Need to replace Electric Baseboard Heating Units & Replacement Windows

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Hi, I live in a 70 y/o EOG rowhouse with southern & western exposure located in Baltimore, MD. The house has electric baseboard heating and window air conditioners. Utilities were recently deregulated and I believe I need to install a more efficient heating unit. Might as well install central air at the same time.
I understand there are new high efficiency units that can save a bundle in utility costs but they need to installed by a crew that's trained to install them otherwise the are less effcient than the other systems.
Recommendations for HVAC companies are also needed.
Any recommendations for highly effcient replacement windows at a resonalble cost? (will chck consumers union website)
Thanks,
Mike
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Depending on your local utility rates, you might want to install Heat Pumps.
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He's in Baltimore.
http://www.usepropane.com/esc /
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But the real question is, what is his utility rates?
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He has to enter that ( kwh ) for himself....varies considerably depending on your location...pretty sure IM at $.058/ kwh last I checked--"cheap hydro"...
Anyways, run the program twice, first using baseboard heat then run through it a second time using heat pump....
Actual value entered for propane isnt important, ( unless someone is using, or considereing converting to it)...but suggest just use same cost / gal value both times...
== IIRC my brother is getting nailed at 3 ~bux /gallon--Seattle,Wa area.--understandably, I've disabled the gas portion of his furnace just recently...
Still need to log further info, but appears after a couple weeks worth of "intelligent adaptive recovery" and what with his night temps being ~ 25 and with 45 daytime told me yesterday he might occasionally fall short by a couple degrees tops at the morning recovery period--so guessing at least someone actually did an accurate heat load analysis upon initial install.
Like I say, outdoors reset stat is to be permanently installed soon--which brings out the big guns only on as-needed basis.
== FWIW, still think the Taystat 103 is a sucky system--esp where total lockout occurs--but still is absolutely needed where you have HP coils downstream in the airflow from the gas HX.
Not rocket science, still will probly eventually put up a link to the schemtic with crossed out connections etc.
Meanwhile, Joseph and Pat can also more than likely assist if you happen to find yourself with a customer that's wanting to ramp down on gas usage, perhaps with the attendant addition / installation of of larger capacity heat pump system.
IIRC, your in the corn belt--then if so pay close attention to a/c mode...dehumidifican problems and short cycling definately can be a problem where yuo have oversized a heat pump for to deal primarily with the heating load.
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True... 6 cents/kwh is pretty darn cheap!

OooooOoooooOooooooUCH!!!!!!!!
That's why one should size for the cooling system. :-)
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Apparently, cost structure was more favorable towards propane near to a decade ago--when the sys was initially installed....main benefit to having the heat pump being the luxury of having cooling...
Still makes no sense--if the gas is cheaper then just kill the HP on heating altogheter.
Diferent situation in the machine shop here though, I have tools that actually produce a significant heat load--nice during winter but becomes a burden during summertime.
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LP and Nat used to be cheap fuels. But as time goes by, they continue to rise dramatically while the electric costs have had slight increases.
With new product designs and affiances, today a heat pump can often save you a significantly large amount of money in operational costs.
I have designed a spreadsheet to show my clients how much they can save (or spend) with varying heat sources. They don't understand it, till they see the actual numbers.
Many people are switching to corn burners. But with the evolution of ethanol being used for automotive purposes, the costs of corn is increasing. So this only raises their heating bills. Making the heat pump look better once again.
One thing is constant, and that is, that things are always changing. Something that is effective today may not be tomorrow.
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I woud kil the crossposteing but im too drunkat present....besides, the topic at least fits.
Ya want cheep then go geothermal, closed or even open loop--here we have well-water-a- plenty-
Cmes outa the ground at ~51 deg F--I just pump and dump.....over onto the freeway right-of-way it goes.

Then if it sells, great....so long as it saves long-term.

Yes, esp here where electric rates have remained fairly stable.

Well the one thing that is constant--if you burning any hydrocarbon fuel then it depletes fossil reserves, as well as contributing to escalation of co co2 into the atmosphere.
Suggest then plant some trees--it's the only thing available to Joe Sixpak that effectively re-sequesters the carbon by-products back into the soil.
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drunk on life Sam?
(although I hear its one sure fire way of thinning the blood to lower the freezing point.....heh heh)
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Russian_(cocktail)
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You bring up good ponts. Can I get a copy of your spreadsheet?
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For years the fuel of choice in a rural setting was propane. It was 70-90 cents/gal. Now it is 2.10/gal and btu for btu yielded you can heat with low-tech electric resistance heat for less money.
1 Million BTU Electricity = $24.90 (TN)
1 Million BTU Propane (80% Furnace)=$28.46
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$24.90 would be about 400 KWH here, and that could produce more than 1.2 million BTU.

Out of curiosity I checked the price for propane 17 pound bottle refills at Lowes, and it was $18, that is a lot more than $2.10 a gallon, isn't it.
But maybe in bulk it is cheaper.
The temperature here fell through -10 C during daylight here today, and that could mean life threatening temperatures without backup heat, regardless of what the fuel is, furnaces and anything else can fail even if there is plenty of fuel.
The high tech furnaces are a threat, even if they are supposed to be more efficient, fuel cost is not as important as avoiding unsafe temperatures.
Joe Fischer
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wrote:

Bulk is definately cheaper than having a 20 lb tank filled.

"high tech furnaces are a threat"???????????
How do you come up with that horseshit?
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Ask the, about a million, people who lost power for a week or more in the plains and west coast.
It would help if each one were installed with a big warning sign "Be sure to have a backup heating system if the power goes off".
I seriously doubt if one out of a thousand homes have an emergency generator, and even some that do could not isolate the furnace circuit and run it.
But I am prejudiced, I don't like the noise of the small duct forced air.
Joe Fischer
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Ok then,
With most modern every day piece of heating equipment... which one do you recommend, that doesn't require ELECTRIC to operate?
Or are we to go back to the days of Gas Fired SPACE heaters???
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Electric or electric controlled is fine for primary heat, but I keep two Gas Fired SPACE heaters just for when the electric is out. :-)
Actually, I have been lucky, power has not been off more than 8 hours at a time.
My baseboard heat isn't working as well as I hoped, even at 6 cents, it is expensive to heat just one room, small kitchen and bath. There really isn't much choice, it seems to be either heat pump or modern furnace, depending on electric rates and natural gas ups and downs.
My utility company offers free truck loads of mulch when they are trimming trees in the area, but I would need to build an incinerator type heating system for that.
The convenience of a modern heating system of any kind really spoils people, the thought of chopping wood seems like too much work, and it is too much for me to think about.
Gas SPACE heaters can be built to be just as efficient as the modern furnace, and I suppose I could put ductwork for flame air and a heat exchanger in the vent pipe, so I may need to do that next summer.
Joe Fischer
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If you are going to have a back-up source for heat... and even if you don't... Then don't say "high tech furnace's are a threat".
The fact is, the newer, high tech, modern day furnace's are safer than the old units.

Expensive at 6 cents... something isn't right. Of coarse a heat pump would be more economical than your straight electric heat.

Going backwards in technology again are we?

You're starting to sound like an engineer that is wanting to spend $1000 to save $5. Good luck with that.
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For my 2c, heat pump with natural gas auxilary.

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