Is oil heating considered depreciated?

Old 09-29-17, 07:17 PM
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Is oil heating considered depreciated?

I currently have an old Iron Fireman Vortex (bottom firing) oil furnace and a 250gal above-ground tank in my basement.

It seems that less and less companies are able to service Oil furnaces and only a couple will work with the tanks.

My furnace has maybe another 6 years of service left in it but my tank if shot and seeping oil from the bottom. I've since emptied the tank but am unsure how to proceed.

I can't afford to purchase a gas furnace at this time so the thought of swapping the oil tank and then the furnace in a few years is tempting but I see a few issues with this as It seems that Oil heating is being depreciated?

I would also have to install the tank myself as supposedly current codes would prohibit pretty much any other possible accessible location in my basement due to needing to be ground depth distance away from the wall. I don't want one outdoors due to the risk that some of the local theives/addicts may cause it to contaminate the ground while stealing fuel.
Old 09-29-17, 07:58 PM
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My furnace has maybe another 6 years of service left in it
Just curious as to how you arrived at that as all my research shows this is a boiler from 1950.
Old 09-29-17, 11:20 PM
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The furnace itself runs strong and a lot of the burner components have been refurbished. The heat exchanger while showing some sign of rust on the surface does not seem to have any cracks.
the only thing that is in poor shape is the fire brick in the chamber which would likely last a few more years until theyve deteriorated to the point thhat they've lost 1/4 of their surface. So I think it would last a few more years of sparing use.

I don't see any point in replacing the tank though if oil heat is depreciated and a new oil furnace in a few years wouldn't pan out.
Old 09-30-17, 07:29 AM
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Do you have natural gas available or would it be propane?
If you have natural gas available there is no question, replace all before you invest in an oil hog. Pj guessed your boiler is from 1950, you need to confirm that. If so it is well beyond its useful (reliable) life and now would make the whole process much easier than the dead of winter.

Replacing an old boiler (or furnace) starts with proper sizing and some energy improvements, at least the easy ones. Once a new system is installed there will be immediate savings due to the improved combustion efficiency and proper sizing. You will also be applying the cost of the tank to a new long lasting system.

Confirm the age of your unit, boiler or furnace, and whether you have access to natural gas?

Old 10-07-17, 07:07 PM
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I wouldn't hang on to oil, throw good money after bad to keep a inefficient 50 year old unit alive.

I can appreciate not being able to afford it.

See if there are any home energy retrofit programs in your area.

There could be substantial rebates making retrofit affordable.

Also financing, where you pay for it on your utility bill. And the savings cover the debt over 5-10+ years and it's tied to the utility meter/property, not yourself.

Borrowing money has a place when the return on investment more than covers the cost of borrowing.

I would get rid of the oil and switch to nat gas if you have it, otherwise a heatpump if you have reasonable electric rate or propane.
Old 10-08-17, 08:29 PM
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Old cast iron boilers often can be made efficient as new non-condensing types by putting in a smaller nozzle, adding Out Door Reset, automatic vent damper and keeping them clean. Those things would cost less than $300.

The life span of cast iron boilers has not been established. Some are 80 years old. Measured efficiency of my 60 year old Weil McLain Model 57A is 85 % firing at 0.80 GPH. The only reason I would replace it would be if it developed non-repairable leaks

Here is New York fuel oil is far cheaper than natural gas. Long term projections are for world oil prices to stay low. Back in the 1970 oil crisis I plugged in a $150 Sears gas conversion unit for year or so until oil prices dropped.

An easy way to get data on your home heating system is with a clock wired into burner solenoid. For a period of time log run time, oil consumption and degree days. Crunch data to find actual firing rate, degree days per gallon and run time on coldest day. To size a new boiler this is more accurate than heat load calculations.

I make decisions based on hard data rather than rely on opinions

$10 clock:
AC100-250V 6-digit Display Electromechanical Engine Hour Meter Counter Hourmeter | eBay

Last edited by doughess; 10-08-17 at 08:52 PM.

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