September 6, 2008

Should You Replace Natural Gas Boiler for Better Efficiency in Heating Home, Water?

I have an oil-fired boiler. Now that heating-oil prices are rising, should I convert to natural gas? I already have a gas line for my stove coming in from the street.

You need to ask yourself a few important questions, remembering that while natural gas appears to be less expensive and in greater potential supply than fuel oil now, it also might begin replacing oil as a major source of generating electricity, and thus become more expensive.

How old and how efficient is your oil-fired boiler?

If it's just a few years old and has been maintained so that it is as efficient as newer models, don't replace it just yet.

If the boiler is old and needs replacing, how easy will it be to increase the size of the gas line to accommodate a gas furnace?

Finally, how efficient is your house? Is it air-sealed, insulated and ventilated?

If not, no matter how efficient your furnace is, you'll waste energy and money.

- From wire report I have a problem with the plumbing in the bathrooms and kitchen sink in my house. When the toilet is flushed and the sink is drained, the water seems to gurgle in them. Sometimes it comes up into the bathtubs.

We have well water and city sewer. Does that matter? What do you think the problem may be?

If a gurgling sound is heard at a sink or shower drain only when a nearby toilet is flushed, or at a sink or shower when a nearby tub is draining, the odds are that the drain-vent system for your house is inadequate.

Call a plumber in to take a look at the situation.

- From wire reports

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