Home Heating Options for Rural Midwest Residents?

Page 2 of 8  
Jonathan Grobe wrote:

You might want to look into the corn furnaces. I think they are among the more pricey alternatives in terms of initial layout, but they're inexpensive to run. One bushel of corn produces about the same amount of BTUs as 4 gallons of fuel oil, so you can use that to compare the actual fuel costs based on prices in your area. Wood pellet stoves are another similar alternative (a lot of corn burning stoves are basically slightly modified pellet stoves), but seeing as your in the rural midwest and all...well, you get the picture.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 16:25:42 +0000 (UTC), Jonathan Grobe

You didn't say where you live soooo...
Take a comprehensive approach. (This is deja vue all over again from the 70s :-)
First, according to what you can afford, cut down your energy need. Eliminate air infiltration. Insulate. Cover windows with plastic. Caulk. Weatherstrip. Install E-glass thermal pane windows. Close off unused or little used rooms.
For heating, instead of heating the whole house, heat only the occupied rooms. Use radiant heat instead of hot air. Radiant heat heats you and objects it strikes and not everything. A radiant heater placed over your favorite TV chair will heat you (and yer babe) and the chair but not the whole house. For stationary activities, consider an electric throw or blanket. Really nice to snuggle up under :-) Turn the heat down at night and use electric blankets. I like it cold so I heat my place only enough to keep the pipes from freezing and then use all of the above at various times.
These guys make some really nifty radiant heaters:
http://www.reverberray.com /
I use the ceramic surface burner heaters that mount of propane tanks for spot heating. http://www.reverberray.com/products/pt.html . They have all sorts of warnings about not using these indoors but they work fine, do not emit CO (a detector is vital, however), require little outside air and work great. I started using the smaller model back in oh, 1983 or thereabouts. If you don't want a propane tank indoors then sit it outside and run a line in. The heater uses ordinary 11" of water low pressure propane.
Consider several methods of heat all at once. Passive solar heating isn't difficult if your house faces the right direction. Active collectors if your house doesn't face the right direction. Simple collectors to heat air can be built from common building materials. This month's Home Power magazine http://www.homepower.com/magazine / has a good article on building a convection driven (no fan) solar hot air collector using black screen wire, clear corrugated roofing and some lumber. You can buy this issue online now or you can wait a month and download it as the sample issue.
The guy who wrote the article built a collector that completely heats his shop for about $500.
For radiant heat, compare the price of electricity and propane and choose accordingly. The ceramic surface burner propane heaters are very efficient. I heated my whole house one winter when I had wholesale propane available.
If the prices are OK, consider wood heat. I buy hickory wood here for $100/cord delivered, split and stacked. About $80/cord if I would go pick it up. A high efficiency catalytic wood stove can heat a few rooms for a cord or two a winter. Especially if combined with other methods.
I suggest building a spreadsheet to compare the various energy costs, including the initial cost to get set up. If you have several methods of heating at your disposal, you can pick the one or ones that are the cheapest at any given time.
To summarize, reduce the amount of heat you need and look at multiple alternative methods. Notice that I didn't include being uncomfortable. No need to freeze all winter if you put a little thought into the problem.
John
--
John De Armond
See my website for my current email address
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you know of a source of a good portable radiant elect heater?
Something that is up in the air and point DOWN?
I once bought a electric radiant floor model. It worked OK but I think a key thing abt radiant heat is that you mount it somewhat high and have it pointing down. Agree?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oooo..... you don't mind using these inside?
Id be a bit concerned abt it
Surely you don't run them when sleeping right?
Like you tho....I want something portable.
I wish I could find some kind of portable heater that is highly mobile but has some kind of neat venting to the outside
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| Currently I heat with heating oil with an old, inefficient | furnace and with the massive increase in energy prices I | am looking at alternatives. Natural gas is NOT available | in my small town. Any thoughts on the various alternatives | which are available and which is the best? | | Thanks. | Monitor heaters are popular hear abouts. try www.monitorforpresident.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Make biodiesel and mix it 50/50 with your HHO.
--
Steve Spence
Dir., Green Trust, http://www.green-trust.org
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

At today's oil prices, biodiesel is 30% more than fuel oil.
Normal people do not make biodiesel. They do burn biomass directly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eric Gisin wrote:

You must have missed his previous posts.
Best, Dan.
--
Add one for email



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dan Bloomquist wrote:

And your responses. Get a clue.
--
Steve Spence
Dir., Green Trust, http://www.green-trust.org
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eric Gisin wrote:

I make biodiesel for $0.70 / gallon, so it's not such a stupid idea. If normal people do not make biodiesel, how come biodiesel processor kits are sold out at every major vendor? We can't keep up with the demand.
--
Steve Spence
Dir., Green Trust, http://www.green-trust.org
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I suppose they use biodiesel for transportation. Again, why not burn the material you make the biodiesel out of directly?
--
Jonathan Grobe Books
Browse our inventory of thousands of used books at:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jonathan Grobe wrote:

You just answered the question. Secondly, some use is made of biomass for energy directly--waste-fired generation for one is largely biomass-fueled.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jonathan Grobe wrote:

Many folks do burn the waste veggie oil directly (we do), others make biodiesel out of it (we do as well). Many folks are using the biodiesel in their home heating oil furnaces, where using veggie oil is harder to do. If you have a brand new diesel car or truck, you may not want to install a veggie oil conversion kit (or you might, which is why we are giving a class on how to do it on Oct. 2nd), when biodiesel requires no vehicle modifications.
--
Steve Spence
Dir., Green Trust, http://www.green-trust.org
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Spence wrote:

No you don't. You are recovering a rather limited waste stream. Someone else produced that oil.

