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Should I convert? General advice wanted.

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Posted by Bryce on February 27, 2004 at 12:09:51:

We own a two story brick home in St. Louis built in the 30's. St Louis has both extremes in weather: cold winters and hot humid summers, and the age and construction of the house combine to reduce its efficiency.

The current systems are: gravity hot water system with an extremely old oil fired boiler(50 or more years old) and window unit air conditioning.

The boiler doesn't seem to be very efficient, though I have no idea what its rated capacity or efficiency are. It seems prudent to explore replacement, but several questions keep popping up:

Switch to Natural gas or continue with oil? The operational prices seem to be similar, though the 200g tank does take up quite a bit of room and we have, on occasion, run the tank dry (always on the coldest days, Murphy's law). Does the disposal of an oil tank cause headaches?

I generally like the radiators, but they do take up some living space and limit the flexibility of the rooms. Newer flat or wall-hung radiators seem pricey.
A forced air system would take care of those concerns and give us the option of adding central air, but I imagine there are disadvantages, too.

What would you do?

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