Electric vs propane

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Yeah, not snipping is almost as annoying as people who change the subject line and break up threads.
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On 2/25/2014 10:12 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

What's worse is people who write under header of "electric versus propane" and go off on drift.
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Christopher A. Young
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Hey...look what I found under the header of "electric vs. propane"...


http://youtube.com/watch?v=zaPnOASOWIU

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On 02/25/2014 10:59 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

As others have stated, I'd choose propane over electric. Electric has become too unreliable to trust for heating a house.
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I am fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest where electric rates are cheap. We use electric for heating, cooking, hot water, etc. Our electric is also quite reliable, with less than one short outage per year (usually only during wind or ice storms).
I personally prefer electric, even if it cost a little more.
Electricity can be generated in multiple ways. Hydropower, wind power, solar, nuclear, natural gas generators, coal fired generators, etc. If the grid went down for some reason I could always get a generator and make my own electricity. I like that flexibility.
Switching between other fuel sources (propane, natural gas, coal, oil, etc.) isn't quite so easy. It usually involves an expensive replacement of the heating equipment and connections to ductwork.
Electricity is also relatively safe. I don't have to worry about gas leaks, explosions, or carbon monoxide poisoning. As long as the wiring is installed correctly and I keep butter knives out of the light sockets, I don't have much to worry about.
That said, I also believe in redundancy. In our last home our furnace went out in the middle of a very cold winter. We had no heat for two weeks while we waited for a part to be delivered. I learned not to rely on a single heating source.
When we built our new house, we used individual room heaters. Even if two or three heaters were to fail, we still have heat in the other rooms. It's also more efficient being able to provide only the heat that's needed in the individual room (we tend to keep the bedrooms cooler for sleeping).
We also have a woodstove. We use it mostly for ambiance and a little extra heat on cold evenings, but it's nice to have yet another backup heat source when the power goes out.
It would be nice to generate at least part of our own electricity. But, living in the forest we don't get enough wind or sunlight, and don't have a creek available for micro-hydro. So, I buy the electric and keep our trees.
If new cars didn't cost more than my first home, I would love to have an electric car. But at those prices I'll make do with the $800 car I've driven the last 25+ years. :)
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On 2/26/2014 10:38 AM, HerHusband wrote:

Glad that works for you. I think that a lot of our day to day decisions are greatly influenced by Our Nation's Leaders, and their policies. Prices of various fuels are highly dependant on permits to drill, transport, refine, etc.
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On 02/26/2014 10:38 AM, HerHusband wrote:

Our electric service was excellent until deregulation. Now it's all cheapest bidder mentality. Sure, deregulation shaved a few pennies a year off my bill but I also had to spend $5500 on a whole house genset.
I'd rather have the regulated electric company back along with their formerly excellent service.
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On Wednesday, February 26, 2014 10:38:17 AM UTC-5, HerHusband wrote:

If the grid went down, you could generate heat with a generator to run a few electric heaters without regard to whether you were using oil, nat gas, propane or anything else as a regula source for heat. But if you had one of those other fuels, you could rely on the generator just to run the blower or water pump and heat the whole house normally using just a few hundred watts. A generator is a poor way of generating resistance electric heat and you're only going to get 5Kw of electric heat out of a 5kw generator. It would be like running 4 hair dryers.

You can't switch between hydro, nuclear, coal, nat gas etc either. Only your electric company can do that.

Plenty of houses have burned down from fires caused by electricity.

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On 2/26/2014 5:41 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

If you had some way to duct the exhaust outdoors, the heat from the generator engine would probably help a lot. Noisy, but a source of heat.
During my most recent power cut, the NG was still on, so I wired my generator into the furnace. That provided the most comfortable heat.
I ran some numbers from generator catalogs, think I remember that a gal of gas makes about 4,000 watts for an hour. If memory serves, that is. Those four hair dryers going to use a lot of gasoline.
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As I said, I have a redundant heat source. If the electric grid went down, I still have a wood stove for heating.
My point was electric offers flexibility. If you have oil or propane heat and run out of fuel, then what? If natural gas prices soar in coming years, what options do you have? You can generate electricity with other fuels. You can't generate other fuels from anything else.

I don't have to make any changes as supplies become scarce or technology improves. My power company can obtain electricity from any of those sources to keep rates lowest.

True. I just feel more comfortable with electricity. Personal preference.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Thursday, February 27, 2014 11:24:44 AM UTC-5, HerHusband wrote:

If the power lines go down in a storm with electric, then what? And in my experience, that's a lot more likely than to have NG interrupted. We went through a week of no electricity here in NJ during Sandy, but I had NG the whole time.
If natural gas prices soar in coming years,

If electric prices soar in coming years, which isn't unlikely if the cap and trade folks prevail, then what options do you have? You can make that argument with regard to any fuel source.
You can generate electricity with other fuels.

You're completely ignoring the huge inefficiency in generating electricity, not to mention that you'd have to have eqpt capable of using any fuel. If you have a gallon of fuel oil, you could put it into a diesel generator that drives an electric heater or you could put it into an oil furnace. You'd probably get 2X the heat out of the furnace. And with an oil furnace or boiler, I can heat the whole house easily. If you take that gallon of fuel oil and put in in a diesel generator, then use it to power resistance heat, it's hugely inefficient. As I pointed out, with a 5KW generator, you'd power 4 hair dryers.

Really? Keep rates lowest? In most of the USA, electric resistance heat is by far the most expensive way of heating and that is with todays prices as well as the price history of the past many decades. If electric heat is so peachy keen, why don't we see it being used, except in special cases?

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On 2/27/2014 11:44 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Sm: Good to know, the gas was still on. I enjoy having a rather old gas cook top, with pilot lights.

SM: So, so true.

SM: With a diesel generator, don't most of those dump the heat outdoors with radiator and fins?
And with an oil furnace or boiler, I can

SM: So, so true. Four hair dryers doesn't do much.

SM: Account of cost, as you observed.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

What did you use to power your furnace or heater fans?
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On 2/27/2014 7:29 PM, JAS wrote:

A couple folks have given us sitreps from Sandy, but I'd be curious to hear it again.
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Christopher A. Young
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Generator
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On 2/28/2014 3:13 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Expand.
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Christopher A. Young
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On 02/28/2014 07:41 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

G e n e r a t o r ?
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On 2/28/2014 12:08 PM, Bill wrote:

Best giggle I've had in a while. Thank you.
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Christopher A. Young
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

One that will run 4 hair dryers? The gasoline to run it coast what?
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On 2/28/2014 1:21 PM, JAS wrote:

> gasoline to run it coast what?

Plenty. and the generator dumps a lot of heat from the combustion.
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