360Chestnut Home Energy and Green Living Blog

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360Chestnut's blog aims to help our readers find the most cost effective home improvement solutions and trends that will help you save money and live better. 360Chestnut hopes to inspire you in taking the next step in making your home more energy efficient, more sustainable and healthier without having to break the bank. Save Energy. Save Money. Live Better with 360Chestnut.

Oil to Gas Conversion

Posted on Tue, Mar 06, 2012

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The price of oil is rising. More natural gas deposits have been found. What does this all mean?  Well it means there has never been a better time for converting your heating system from oil to natural gas.
Why?  Well natural gas is cleaner to burn (half the carbon of oil), is produced domestically and is a lot cheaper.  Also, there are now a whole series of incentives to install a high efficiency gas boiler and water tank.  (Check out www.360chestnut.com and www.masssave.com to find out more rebate and tax credit offerings.) These incentives, whether from your state or utility provider, generally range between $1,000 and $2,000.  More importantly, there are numerous programs in place that provide interest-free loans to pay for the conversion.  (Again, check out the above referenced websites for additional details on the loan program.)

But before you install a new boiler or furnace, start off by tightening up your house by weatherizing and insulating it.  This will allow you to use a smaller boiler or furnace, saving you money not just with the install but going forward as well.   If you haven’t done so already, we suggest that you schedule an energy audit for your home.  To schedule an audit, go to www.masssave.com.

So what to do if you don’t have access to natural gas?  I recommend considering installing a geothermal heating and cooling system.  The issue with geothermal is that it is very expensive up front, but going forward your heating and cooling costs will be tiny.  Also, there are some great incentives for geothermal now, including a 30% tax credit that basically cuts a 1/3 off the system price.  Also, there are various state incentives and loans to make this change   With incentives, the expected payback on a geothermal system could be as little as ~ 5 years.

If you have specific project-related questions, please go to our “Ask the Expert” tab at www.360chestnut.com.  We’re here to help answer your questions and get you on the road to a more energy efficient home.