Oil to Gas Conversion Now Available in Westchester
There’s good news for Westchester homeowners considering converting to gas heat from oil. For several years, there was a moratorium on conversions due to a restricted gas supply pipeline into the area. But now that problem has been resolved, and you can finally get started on your oil to gas conversion.
Homeowners prefer natural gas over oil heat because it’s cleaner, less expensive, and better for the environment.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits, and then we’ll explain the process of converting from oil to gas heat.
Benefits of gas heating over oil heating for homeowners:
Enjoy a cleaner and healthier home:
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available. As people have become more concerned about indoor air quality, it’s no surprise that homeowners are anxious to convert oil to gas.
Cleaner air means better health for your and your family. And by doing away with oil heat, you can even eliminate the soot and black dust that can accumulate from a poorly-operating oil furnace.
Save money on home heating:
You’ll pay significantly less to heat your home with natural gas instead of oil. While prices fluctuate over time, fuel oil remains nearly twice as expensive as natural gas. Even with the cost of converting your home to use natural gas, you’ll break even in just a few years.
Here’s some compelling numbers to illustrate that point. During one of the coldest winters on record (the year of the Polar Vortex), homeowners with oil heat paid more than $3,200 to heat their homes.
By contrast, homeowners with natural gas paid an average of just $971.
Also, natural gas furnaces and boilers are less expensive and more energy efficient than oil-burning equipment. That saves you even more money over the long term.
Most oil burning heaters have efficiency rates of about 70 percent, though some can achieve a maximum efficiency of 87 percent. Natural gas heating systems have maximum efficiencies of up to 98 percent. High-efficiency furnaces can help you get more heat from the gas you use, lowering your costs.
Reduce your carbon footprint by switching from oil to gas:
Converting to natural gas also helps you do your part to protect the environment. Oil burning appliances produce byproducts that are harmful to the environment and contribute to global warming. While natural gas is a fossil fuel, its impacts are far less harmful than oil.
Burning natural gas doesn’t produce sulfur dioxide. And while it does produce carbon emissions, they’re less than 60 percent of what would be produced by heating oil.
On the other hand, burning oil produces both sulfur dioxide and carbon emissions, otherwise known as greenhouse gasses. Heating oils, particularly heavier number 4 and 6 oils, have such a big impact on air quality that there’s been legislation introduced to phase them out.
Steps to take before converting from oil to gas:
Decide on your fuel source: natural gas or propane
For many homeowners, converting oil to natural gas is easy. Many utility companies provide natural gas as a utility, piped directly into your home. This is by far the most preferable and popular option.
In rare cases when there is an obstacle to converting to natural gas, people can decide to convert from oil to propane.
We recommend that homeowners convert to natural gas instead of propane if possible. Here’s why propane isn’t the best option:
- It usually requires more effort over the long run.
- It produces less heat and more dangerous gasses, like carbon monoxide.
- Shortages can produce volatile price jumps that drive up your cost to heat your home.
Check natural gas service availability for your home:
Natural gas is usually pumped into your house via a pipe, just like other utilities. Most residential neighborhoods in Westchester already have a natural gas line.
There are two types of gas lines: main lines and service lines. A main line carries natural gas for a street or neighborhood. A service line, on the other hand, connects your home to the main line.
If you already have a natural gas service line to your home, you’ll simply need to call the utility company to get it turned on.
If not, you’ll need to contact Con Edison to have your home connected to the main gas line.
You may find yourself in one of two situations:
- There is a main gas line, but no service line to your home
- There is no main line or service line
Chances are, your street already has a main gas line. This is good news, because trenching and setting a service line is faster and more affordable than a main line. Installing a service line and meter usually takes only two or three weeks. And ConEdison will install a 100 feet of service line free of charge.
If you’re in a neighborhood with no main gas line, converting can take longer. Construction on a main line will generally take from four to six months, and it can be considerably more expensive for customers.
We encourage customers in this situation to get together with their neighbors. Utility companies usually share out costs between the houses that will receive gas service. This can bring down the cost of converting to natural gas.
The process of converting your home from oil to gas heating
Converting oil to natural gas can take just a few weeks to get your equipment up and running. Oil to gas conversion is a four-step process:
- Connect to the natural gas supply
- Obtain permits and approvals
- Ensure your home has suitable piping for natural gas
- Install equipment that uses natural gas, or convert your existing equipment
Step 1: Connect to natural gas supply
If your home already has a gas service line and meter, you’ll just need to call Con Edison and have the service turned on.
