Electric vs propane

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On 02/19/2014 10:16 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

If he got $700 for a month of service then I agree that is WAY too high!
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On 2/19/14 10:18 AM, philo wrote:

For comparison, I'm up in Connecticut, and my heat and hot water is natural gas. Bills for the past few months: Nov 100 Dec 225 Jan 368 Feb 383
House is 103 years old, 1450 sq. ft., I know there isn't any insulation in the walls.
To the OP: Is your propane furnace hot water, or hot air? If hot air, have you given any consideration to geothermal? With 5 acres, you have enough room for horizontally-placed loops.
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On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:27:14 PM UTC-6, John Albert wrote:

It is forced air. Yes I thought about geo. However I would like ot install myself due to the majority of cost being labor. Not sure if you can buy them that way.
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On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 5:27:14 PM UTC-5, John Albert wrote:

How old is the furnace? Efficiency?
NJ here, forced air and WH on nat gas. 3100 sq ft house
Nov20 to Dec20 $145 Dec to An $155 Jan to now $178*
I haven't been billed for the last month yet. I just read the meter and applied the same gas price as for last month. Could be higher, because gas price may have gone up
WH is about $17, that't the summer bill. Before getting a new 93% furnace a few years ago, I had bills that were probably 2X those.
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On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 7:53:09 AM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

er. However, I lease my tank from Southern States and they come unannounced to fill it up. I had it filled up in October, I think that bill was 600 bu cks. In January they came again. That was 741 bucks. I just had a bill left on my door where they came the other day and the bill was another 700 buck s. On the last bill it showed propane is 3.30 a gallon I believe.

th charge plus the rate is .06560 during the winter. I am not sure how to c ompare these two, but I am assuming electricity is cheaper in the long run?

er. And I do use a lot of hot water with two girls in the house and I will admit I love my showers. But I have only a 1500 square foot house. It was b uilt in the mid 90's and everything is insulated as well as I can. (Althoug h my walls are only 2x4).

ing to convince my wife to let me install a wood burning fireplace with a w ater heater option. (I actually found a company that sells a fire place tha t is a wood burning furnace)

f due to installation costs. I have 5 acres which is plenty room for the fi eld lines. However, in my area there are very few basements. (I only have a crawl space). I am not sure if one of those can be installed in a crawl sp ace or not.

can choose which one to utilize based on the rate because things vary so w idely. Maybe if I were to install an electric furnace somehow still keeping the propane furnace under the house where I could easily switch from one t o another.

Here is what the electric co op had on their website: Residential Electric Rates
Distribution Charge: $18.80 per month Energy Charge: Summer (June thru September) .06849 per kWh Winter (December thru March) .06560 per kWh Transitional months (October, November, April & May) .06379 per kWh
Add 3 percent school tax
Effective: October 1, 2013
Most people around here have propane heat and electric water heater. We do have an occasional power outage.
My furnace was installed when the house was built around 1998 so I am guess ing it is around 16 years old.
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On Wed, 19 Feb 2014 05:53:09 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Make sure that electric price is correct.
SHOP AROUND for propane, most places will set up thier tank for free.
go here to compare http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=8&t=5
Standard electric heat pump might be OK.
Do you have a 200 amp service to the house now? Remove 333 to reply. Randy
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On 2/19/2014 7:53 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
...[about high propane cost and conversion perhaps]...
At $3+ for propane you're currently quite lucky -- it's gone to $5-6 or even higher in many places...there are folks in IA for example with hog barns I've seen whose costs have gone to $18000/mo...if anything in the short term it's only going to get worse it appears.
If you're in TVA service area, electric rates are amongst the cheapest in the country and likely will be as little affected as anywhere other than perhaps the NW in Bonneville Power District so may not be a terribly risky option altho you'll definitely want to do some more checking.
I was in E TN (Oak Ridge area) for quite some time and we did replace an air-exchange heat pump w/ a ground loop system. It was _QUITE_ satisfactory and I'd agree it's well worth looking into. I don't see any reason it couldn't go into a crawl space if you have existing central duct work--there's nothing inside other than the circ pump other than the air handling unit which is conventional.
Generally they use resistance heating as "emergency" heating to cover the case if the ground loop can't keep up but if it's sized properly and the loops are buried deep enough it should never be needed. Our installer put an RTD in line with the emergency heating element controls that kept it from kicking in unless outside temps fell below 10F and afaik it never came on in the 10+ yr we were there.
I would, however, not recommend installation entirely on your own altho there's no reason if you've got the gear with which to do the trenching that you couldn't do that but I'd definitely say you ought to get an experienced distributor to aid in the sizing. We used Water Furnace as at the time they seemed to have by far the most sophisticated abilities in that regard altho now 20 yr later they're no longer nearly the novelty they were then.
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On 2/19/2014 9:57 AM, dpb wrote:

