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Thread: Oil heat -- efficient temps... and electric heat in one room?

  1. #1
    DIY Member Pickngrin's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Oil heat -- efficient temps... and electric heat in one room?

    We live in a 1500 square foot house (split level) that is heated by oil, in Connecticut.

    My wife works from home, so setting the temperature too low during the day isn't tolerable. Here are 2 questions from her:

    1. Last winter, we had it set to 68 during the day (I was still a little frosty!) and 58 at night (made it hard to get up if I had to go to the bathroom, but whatever). Of course it's a matter of tolerance, but do these temps sound reasonable to you?

    2. During the day, I work out of one room in the house (in the top floor). Do you think it makes sense (cost-wise) to lower the heat on the oil burner (to maybe 62?) and get an electric space heater for the one room? Or do you think that the electricity cost of toasting up this small room (12 x 12 at most) would be equal or more than leaving the house at 68 during the day?

    I'd appreciate your knowledge and advice...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    New England
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    Depends on what your electric rates verses the cost of oil are. Electric is about as close to 100% efficient as you can get. Your oil heat could be anywhere from 50-90% efficient (well, the range could be larger). So, hard to say without more info. You can figure out how many BTU/gallon of fuel you get, then compare to electric costs using 1 watt/hour = 3.412142 BTU.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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