oil burnerMany of my buyers see oil heating as a big negative. I see this as a victory for the “natural gas” lobby. When I ask people why they prefer gas, the answers come right from the advertising: “cleaner, safer, always there.”

Cleaner? Are you aware that methane leaks are all over the place? Have you ever heard of fracking?

Safer? An oil accident is smelly and dirty. A gas accident is a hole in the ground where the house was.

Always there. Yes, it is piped in. Oil gets delivered.

OK, I just talked you out of gas, right? Wrong. Gas is much cheaper than oil and has been for about a decade. So, bottom-line is that gas wins. Money talks.

Can I convert my electric or oil heat to gas in a house?

Find out if there is a gas line on the street. In Eastern Massachusetts, most of you can do this by calling 800 233 5325.

If there no line on the street, it will be mega-expensive to hook up to an existing line that is down the street or around the corner. Consider propane or a split system.

If there is a gas line on the street, add $4000 to cover the cost of a line into the house. (This is an inflated number.)

If there is an unused line in the house, it might not work. Prepare to add a new line, but you might be pleasantly surprised and find that it works.

If there is a gas stove working in the house, there is an active gas line. Your new gas heater can attach to that service line.


Can I convert my electric or oil heat to gas in a condo?

In large buildings, if there is no gas service to the building, the tactful answer is “not without a lot of work.” The real answer is “no.”

In smaller buildings, the units may share a single gas line, with a meter for each unit. The gas line that comes into the building works for both your condo and the other condos. If there is one, you have the right to use it. The billing is according to how much goes through the meters. Once you have gas-using appliances, the gas company will install a meter so they can bill you.


Mass Save rebates

National Grid rebates

Conversion website