heating costs, replacement/repair of oil burner system


  #1  
Old 09-20-05, 01:07 PM
ntcpa10
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Angry heating costs, replacement/repair of oil burner system

I am currently wanting to purchase a house that I am concerned with the oil use of the property...hope you can help me out a bit.
The house is 1750 sq feet, single story, wood frame construction with a total of 9 (yes nine), 5foot wide double pane insulated sliding glass doors (3yr old pellas and 10 yr old andersens), it also has 6 other double hung, original to the house, double pane windows (say 30 x 45'' each). The living/dining/kitchen area has exposed beams with pine boards above them. Above that is a flat roof (owner tells me has solid foam insulation placed 1 year ago when roof was replaced). There are 5 skylights (3 double insulated apprx 2' x 3', two plexiglass bubble style, 30" x 30"). The house was built in 1969 and the oil furnace with baseboard heating is the original...I'm told serviced annually. Located in Hudson Valley area of New York State.
The current owner has spent part of the winters in Florida, and kept the thermostat at 55 degrees while away. There were just two persons living in the house until Feb '04, now just one. The owner said she lived in the house all year this past year, and says that she likes to keep it warm when she is there. The hot water is also heated by the oil burner, but with no hot water storage tank. I did notice when in the basement, that there is insulation in between the floor joists. None of the hot water pipes in the basement are covered with any kind of insulation though.
Now here's the concern...the oil consumption for the house seems exceptionally high to me. Here is the use in gallons from 2001 to this last season of 2005 (in sequential year order): 3301gal, 1347gal, 1629gal, 1462gal, 1157gal.
The usage here seems way out of line to me, especially the 3301 gallons. (I'm wondering if that was when they were living in the house all year).
Could the furnace be so inefficient that a 1750 sq foot house would consume that much oil, or is it that the owners REALLY like it warm??? Or is it that because of all the glass doors and skylights/windows that there is such loss of heat? I'm not sure what the standards of insulation were in 1969, but it could be a lack of insulation as well. My suspicion is that it is a combo of everything. Could the hot water heating contribute significantly to oil usage?
I love the house and want to buy it, buy it but am really concerned with the prospect of facing MAJOR oil heating bills.
Any ideas???
Thanks!!!
 

Last edited by ntcpa10; 09-20-05 at 01:08 PM. Reason: adding to post
  #2  
Old 09-20-05, 02:33 PM
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First have to find out if they have a oil tech check and clean the boiler and burner at start of the year there. New nozzle and filter for sure. Just that can cause the jump. Then is the oil tank inside or in the ground????? could have a leak in it outside?????? You have a lot of IFS here.

ED
 
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Old 09-20-05, 06:14 PM
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Oil/hot water

The 3300 gallon year: I suspect if the previous year's usage numbers were available it would be a lot lower than "normal". Presuming a 1,000+ gallon tank, it could simply be a delivery timing thing. If these folks were on some kind of automatic delivery system & the oil company dropped the ball (it happens) & allowed the tank to go empty (or nearly so) this could easily account for the high appearant usage that one year. Maybe they had a new tank installed. Too many possibilities to speculate.

A boiler with a domestic coil, particularly one of that vintage, can consume a lot of fuel. I would highly suggest doing or having done, a Manual J heat loss calculation on the house & seriously consider replacing the boiler. Modern oil fired boilers often run into the high eighty's for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE).
 
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Old 09-21-05, 07:46 AM
ntcpa10
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the tank is only 250 gallon. Sits in the basement. No apparent leakage when I viewed the house. I plan on having a heating inspection done before signing contract
Would adding insulation to the walls help at all (i.e. blown in insulation) or is it just a waste of time?
 
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Old 09-21-05, 08:33 AM
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Any and all insulation pays back . They say up to about a R38 or R40 in the attic. Be sure and get some one that "knows "oil burners to look at it.


ED
 
 

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