Oil Furnace does not heat the rental rooms very well.

6 Replies

So, my house is set up with just an oil furnace, each winter we have struggled to keep the rooms on the other side of the house warm. Now we have renters moving into those rooms, (we moved into the low portion of the house) and I am nervous about how I should heat them, I want to add electric wall heaters with thermostats to maintain 72F but I am afraid the tenants will get crazy with the heat and I will be stuck with the bill. Does anyone have some advice on an economical way to address this issue? I know that the burner in the furnace is brand new, and it does heat most of the house but not all of it.  

I thought oil furnaces went out just after the coal burning era. It has to be as expensive as electricity with oil prices today. 

Do you have natural gas piping to your property because that is the least expensive way to heat with the exception of solar or some sort of rare underground thermal heating. With natural gas, you can put small Debonnairre gas wall heaters in each room. They are only about 18 inches wide, 40 inches high from the floor and the smoke pipes vent directly through the wall. If you have natural gas you may be able to get each one installed for less than $3,0000.

Another choice, if you have natural gas, is to install a hydronic baseboard heating system throughout the entire house. These are the best systems in the world for cold climates because you can use isolation valves and heat only the rooms you want to heat. This way, you have only one system to maintain, you will have the best system and you will save a lot of energy. The cost for an average house and for someone who really knows what he is doing must be around $20,000, but you will save that much in oil costs in a short time and have the least expensive system to maintain.

Do you know why those rooms are cold? Poor insulation, closed off dampers, closed valves, etc? I would find the problem first, then figure out how to fix it.

If the system has worked for however long, there must be some reason those rooms are cold.

Promotion
BiggerPockets
The one-stop-shop for REI
Find Local Home Improvement Pros!
Check out our network of trusted, local contractors for all of your home improvement projects.
Find a Contractor

Call an old and experienced heating contractor. There may be some solutions where a contractor can increase the duct size or put fans inside the ducts to push more warm air to those rooms.

Originally posted by @Jack Orthman:

Call an old and experienced heating contractor. There may be some solutions where a contractor can increase the duct size or put fans inside the ducts to push more warm air to those rooms.

Agreed. 

We have a similar situation. An old mansion 5beds 3.5 baths that had an old oil Fce with an under powered blower & lacked cold air returns in all rooms so it was not efficient at all. The new tenant is a contractor so rectified it all but heating a home that size with oil is expensive for them but they prevail.