This would demonstrate a lack of product but not much else.

You need a business plan.
Best, Dan.
--
Add one for email



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dan Bloomquist wrote:

I said I make biodiesel. I never said I make vegetable oil. You seem to be confused.

No, it shows a big spike in demand.

We have business plans. They didn't forecast Katrina and $3.60 / gallon gasoline. The claim was that "normal" people aren't making biodiesel. I have lawyers, farmers, accountant, mechanics, and pastors coming to our classes. They all seem pretty normal to me. The numbers are increasing. I spoke with one Canadian farmer today who is pressing his own mustard seed oil, and using it in his farm equipment. I think the abnormal folks are the ones who reside on this newsgroup, telling those who are doing, that it can't be done.

--
Steve Spence
Dir., Green Trust, http://www.green-trust.org
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Spence wrote:

It is not that it can't be done. It is that it doesn't have a meaningful impact on present demand.
Like putting a band aid on a severed artery.
Best, Dan.
--
Add one for email



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dan Bloomquist wrote:

It has a very meaningful impact upon the demand of the user who decides to go that route.
--
Steve Spence
Dir., Green Trust, http://www.green-trust.org
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Spence wrote:

Reminds me back to when I had a store front in a small town. The occasional survivalist would come in and talk about living off the land. Hunting deer. I would think to myself. "You and several dozen hunters per acre chasing the same scrawny deer..."
You don't seem to get it. You seem to think you are going to do so much better than others as the demand for oil outstrips the ability to produce. This makes you the wealthy guy on the block.
Wealth inequity requires enforcement. Always has, always will.
Best, Dan.
--
Add one for email



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You wont see too many looting biodiesel supplys when their car cant even use it.
And it would be a public service to put a bullet in those so stupid that they cant work out the difference between biodiesel and gasoline anyway.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 16:00:54 GMT, Dan Bloomquist

And assuming he's scavenging waste oil from restaurants, he's stealing someone else's property. Waste oil is a valuable chemical feedstock. When it's sitting in the tank behind the restaurant, it does not belong to the restaurant operator.
By either not charging for the pickup or even in some cases, paying for it, the restaurant operator signs an agreement with the waste oil processor to a) put all his waste oil in the supplied tank and b) not to allow it to go anywhere else.
My agreement is typical. Title to the waste oil transfers when it leaves my fryers. It is not mine to give away. If this guy is scavenging the oil from restaurant waste oil tanks then he is stealing from the waste oil processor. If he has "permission" from the restaurant operator then the operator is violating his agreement with the processor and is stealing the oil from them. This guy is receiving stolen property.
I've chatted with my waste oil processor and know that this theft is becoming a major concern to the waste oil processors. Someone is going to be made an example of. In this state one only has to steal more than $100 for it to be felony theft. That's not much oil, particularly if the thief is doing it on a regular basis.
A couple of other thoughts for those folks considering using waste fryer oil.
We restaurant operators remove heat-induced polymers (the yellow gel that collects on fryers) from the oil by filtering it with treated pumice. Some amount of this stuff remains in the oil and causes fairly rapid wear of the roller type pumps we use to pump the oil. The cute little filters included in the veggie diesel kits that I've looked at will NOT remove this fine abrasive material.
Fryer oil is treated with a small amount of silicone oil to prevent foaming. This oil is inert at frying temperatures and remains in the waste. It decomposes at high heat to make silica dust which is a fine abrasive. Since the oil remains a liquid until burned, the silica can't be removed by filtering and probably not by any reasonably inexpensive treatment.
How much of this makes it to the combustion chamber is anyone's guess but considering the cost of injector pumps (older diesels) and variable direct injection injectors (modern engines), I'd certainly not fool with it. Modern injectors such as the ones used on the current production Ford diesels contain parts finished to micron-level tolerances. Even microscopic wear ruins these parts. At an estimated replacement cost of nearly a thousand bux a cylinder, a few cents per gallon saving using veggie oil just isn't worth it.
Yeah I know there are fleets testing the stuff but few if any are using pure veggie oil, none are making the stuff at home and there is little high mileage wear data.
Every individual can do as he pleases, of course, but for my fleet, nothing but high quality diesel goes in my trucks' tanks.

Probably for the same reason fuel line magnets and other quack devices sell so well. P.T. Barnum commented on that....
John
--
John De Armond
See my website for my current email address
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.