Small, Cheap Oil Based Heater/Furnace/Boiler for Basement

3 Replies


I am looking for an inexpensive way to use oil heat to make sure my pipes don't burst in the basement of a 4 family apartment building I own.

Perfect scenario:

1 heating source that connects directly to a standard oil tank and produces enough heat to keep a large and well insulated basement at about 55 degrees in Vermont winters.

Could any of you point me in the direction of such a heating source?

@Aaron Montague  

I've got a few places in Vermont that use a oil boiler system.  My experience is that as long as the basement is sealed up during winter, the boiler itself will produce enough extra heat to keep the basement at a reasonable temperature.

A newer thing recommended to me by the heating company is to add anti-freeze to the water of the system (boiler - hot water - baseboard heating system).  They said it would cost about $500 but ensure the pipes don't burst from freezing in the colder sections of the house. Personally I haven't tried that but letting you know it could be an option too.

- Tom

Hi Aaron,

There are kerosene fired monitor heaters that vent directly outside that you can pick up used on craigslist sometimes for a few hundred dollars. I'm not sure if you already have a boiler or something else that runs off heating oil set up already though. If not then you can fill the oil tank with kerosene (it's practically the same thing) and install one of the monitors I previously mentioned. If you do have a boiler hooked up to the oil tank then I would recommend installing a strip of baseboard heat, on it's own zone, in the basement. You could also use a Modine heater as well, if you have a boiler set up somewhere. Sorry for throwing a lot out there, but I don't know enough of the specifics to make a more precise recommendation.



Why not just insulate the pipes , put some heat tape on them .  A  boiler is just another maintenance item .

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