If your home has never had natural gas service, Con Ed will need to install a service line to connect your home to the main gas supply line (as described above). This process can take at least a few weeks, so take care of that first.
Step 2: Obtain permits and approvals
To work with gas and install piping and equipment in your home, you’ll need permits from your town or municipality, as well as approvals from Con Edison.
Luckily, you don’t have to do this yourself. Your HVAC installation company should do this for you. Bruni & Campisi takes care of all the paperwork for our oil to gas conversion customers in Westchester.
Step 3: Install or update interior gas piping
The next step is to ensure that your home’s piping can accommodate natural gas. If your home was previously set up for natural gas, you probably already have the piping for natural gas in place. You probably also have pipes in place if some of your equipment already uses natural gas.
If you’ve never used natural gas before, you may need to install gas pipes. These lines are usually short, and go directly from your gas meter to the equipment that will use natural gas. This equipment could include your heater, clothes dryer, water heater and stove.
Natural gas piping is usually made of either stiff iron pipes or flexible steel pipes. However, installing this piping is not a do-it-yourself job. Because of the risks of an unsafe gas line, you should have a qualified technician install any gas pipes you need.
With good planning, you can also extend your gas pipes in the future. This means it’s possible to complete the conversion process in phases. If you have relatively new oil equipment that can’t be converted, it’s possible to wait to convert it until it needs replacing.
If you plan to convert your oil burning appliances to natural gas in phases, make sure your technicians are aware of this. They can either extend gas pipelines during the initial installation, or set up gas pipelines that you’ll easily be able to add to when you’re ready to convert other equipment.
Step 4: Convert or install new heating equipment
Many people convert to natural gas when their existing appliances fail. That’s because natural gas appliances cost significantly less than similar appliances that use oil.
If your old heating appliances need replacing, you can simply choose new appliances that use natural gas.
Bruni and Campisi can walk you through the conversion process and help you select energy-efficient equipment for your home.
Whenever possible, we recommend purchasing equipment that’s designed to use natural gas instead of converting oil burning equipment. Equipment designed for natural gas is more efficient than converted equipment and will use less fuel to produce the same amount of heat.
It’s also possible to convert your oil furnace to gas.
If your oil equipment is in good shape and doesn’t need any major repairs, a conversion kit may be the most practical option.
There are also conversion kits available for most appliances. These conversion kits let you replace the oil-burning part of your existing equipment with a gas orifice. The rest of your equipment stays the same.
Converting an oil heater to run on natural gas is the most common. To convert, we’ll install a natural gas burner in your existing oil furnace. We usually remove the old oil tank to reduce the risk of fires and contamination.
IMPORTANT: It’s possible to purchase conversion kits and complete the oil to gas conversion for an appliance yourself. However, we recommend having a licensed technician complete the conversion for you.
Residual oil soot can interact dangerously with natural gas, creating acidic reactions that eat away at your equipment. Oil spills can also cause soil and water contamination.
Instead, find a licensed gas technician or a plumber to install your conversion kit. If you’re in the New York or Connecticut area, call Bruni and Campisi today to find out more about completing an oil to gas conversion for your existing appliances.
Incentives for converting to natural gas
Manufacturer rebates for converting to natural gas
Manufacturer rebates are offered by equipment makers to help lower the cost of appliances for customers. These rebates can be instant rebates, which are applied when the equipment is purchased, or mail-in rebates. Mail-in rebates usually require you to submit proof of purchase or installation after the fact.
Manufacturer rebates for natural gas heaters can be worth $200 or more. The amount of the rebate will depend on the manufacturer and the specific equipment you’re purchasing.
Contact Bruni & Campisi for expert oil to gas conversion in Westchester
Are you ready for cleaner, cheaper, and greener home heating?
We’re experts in converting oil to natural gas heat and we’ll make it easy for you every step of the way. Contact Bruni & Campisi today.
Bruni & Campisi provides 24/7 emergency service, installation, and maintenance for plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and generators in Westchester, Fairfield, and Putnam Counties. We also offer energy audits, sewer cleaning, and chimney cleaning. With our 40+ years of experience and training, you get the quality service you need.