Previous month:
September 2015
Next month:
November 2015

Pros & Cons of Oil-to-Gas Heating Conversion


Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. CC-Licensed photographs by Gnomedude and Joanna Poe.

Oil heaters store a light petroleum in a tank and use it to fire a hot water tank or a household furnace. The advantages of oil is that it can be transported by a vehicle and many oil heater can function without electricity. This is convenient in rural areas, but there might be a better option for heating and cooling Tucson city residents might want to consider.

City homes with oil heaters can convert to natural gas. While petroleum products can vary in price, natural gas is more stable. The average cost of heating a home during the 2008 winter was $1700 with oil while heating with natural gas cost only $900.

There is a direct relation between the price of unrefined petroleum and oil heating. Petroleum is the base price of all derived products, ranging from gasoline to plastic to kerosene and house heating oil. While petroleum prices are currently low in the United States, this might change in a decade.

One advantage of oil is that it has a flash point of 52 degrees Celsius. This means that it does not form a combustible vapor at room temperature. While heating oil can be stored securely, it does require a storage tank. Natural gas pipes are well out of sight.

Natural gas risks an explosion if it leaks at a high enough concentration. The good news is that new installations have many safety features that minimize leaks. If gas does leak, aeration will remove it from a home. Oil is much more damaging if it spills, because it saturates surfaces and is difficult to remove.

Natural gas is better for the environment than burning oil, wood, or coal. It does not leave soot or a residue, and the only byproducts are carbon dioxide and water vapor. Natural gas is safe enough that gas stoves and fire places can be installed into a home without chimneys.

Because natural gas is delivered from an external source, there is no need to have a home inspected for fire safety every year. Oil and wood burning might increase the cost of insurance, while natural gas impacts insurance costs less. It might cost $2000 to install a gas line, but savings in annual heating might repay a family in only a few years.

The Top 5 Home Remodeling Ideas That Will Improve Your Life


Your home is your castle, so it only makes sense that you’d want to improve the way you live your life at home. Remodeling projects can be as cheap as buying a bucket of paint, or as pricey as doing a full home makeover. Luckily, there’s an awesome project for just about every budget and lifestyle you can imagine. Here are our top five picks for remodeling projects that actually work to improve the quality of your life.

  1. Get a hot tub or Jacuzzi installed. There’s something oh, so relaxing about being able to kick back in your very own home spa. Studies have shown that regular use of a hot tub can soothe sore muscles, improve flexibility, and also lower stress. This kind of bathroom remodeling project can easily run upwards of $10,000, so it’s definitely a project that requires a higher budget.
  2. Install new appliances. This can be both a kitchen and a laundry room upgrade, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Though it’s not a full remodeling project, the fact is that upgraded dishwashers, stoves, and washing machines can make a huge difference in the quality of your life as well as the amount of time that you spend cleaning. This remodeling project can greatly vary in price, but in general, you can expect to spend around $500 per appliance, at the very least.
  3. Add an extra room. If you have upwards of $15,000, adding a new bedroom or living room to your house is a good way to improve your overall quality of life. Another room can make the perfect location for entertaining guests, or could be used at add a little more privacy for families that feel cramped in their current situation. It’s also worth noting that an extra room can provide a serious return on investment.
  4. Get better ventilation. Many people seriously underestimate the huge impact a well ventilated room can have on a person’s wellbeing. If you have allergies, or are prone to falling ill during certain times of year, a room with cleaner air can make all the difference. Getting a good medical grade air filter can actually be quite affordable, depending on the size of your house. Besides, a good air filter for your home also can make it easier to clear out foul odors that tend to linger.
  5. Install a pool in your back yard. Pools are often the home improvement choice of people who want to become the “fun house” of their block.

    Author bio: A parenting writer and home improvement aficianado, Regina empowers women through her writing and parenting tips. If she’s not writing or walking her dog, you can catch her surfing the web for what’s new at VentisNote: partered post • CC-Licensed photograph by Jeremy Levine Design