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Oil propane or electric?


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#16 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2015 - 11:56 PM

i know of no one in this area using oil , that pretty much went away in the lat 60s.
In town it is all Natural gas, My last two places in the country(including my current home are LP hot air heated.
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#17 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 12:12 AM

The one advantage to oil, propane, and wood/coal (including pellet stove) is that you can store at least some of your energy source.  If the power goes out, a small generator will keep the blowers and augers turning.

 

I owned a house in Pocatello, ID, with a forced air oil heater. When I got the first bill for the oil, I pulled it out and put in a Suburban wood burning stove with a fan, and liquid/electric baseboard heat (closed system with electrically heated antifreeze in a convection-type heater--gets more heat out of same amount of electricity compared to straight electric.)  Living area was approx. 1500 sq feet, and we stayed warm, even in cold Idaho winters.

 

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#18 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 01:53 AM

The Geothermal is way to expensive for installation. They take 20 years to pay back around here and by then parts are worn out. Leaks can be a big headache too. I've seen too many gas fires to ever want that in my house and its prices seem to go all over the place. Oil is all over the place on prices but it is safer. For your family's safety and your piece of mind you are down to a choice between oil or electricity. As long as you keep a wood stove for backup, the choice comes down to new equipment, installation, and monthly costs. You will have to figure that out because each situation is unique.

 

I'm retired and am home all the time.  I built my house to be passive solar heated with a wood furnace and a wood stove for backup. We have had very few sunny days and so, I've had to burn alot more wood and now we have a blizzard forecast for tonight. The power company called and warned that we may loose power. As long as I have wood, the house will be warm. A cord of hardwood burned in a good woodstove will give the same amount of heat as 200 gallons of heating oil. Good Luck, Rick


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#19 karl OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 04:10 AM

I once had petro chemical heating units,oil fired boiler steam, base board gas, god forbid electric heat I did not have.then in 1992 I moved to the woods,my mother went off the wood standard and gave me the family wood stove,my primary heat source,i wouldn't want anything else.plus it came with a blessing from my mother........don't burn the house with that thing!IMG_1615.JPG


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#20 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 05:01 AM

Heat pumps are the thing here in PEI. Single units and central units. If you have hot air system, central unit would be the way to go. Propane or oil is hard to say. Propane here this year is .58 cents a litre, last year it was 1.20 per litre. The problem is, as soon as you pick one , the price of operating it will go up, or the other one you were gunna pick, the price will go down. Hard to tell what the future will do. Just my thoughts, Noel
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#21 petrj6 ONLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 06:01 AM

     Look In to a wise way pellet stove, they are rally neat and don't require any electricity.  otherwise I would say go with firewood.  I took everything out of my house and out a wood furnace in, I even removed my pellet stove and out it up for sale.  firewood is the way to go, cheapest and most reliable.

                                                 Pete


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#22 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 06:43 AM

Did you mention what type of heat you have now ?   Hot air or baseboard ?  With the fuel oil prices down like they are it would be hard for either to compete with it but like you said who knows how long this will last .


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#23 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 06:45 AM

If you have wood as a backup I would seriously consider split type heat pumps, with one consideration. Get a brand name unit with the latest technology and a good warranty. The efficiency and features have improved greatly over the past few years. Beware of off brand units sold by people without experience in refrigeration. They will be a disappointment in the long term. I recently read a comparison between the latest air to air split type heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps. The net result of the study was a win for the split type based on efficiency and low cost to install. Most folks figure that the geothermal unit is more efficient, but the study found that in some cases it is less efficient. A lot depends on the heat resource available. They cost up to 10 times as much to install as a split type!  No matter what system you choose, consider having an energy audit done to your home. In many jurisdictions there are government or utility sponsored programs to get this done at a reasonable cost. Your best investment is almost always to improve air sealing and insulation levels. This has benefits regardless of the heating source you choose. 


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#24 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 06:52 AM

Electric baseboard heat versus furnace or boiler based systems- I have found that the inherent simplicity of an electric baseboard system is a big bonus in the long run. If you install proportional control thermostats the heat is well regulated and comfortable. While electricity can be more expensive per unit of energy than oil or gas there are benefits in the long term. There are considerable costs involved in maintaining an oil fired boiler and distribution system for instance. To start with, the system will use electricity, perhaps 100$ /year at a guess, burners need servicing yearly, zone valves and circulator pumps wear out and need replacement and in general you should include an average yearly maintenance cost when comparing the total cost to that of electric baseboard heating which is petty much maintenance free.


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#25 Arti ONLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 07:49 AM

Depends a lot on how your house is designed.

I have a ranch style about the same sq ft. We heat mainly with a all fuel pellet type furnace, it will burn corn,walnut hulls,cherry pits, wood pellets etc. it is fairly simple to use however it does require a 2 minute check once a day.

during the spring and fall we use a heat pump.

 

If your floor plan is fairly open then a mini split with propane backup is sometimes workable.

The wiseway pellet stove is more maintenance then you would like also only burns pellets it's use would be great in a cabin without electric or where power goes out frequently.

 

Personally like the multi fuel pellet stoves so I don't get locked into a certain fuel.

