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Old 18.01.2014, 15:52
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Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

We already have a Gas line coming into our garage, now it is a question of converting from the 2 huge oil tankers (for 2800 ltrs oil) and the massive boiler (all about 50 years old I think!) to a modern sleek gas based heating, replacing the radiators but not neccessarily the pipes (which seem to be ok). It would free up a large room and as it is a part of a complete renovation of our 70 yr old property, it makes sense to do it now.
I would like to know who should I approach for quotes. Will a gas company do everything for me, ie remove the oil based system along with installing the gas one. Can you recommend companies?
Should we go for a combination of gas and underfloor electric heating?
Any pitfalls I should watch out for?
As must be obvious to anyone reading this, I am pretty clueless about how this works / will work, so any inputs would be much appreciated.
I have read up on the two other threads related to this issue, but we are not evaluating oil vs gas, we are clear we want to go the gas route. But we want to do that armed with information Thank you for reading this.
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Old 18.01.2014, 17:15
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

You get quotes (Offerte) from a heating engineer (Heizungsunternehmen)

For example . . .
http://yellow.local.ch/en/q/Thalwil/heizung*.html

or google for Heizung Your-Area


They should do everything related to the heating system

1. Aquiring the necessary permission from the community
2. Disposing of the old system including tanks and remaining oil, boilers, radiators if necessary & de-registering your old system.
3. Updrading the flue if necessary, fitting the new boiler, control unit, new radiators, hot water cylinder etc. etc.
4. Commissioning the new system and fulfilling all the regulatory requirements, etc.

If they need another hand worker there, for example an electrican to mount a power socket near the boiler, they will say.

What is likely is that you will be confronted with a series of options like warm pump, roof panels, position of radiators, in-floor heating etc. etc. If you are upgrading the insulation at the same time, this may have to be considered for dimensioning the heating system.

It may be worthwhile employing an architect to help get all your renovation ideas and plans down on paper, then you can discuss such things with him/her. You get also the chance to review the costs of it all and set priorities before starting anything serious. If you have little experience of renovation projects in Switzerland, you may well be shocked at the costs of it all.
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Old 18.01.2014, 17:43
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

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You get quotes (Offerte) from a heating engineer (Heizungsunternehmen)

For example . . .
http://yellow.local.ch/en/q/Thalwil/heizung*.html

...starting anything serious. If you have little experience of renovation projects in Switzerland, you may well be shocked at the costs of it all.
Many thanks for the very detailed information which is exactly what I was looking for. Our experience with Architects in CH has been scary ie they quote really scary %ages just for themselves so eventually we have roped in a reputed local builder who will also do planning etc. However we also want to stay in control, understand processes so that the builder does not have a completely free run. I will be taking quotes from Heating Engineers and then use the inputs from each guy to arrive at what we finally wish to do and which Firm to use. We have renovated simpler stuff like kitchens and bathrooms but this is our first big project in CH. So many thanks again for such a detailed reply. Regards.
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Old 18.03.2014, 18:32
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

Hi Chandana and me.anon!

Thanks for the info so far. Chandana, I hope you could find a cost effective solution.

I am trying to get the go ahead to convert an old office into residential in Canton St. Gallen.

The space is too small to retro fit any oil heating system and I would prefer a small combination gas boiler to do both hot water and heating. The problem I have is the gas energy.
Does anybody know the regulations involved with Gas Cylinder storage? I am Australian and there the law is clear about the cylinders being stored outside in a ventilated area away from opening windows etc.
Also delivery and servicing makes more sense to have the cylinders stored outside.
Gas is available from the mains but the building is set back about 60m from the street with quite a bit of concreting in the way.

Gas bottles either delivered or refilled from a truck is the only viable option.
I just can't find much info on this system.

Cheers guys!
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Old 18.03.2014, 18:53
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

If you have that space then you could probably also convert to pellets. That's what I was looking to do and will probably do in one refill of my tank. I had to scope it out of the renovation that I'm doing now.

But the triple-glazing and new fire apparently will keep the house nice and warm next winter. The roof needs no additional lagging.....so it might be a while before it happens.
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Old 18.03.2014, 19:02
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

G'day Sean,

I have seen that it is available, but I just need it on a much smaller scale.
http://www.bauwelt.ch/mit-fl%C3%BCss...n#!prettyPhoto['prettyPhoto']/0/

I also thought about a pellet oven but as I need to connect gas to heat the water anyway I may as well use the same small gas combi system.

Thanks for replying!

