heat the entire house with it (It puts out 40,000 BTU's and burns wood at something like 79% efficiency if the catalyst after burner is kicked off correctly). Sometimes I will run the furnace blower just to circulate the air. It would probably be more effective if my return grill was not in the floor.

The only problem with my current air system is the noise. Does anybody have some tips on how to cut down the noise? Maybe the ducts are too small? Or should there be some sort of isolator between the supply plenum and the furnace?

Also, has anybody else rigged up duct work to suck in the hot air from near a woodstove to circulate around the house?






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 04-08-2002, 10:58 Post: 37174
DRankin



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 Oil or gas

Newt, if you go with the hot water baseboard heat your interior decorating options become somewhat constrained. You cannot,for example, push a couch or a bookcase against the wall where the radiators are located.This is something to consider if the room size is average to small. If you are designing really large rooms then you can group the furniture in the center of the room and leave the walls free.






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 04-08-2002, 14:17 Post: 37181
TomG

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Small ducting and high rpm blowers do make more noise than old style larger ducting. That's a downside to high efficiency furnaces I've heard. We ended up with a medium efficiency furnace with a passive air-intake heat exchanger because they're supposed to be quieter.

Even the medium efficiency is better than the 30-year-old oil burner it replaced. Frost forms in the chimney above the roof during very cold weather. The oil guy says that reducing the blower speed slightly should fix the problem.






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