For example this year corn is approx 100 a ton and pellets are 225 a ton, I'm burning a lot of corn this year however living in the corn belt helps me a lot. 2 years ago pellets were 180 a ton and corn was 250. I use 4 to 5 ton of fuel a year. During the spring and fall the heat pump adds approx. 40 dollars a month to the electric bill.

 

As a side note I installed a new 2 stage variable drive propane furnace last summer and the only time it has been fired was the day I put it in to see if it would work. I'm a semi retired hvac contractor so we are trying to setup the house for our golden years.

Sorry for getting long winded but to summarize I'd look at some sort of heat pump,, geo,air source or mini split with electric or propane backup if you already have a forced air system. If you have a boiler system in place I'd just add a mini split,  sit back and enjoy the savings and comfort.


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#26 Kmac1 ONLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 08:10 AM

We have a 2400 sf house total electric, and have lived there going on 8 years. Before buying the house the PO was paying $500-$700 per month electric bill. After we bought it we added 8-10 inches insulation in the attice, replaced the outdated HVAC, left the heat pump and did several other upgrades and got the electric bill down to 150.00 to 175.00 per month. Over the last 8 years our average bill has increased to 200.00 to 250.00 per month. That include the barn as well and we have a tennent living in the apartment in the barn to watch the place while my wife and I both work away from home.
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#27 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 08:19 AM

I have both, all electric in my old house, now oil with a wood burning add on in my mom's house we just moved into.

Not going to bore you with oil as you are in that same boat too.

My other house was a 1450 sq ft ranch, full basement. We had a brand new heat pump system installed in late '09, windows are decent pretty air tight. I really cannot give you a cost analysis as we run the little ceramic heaters in the sunroom and rabbit barn for the dogs and rabbits during winter, they suck up the juice. We also have quite a few fish tanks and reptile tanks that all either have pumps running or heat lamps or both so my figures will be higher than the std home. I am also ALL electric for everything so I have no other gas HWH or anything like that. Also have a well so we pay fo rhte pump to run.

Normal summers with AC running, we pay $130-220 on average, winters our bills jump up to $300, we have paid up to $460 for 1 month during super cold month. I keep temps set at 68, sometimes 69 in winter, 74 in summer.

If you have never had a heat pump system, I will tell you it's a "cold heat", yea, kind of an oxymoron, but it's not that hot heat you are used to with the oil or wood., more like luke warm. We were used to it, but people coming to our house that had gas, oil or wodd would be cold. our system is pretty efficient, but the auxillary heat is set to kick in at 25*, the heat pump become very inefficient below that temp so you basically have a big hair dryer setup in there with heating coil that take over.....that's when the meter starts running.

 

I can't recomment gas or propane, but just giving ya my experience on the other two.


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#28 chieffan OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 09:19 AM

One big factor that has just very lightly been touched on is how warm you keep your house.  If you want it at 72° all the time, your going to pay for that comfort I don't care what kind of heat you have.  Keep it down to 60° at night and 65° during the day and it will save your more than you think.  That last 10° is a good part of heating cost.  A programmable thermostat is a $$$ saver on heating cost too.  I.m in SW Iowa where it is not supposed to get real cold.  Last winter it was cold enough to freeze up septic systems, 18 that I know of in this county alone.  Mine had been in for 13 years and never had a problem till last year.

 

This winter I been using a multifuel stove.  I burn corn and wood pellets 50/50 with the stove in the basement, open stairway.  I also have a wood fireplace in the living room we use on cold evenings.  The house stays at 60° or above all day and the furnace don't run till early morning most of the time. The basement stays in the upper 60° range all the time and cost me about $4.10 a day to run.  The corn has to be dry with less than 14% moisture to burn right.  I bring the corn in the basement 4-5 days before it is used to make sure the moisture is down.  Pellets are stored in the basement all the time.  So far this winter I have used about 100 gal of LP gas for heat and a clothes dryer.  This is a 1250 sq ft. house with newer windows,1/2 foam under newer siding and a new block basement.  Basement walls above ground level are covered inside with 1' foam board.

 

Personally, I think there is a lot one can do to cut their heating cost besides laying out several thousand dollars for a new system.  When you start talking $12 - $15K or more for a new heating system, just how long is it going to take for you to recover that cost in heating savings?  You may not live long enough to see any savings.  The repairs will start in about 10 years regardless of what you put in. Before you start looking at "new", look at what you can do TODAY to save on heating costs.

 

Just my opinion from experience.


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#29 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 11:41 AM

I'm running dual fuel and switch to the cheapest fuel at that time. Propane and electric with propane presently the cheapest. Ranch style house with 18 inches of insulation in the attack. Due to a back injury wood heat is out of the question as much as I enjoyed it.

If I had to do it over I would go with Geothermal and dual fuel as a back up. During a power outage it takes only a small generator to operate the propane which is a plus. 


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#30 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2015 - 12:27 PM

I know you said the wife cannot feed a wood stove all the time, but if I ever had to replace my system, I would look into the outdoor boiler systems that run hot water lines through the house. We have friends that heat their entire home, garage and goat barns off of one big outdoor stove. Granted it's a year long job as it also used a their hot water heater ( they chose that hook up). In the winter every 2-3 days they throw a huge old log in the stove or several, it keeps it hot for several days. They just have std heat exchanger in the house which is force air blowing over the hot water coils that then heat the house.


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