Home Heating Options for Rural Midwest Residents?

SoCalMike wrote:

If the price of crude goes up to $200 a barrel, the price of ehtanol will also shoot up, and so will the price of vegetable oil. The result will be that the price of other farm products will also increase. More expensive food for the West, famine for Asia.
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The word is "effects", Steve, "Effects". (snip) The particulate matter could easily be extracted with a centrifuge. The silicone oil would mostly hydrolyze in the catalyzed transesterification process, and wash out with water separation. Any remainder would exit on the exhaust cycle, and pale to insignificance to the dirt in the crankcase. The engine oil has a small amount of silicone oil in it to control foaming anyway, and inevitably some of it blows by the piston rings into the upper cylinder. No big deal. Also, some airborne fine silica and silicates get past the air filter anyway, again, no big deal. It is not that the things you say are untrue, they are just not significant, and are blown out of proportion by the propagandizers of the MOB controlled grease collection business.-Jitney
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He certainly has never had to filter the grease every night, with the big scoop of powder I can safely say.
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Neon John wrote:

In my area, the restauranteur has to pay to have the oil/grease taken away, and they take their good easy time about it, often forcing the operator to store the oil in outside the bin containers. It is a typical lazy monopoly business because like so much of the waste hauling industry, it is controlled by organized crime. To hell with them and their phoney morality/legality.-Jitney
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What comment did P.T. Barnum make about that? Or are you referring to the comment David Hannum made of Barnum's customers?
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Typical, perhaps, but not 100% of all agrements are like yours are they?

Assuming he is scavenging, how can you make the statements above? How can you accuse him of receiving stolen property when you don't have a clue what agreements he may or may not have? I'm amazed at how you have intimate knowledge of someone else's sources of oil.
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On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 16:00:54 GMT, Dan Bloomquist

In my parts, the only way to obtain an appreciable amount of waste cooking oil is to steal it from restaurants.
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snipped-for-privacy@kfc.net wrote:

Instead of stealing it, you could ask them for it. I have never had one turn me down anywhere I've traveled.
--
Steve Spence
Dir., Green Trust, http://www.green-trust.org
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Do they make a portable vented unit?
Something one could use in an apartment but move easily if needed?
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If you're going to switch from oil, then you're going to need a new furnace. If you're considering buying a new furnace, you might as well consider a new, efficient oil furnace.
The usual alternatives are oil, gas (propane or natural), electric resistance, electric heat pump, gas heat pump. Heat pumps have the advantage of providing air conditioning in the summer, but probably will not be cheaper than an efficient oil furnace when it comes to providing heat in the winter.
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That last is likely wrong with the higher oil prices.
They do however usually have higher maintenance costs, and more variable in the sense that the outside conditions make more difference to the cost of the heat. Not that hard to have cheap solar for the outside heat collector tho which can make quite a difference to the cost of the heat.
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Heat pumps use electricity, which is usually always the most expensive form of ebergy over the long term. The pricing situation that exists right now with oil will either drive electricity prices up or will drop back to a more typical level.
The largest problem with heat pumps is that they don't work at all when the outside temp drops below freezing. The system kicks over into resistive heating then. Brings new meaning to the words "spinning top" when you watch your electric meter under those conditions.
A relative just installed a geothermal heat pump, which works by using a dozen or so closed loop wells, sunk 50' under the house. Since ground temps are around 50 degrees year round at that level, frezze up is not a concern. Must ask them how their electric bill is - they've had it for just over a year now.
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"Clark W. Griswold, Jr." wrote:

You're mixing metaphors here--while electric <resistance> heat may have been expensive compared to others, the heat pump doesn't use the electricity as the heat source. Plus, those comparative figures need to be updated given the cost of oil and gas at current prices. So far, electricity hasn't been hit as hard.

We had geothermal heat pump in TN and it cut heating costs by over half compared to the air-exchange heat pump. I recommend them as a worthy alternative.
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Heat pumps work by using electrical compressors, which use a significant amount of electricity. When a heat pump rolls over to using resistive heating, it uses even more electricity.

You have to look at energy costs over the life of the heat pump (20+ years), not just a few months.
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"Clark W. Griswold, Jr." wrote:

So do air conditioners, yet we don't think they're so extravagent. :)

But to compare costs from one period to those at present and whatever one projects as where oil/gas prices are going to historical data from 10 or 20 years ago isn't very useful either. I never said a thing about short term comparisons, only that one needs to reevaluate old saws under present conditions.
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Clark W. Griswold, Jr. wrote:

Heat pumps don't use as much electricity as you seem to think. My heat pump draws just 9 amps at 240 volts when running. Heat pumps don't manufacture heat, they just move it around, which accounts for their 300% to 500% efficiency.
You are right about the resistive backup heat being expensive, but you can use any backup heat that you like. On cold nights, I light a fire in the wood stove, so the heat pump never kicks on. The hearth doesn't cool until the middle of the next day, when temperatures have normally risen again. In mild weather, we just let the heat pump do its thing.
I pay more to heat domestic water than I pay to heat my house. A solar water heater is definitely on my wish list.
Larry
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Clark W. Griswold, Jr. wrote:

This is not quantitative. Let's see. Say you have a source of ground water heat. Then it would be reasonable to expect a COP of 3 or 4. Fuel oil will run some $3/100,000btu unless you bought futures. Electricity at say $.08/kwh would translate to $.70/100,000btu. Resistance heating to $2.35/100,000btu.

If you have the ground water there should be no rollover.
Capital cost for such a system is higher than fueled heat so of course must be considered.
Best, Dan.
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Well damn, Dan, if I have a geothermal spring in my back yard I won't have rollover either. Few people have access to ground water so why even bring it up? As in many places, it's against local ordinances to drill a well inside the city limits so even if people have the land, city dwellers can't use the water under it.
Drop that COP down to maybe 1.5 for a high efficiency air exchange heatpump operating in an ambient in the 30s and you'll be much closer to reality. Not much better than 1.1 for older units.
Electricity might still win out in some areas but one won't know using garbage numbers.
To address another commentator in this thread, no, I don't have to evaluate the 20 year cost of a heat pump to determine its payback. If I have multiple sources of heat, I can choose the cheapest for any given time period. A high efficiency heat pump is probably going to be the winner in moderate conditions during the spring and fall but some sort of combustion source will win in the dead of winter. Traditionally NG but probably propane which is holding steady in price so far, wood or corn or other biomass this year. Maybe even electricity. TVA has only increased its rate by 7% which pales against predicted increases elsewhere.
I'd want to have at least two sources of heat and preferably 3. I actually have 4, counting the wood stove. Electricity, NG, propane and wood. I have a NG furnace with a heat pump A coil above it so two of my sources operate from the same thermostat. Just a matter of which one I flip the switch on.
John
On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 17:46:50 GMT, Dan Bloomquist

--
John De Armond
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Neon John wrote:

....
But almost everybody can have a ground-exchange buried loop....
And, I would expect that one could get permission for closed-loop water-exchange system in many places that have rules against private wells for residential irrigation or potable use.
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Not necessarily with a heat pump.

Nope, because very little electricity comes from oil in the first world.

It wont have any effect on the price of electricity.

That is just plain wrong, and you carefully deleted what I did have to say about doing something about that as well.

No it doesnt if its designed for that situation.

Mindless stuff.

And that isnt the only way to do something about freeze up with a heat pump. And there are plenty of real world heating situations where freeze up isnt a problem too.

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