(snipped)
Actually the price of residential propane has been going down in the Midwest for the last couple of weeks.
In Iowa on 01/27/14 it was $4.71/gal. and by 02/10/14 it had dropped to $3.22. Kentucky had only dropped from $3.79 to $3.68 in the same time period so it must be lagging a bit behind. The highest that I paid in SE Iowa was $2.29 but the next day it jumped a whole dollar and within the next week another dollar and a half! This was back in mid January.
To see the nationwide propane price trends just point your browser to http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/heatingoilpropane/ and take a look.
To see the last six week prices of each state you can go to http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_wfr_a_epllpa_prs_dpgal_w.htm and take a look. It is interesting that the Midwest prices have went down in the last few weeks while the New England, Central Atlantic, and Lower Atlantic have continued to climb.
Don
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And if you want to compare the cost of heating with different fuels, there's lots of web sites around like this one:
http://www.buildinggreen.com/calc/fuel_cost.cfm
It's a little tricky when your supplier breaks out distribution and cost of electricity. You'll need to look at your last few bills, divide the total paid including taxes and fees, but the number of kilowatthrs used to get a good number.
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I am so tired of it all. I love my propane central furnace and water heater. However, I lease my tank from Southern States and they come unannounced to fill it up. I had it filled up in October, I think that bill was 600 bucks. In January they came again. That was 741 bucks. I just had a bill left on my door where they came the other day and the bill was another 700 bucks. On the last bill it showed propane is 3.30 a gallon I believe.
I looked up the electric rate where I live. It said there is an 18.80/month charge plus the rate is .06560 during the winter. I am not sure how to compare these two, but I am assuming electricity is cheaper in the long run?
I live in southern ky. I will admit it has been a colder than normal winter. And I do use a lot of hot water with two girls in the house and I will admit I love my showers. But I have only a 1500 square foot house. It was built in the mid 90's and everything is insulated as well as I can. (Although my walls are only 2x4).
I am not sure if converting to electric is the way to go or not. I am trying to convince my wife to let me install a wood burning fireplace with a water heater option. (I actually found a company that sells a fire place that is a wood burning furnace)
The other option I have considered is geothermal but doing the work myself due to installation costs. I have 5 acres which is plenty room for the field lines. However, in my area there are very few basements. (I only have a crawl space). I am not sure if one of those can be installed in a crawl space or not.
I like the idea at least in my head of having multiple fuel sources, so I can choose which one to utilize based on the rate because things vary so widely. Maybe if I were to install an electric furnace somehow still keeping the propane furnace under the house where I could easily switch from one to another.
Unfortunately I don't have natural gas available.
Any advice?
Go for burning wood If you have 5 acres, you can grow your own firewood though it takes around five years to get established unless there are some existing trees. You need fast growing trees such as willow, but whatever does best in your area. I have zero fuel bills and make money exporting electricity with solar PV panels. I grow my own firewood with 1.5 acres.
Mind you most American houses are very poorly insulated. So that's where you need to start whatever you decide to do. Plus window shutters.
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On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:53:48 AM UTC-6, harry wrote:

How expensive is it to do solar? The only problem with wood burning is I think it will make my home owners insurance go up.
I like the idea of zero utility bills and I have a place at my uncle's to get free firewood at least for awhile.
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On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 2:53:05 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Solar for heating, as opposed to solar for electric? I don't know of anyone up in this area, NJ using solar for heat. They do have high efficiency solar collectors now that are vacuum evacuated, can work at colder temps, etc. But just the fact that I don't see any deployed here would suggest they're probably not practical, but it would be interesting to look into. They would match up better to hot water heat, not sure how well they would work with forced air.
Installing solar electric and using that for heat probably doesn't work so well either. Typical system on a house here is maybe 6KW. That's not a lot of heat and the systems are still expensive.