Brett
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Old 11.05.2015, 16:10
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

Hi - any other views on oil -> gas? Chandana, any update?

I've just found out our neighbour has gas and the idea of reduced cost and another cellar room is appealing.
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Old 11.05.2015, 18:55
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

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Hi - any other views on oil -> gas? Chandana, any update?

I've just found out our neighbour has gas and the idea of reduced cost and another cellar room is appealing.
Exactly our thoughts newtoswitz. Hv located a supplier, initial quote quite tempting, so then they came to take a look and now waiting for a firm quote.
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Old 11.05.2015, 20:06
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

Chandrana, just to add a datapoint:

We toyed with the notion when we were forced to replace the old-but-in-perfect working-condition, energy efficient oil furnace in our house ( ). At that point we thought why not look into alternative energy sources?

Well, hang on to your pocket book. Changing systems can be expensive if you are not really set up for it. We were quoted a five figure price for the onsite work, plus another eye watering amount to bring the gas piping into our house. (Current gas lines stopped at the street, so it meant street work, underground work through the Quartier, and all the repair, replacement, and redecorating work in it's wake.) Obviously we would have needed permits from the village, as well as permission from neighbors. We would likely also have had to offer neighbors compensation as a sweetener.

The dream of a gas-fired wok soon evaporated. I like my stir fry, but for that kind of money I could pay for enough dinners out to satisfy that particular craving.

Now - if your house, street, and neighborhoos is 'gas ready' you are ahead of the game.

(We caved in and just put in an updated oil furnace that would meet the new lower emmisions standards. But even that was serious money.)


Another thing to check on - can you actually use the old oil room?

We would have had to do a hazardous waste survey/clean up - only when the area had been certified as clean could we apply for permission to convert the area into usable space.

And that permission hangs on the Ausnutzungsziffer - if you are already maxed out you can't use the space as living area. (Using it as non-living area, i.e., storage, would be OK though.)

Some authorities follow building regs chapter and verse, some could not care less, some are... selective in enforcement. As with everything in Switzerland, but most especially building issues - YMMV.

BTW, one of the reasons for the architect's eye watering fee is that he/she is supposed to wade through the legal and bureaucratic jungle for you.

Good luck with your project.

Last edited by meloncollie; 11.05.2015 at 20:38.
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Old 13.05.2015, 21:02
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

Mellancollie,
Thanks very much for sharing your experience. Needless to say this is all very useful information for me and it's good to have such info on EF for the next innocent going down the renovation route

Ok, we are ahead of the game as the previous owner brought the gas pipeline into the house so that saves us substantial headache/ cost. Since we have to replace all old radiators we thought we might as well update the rather antiquated boiler. I am also not sure how much I can use the cellar as the ceiling is quite low.

Waiting for costs. At the glacial pace that things move here, I will be waiting for quite some time!
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Old 16.06.2015, 14:36
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

Hi chandana, any progress on your quotes?
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Old 07.07.2015, 08:03
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

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Hi chandana, any progress on your quotes?
Hi Newtoswitz,
Yes for conversion from oil to gas, we have a quote for chf 22,000. We have started the initial paperwork (it's all online). Hope this helps.
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Old 07.07.2015, 09:49
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

Heating costs are high here and conversion even more so. I am not sure who you should turn to, to get actual real life cost benefit analysis. Gas heating theoretically should be cheaper to run but we are in Zurich in which Ergas (now Energy 360) has a monopoly so prices for gas are related more to electricity prices than the actual gas price. On our gas bill the m3 of gas we use is converted to Kw/hours and we are charged that which (please correct me) is based on Kw/hour charge for electricity. We replaced a gas heater with a highly efficient one and saw little savings despite having 3 companies run through their products and how much less gas we would use. You need a crystal ball to work out what is going to be the best fuel to use for energy in the future, pellets were a trend but have not proved to be the as cheap to run including maintenance as predicted.
It would be a great business for an Engineer here to wade through all these options and do a report on cost/benefit analysis that is unbiased.
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Old 07.07.2015, 10:06
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Re: Converting from Oil to Gas heating, Kanton Zürich

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On our gas bill the m3 of gas we use is converted to Kw/hours and we are charged that which (please correct me) is based on Kw/hour charge for electricity.
Conversion to calorific value seems to be normal, they do it in the UK as well. Makes sense as the gas can vary a bit depending on source, so you don't want to get "cooler" gas (more low-carbon fractions) and pay the same price.

Not sure why it would be based on electricity costs though - other than as a means of tracking the competition, and anyway it would be more correct to track oil costs as a realistic comparison.
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