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Upgrading from 65% EFF to 85%+ is it worth it?

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Posted by Greg on September 11, 2005 at 01:54:47:

We have an American ‘Ideal’ Standard Radiator & Sanitary Corporation coal burner boiler (hydronic not steam) that was converted to an oil burner. It was somewhat recently updated again to a Beckett Model “SR” burner with a .85% nozzle. On average, the furnace runs 2-2 ˝ hours a day through the cold season (Seattle WA. area). This is about 1.75-2.25 gallons each day. We burned about 430 gallons the 2004/2005 (the average has been about 460 gallons) season. When I had it serviced (1/10/2005), the furnace had a 65% EFF, CO2 of 5, and a stack temperature of 500 degrees. The house is 1,900 SQ feet, which includes an 800 sq foot unfinished basement. We have a family of six. The ceiling is well insulated, the walls are not insulated.

With the rising cost of oil and gas, I’m considering upgrading to a more efficient system, possibly switching to gas, and adding an indirect water heater (currently electric hot water).

The estimates I have received range from $5,500 for an 84% EFF oil system to $12,000 90%+ gas system.

I figured going from 65% EFF to 85% EFF will save us about 80-90 gallons of oil a year (that is $260 @ $3.00/gallon). In addition, we will save approximately $350 a year on electricity if we add the indirect hot water tank. At $600 savings a year, that still will take us over 10 years to break even. And that is with the less expensive changeover.

I would love to upgrade/change this system, but the numbers are not that inspiring, and my wife wants to move (see #2)

1. If my numbers are correct, is the saving going to be worth the upgrade?
2. Especially if we are going to move within a year, (family of six makes for a crowded 3-bedroom 1-bathroom house) and sell the house.
3. Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

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