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On 2/19/2014 8:53 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

1) Call the utility companies, and ask. 2) Talk with your neighbors, see what they say 3) Go to hardware store, and walk around and ask people 4) Open the phone book under heating and AC contractors, call several of them. Call the ones with small ads, not the big half page display.
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On 2/19/2014 8:53 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

You can get some rough cost comparisons here
http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/fuel_cost_comparison_calculator/
If your electric price is correct, it is cheaper than propane. For me, it is more than double what I pay for oil.
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On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 2:21:29 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

ater. However, I lease my tank from Southern States and they come unannounc ed to fill it up. I had it filled up in October, I think that bill was 600 bucks. In January they came again. That was 741 bucks. I just had a bill le ft on my door where they came the other day and the bill was another 700 bu cks. On the last bill it showed propane is 3.30 a gallon I believe.

onth charge plus the rate is .06560 during the winter. I am not sure how to compare these two, but I am assuming electricity is cheaper in the long ru n?

nter. And I do use a lot of hot water with two girls in the house and I wil l admit I love my showers. But I have only a 1500 square foot house. It was built in the mid 90's and everything is insulated as well as I can. (Altho ugh my walls are only 2x4).

rying to convince my wife to let me install a wood burning fireplace with a water heater option. (I actually found a company that sells a fire place t hat is a wood burning furnace)

lculator/

Wow, applying the numbers from that calculator and his prices, electric heat would be less than half of the cost of propane. Even with a 93% efficient furnace, electric would still cost a little less than half. Assuming of course the calculator is right.
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On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 2:43:59 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrot e:

heater. However, I lease my tank from Southern States and they come unannou nced to fill it up. I had it filled up in October, I think that bill was 60 0 bucks. In January they came again. That was 741 bucks. I just had a bill left on my door where they came the other day and the bill was another 700 bucks. On the last bill it showed propane is 3.30 a gallon I believe.

/month charge plus the rate is .06560 during the winter. I am not sure how to compare these two, but I am assuming electricity is cheaper in the long run?

winter. And I do use a lot of hot water with two girls in the house and I w ill admit I love my showers. But I have only a 1500 square foot house. It w as built in the mid 90's and everything is insulated as well as I can. (Alt hough my walls are only 2x4).

trying to convince my wife to let me install a wood burning fireplace with a water heater option. (I actually found a company that sells a fire place that is a wood burning furnace)

calculator/


The relative costs per that calculator for the OP are:
electric 6.5c kwh 1.8 propane 3.30/gal, 80% furnace 4.4 propane 3.30/gal 95% furnace 3.7
I put my own numbers in for NJ:
electric 17c kwh 4.7 nat gas 1.08/therm 93% furnace 1.1
I just looked at my gas bill:
11/21 $35 12/24 $146 1/24 $154
That's for heating and WH for a 3100 sq ft house in NJ. I do keep unused rooms closed off, turn it down to 50F at night, 60F during the day when it's unoccupied, etc. But it still amazes me that it's that low. The WH portion is about $17. I guess getting that 93% furnace was a smart move 3 years ago :) I used to have bills that were easily 2X that with a 25 year old clunker.
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The recent spike in propane cost is not a good number to use for comparing fuels. This heating season I've bought over 1000 gallons so far and the price has not changed - $2.10 a gallon. I expect my next (and probably last for the season) fill will be higher, but it won't be $4 or $5/gallon.
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Most states and provinces now promote fuel conservation, therefore now have guides on line to help residents compare heating costs. In most places electric heat is the most expensive, followed closely by propane, natural gas somewhat less, and oil fuel cheapest by far.
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Average BTU* content for various energy fuels:
Propane Gas (LP) 91,500 Btu per Gallon
Electricity 3,413 Btu per Kilowatt Hour (KWH)
Amount of fuel required to obtain one million Btu:
Propane Gas (LP) 11 Gallons per million Btu
Electricity 293 KWH per million Btu ___________________
So 11 gallons of propane are costing you $36.30 (3.30 * 11)
Enough electric to get the same BTUs would cost you 293 * 0.656 = $19.22
If you used, say, 900 KWH per month you would be way ahead with electric even with the $18.80 added on. But are you sure that the $0.656 per KWH is all there is? That's similar to our rate but there is ALSO a "fuel oil adjustment" that just about doubles it.
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On 02/19/2014 03:30 PM, dadiOH wrote:

New math?
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