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Thread: Ranting and Raving

  1. #841
    Aspen and Volare Junior Member Autostocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalkervette View Post
    I have a propane fireplace (heat is via three heat pumps). I hate running the fireplace, it smells the house up. Like you, I always think there is a leak.

    My next house will be all electric with a whole house back up gen.
    I had a 1,700 sf house that was all electric baseboard heat. Everything was updated to the latest technology in 2004, including smart line-voltage thermostats in every room. It still cost me a fortune to heat that place. It also had a nice natural fireplace with an insert and fan that I'd crank up whenever I could. Want to say my electric bill one month was $600.
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  2. #842
    Aspen and Volare Super Member Stalkervette's Avatar
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    That is insane - with three heat pumps and electric HWH my bills average around 250/month. And that is heating and cooling over 4,000 sf. I'm part of a co-op, that helps tremendously with the costs.
    Let's Go Brandon!

  3. #843
    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    Before I bought my house in 1997, I rented a house in the boonies (1989-1997) and it also had electric baseboard heat. Moved in at a time when heat wasn't needed much but, imagine my surprise when the cold weather returned and I got the electric bill from that month. Ouch. Went from about $50-60 in the summer to instant $350, then winter came and it got really cold out. Monthly bill was anywhere from $500-$600. Fortunately, rent on the house was only $300/month. It was a split level on a slope, the kind where it looks like 2 stories in front and one story in back. There was no heat in the more or less unfinished lower level, with an open staircase. The landlord put a small propane furnace in and had the tanks and line installed. That helped but the lower electric bill was offset by the propane bill. Electric heat, not a good idea. My house has electric heat in the attached garage (was there when I bought the house) which I rarely turn on. When I do, the electric meter almost explodes, lol. The back garage/shop is a Reznor natural gas furnace hanging from the ceiling. I had a gas usage meter installed when the furnace was put in, mostly out of curiosity about how much it costs to heat. Keeping it at a constant 70 degrees, even in the coldest months, costs roughly $30/month. Of course now that Brandon ef'd everything up, it'll be higher now but still WAY, WAY less than electric would be. Our electric rates here are not exactly the lowest in the country by a long shot. What I really wished I could have afforded to do when I had the garage built, was put in a boiler with hydronic floor heat. The Ford dealer I worked at for 18 years had heated floors in the shop, along with a big forced air recovery furnace in the ceiling and,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it was AWESOME! My house originally had in floor heat but it's long since been abandoned and replace with forced air. It was built in 1946 and the heat pipes are copper, which my air test proved were what you'd call leaky. Seems the concrete corroded the copper out (slab on grade construction).
    Last edited by aspen79; 1 Week Ago at 01:06 PM.
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  4. #844
    Super Moderator 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    We have a propane gas furnace that I haven`t hardly used for years. I use my pellet stove for heat. The house stays hot and is cheaper than propane.

  5. #845
    Aspen and Volare Rattle Trap's Avatar
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    This is going to take you a few minutes, but if you've got or considering getting propane my experience is worth the read. It starts out slowly...

    I've got Pex line in my garage floors. I really need to drag the wood burner over to the welder some summer and bore holes in the top of it to run lines thru. I'll just run it off a 80 gallon water heater when I'm not out there. Probably run a propane line to it. I wouldn't have the wood resources to run all the time if I wanted to, and it's either expensive or a lot of labor anyhow. Not going to try and do pellet or wood boiler. So much headache, and the EPA likes to get involved. They shut the guy down the road from me down. He was burning all manner of construction crap in his wood boiler, but there isn't a house for half a mile from him. I never smelled whatever he was burning. I just watched the smoky smolder from my window sometimes. Not sure why it was ever any of their damn business in the first place. Stay off a man's property and leave him alone, unless he leaves it and causes a problem interacting with others. Is that so difficult?

    It sucks that there's so few hours of daylight in winter when solar would really be a benefit to electric heat. That's what they've pointed out in the "green energy" FRAUD. It would take entirely too much storage capacity, which would occupy entirely too much space, to run a nation like ours through a winter. Unless there are serious and I mean Very Serious breakthroughs in battery storage capacity and charge times, it's the same worthlessly doomed technology it was at the beginning of the 20th Century. I had electric heat one time. State of the art 1990's stuff. Nearly broke me to get thru that winter. Never rented anything with that crap ever again in my life. For all the improvements in technology, it's not that much better today. I'd rather not put all my eggs in one insanely expensive basket anyhow. Especially where I live and have one of the highest priced electric providers. Now with deregulation, it's a little lower, but that's still typically nearly $200-mo. w/o heat costs.

    Now when it comes to propane, I'll admit it isn't the most efficient or cheap fuel. That prick down the road from me who got his wood boiler shut down is probably laughing anyhow. He's also the only one out here who has Nat Gas. His only condition for running the pipeline across his property was that they tapped him in and he never has to pay for what he uses for the duration of his lifetime. Man, I'd have my truck and Everything running on it if I were him! But I digress. Because I can't complain. I'd like to but I can't. I bought a Weil McLain Ultra boiler when they were still pretty fresh on the market. Many have failed since then, and techs like to say the aluminum boiler jacket was a bad idea. I like to point out to those techs that their failure to recognize aluminum becomes the sacrificial metal in a tap water system run through copper baseboards, if they have failed to add glycol. They complain, and I get to tell them where they screwed themselves in not upselling the customers, and having a maintenance schedule on keeping up the antifreeze in the lines too. Plus there's some simple maintenance schedule things the homeowner can and should be doing with them. Mostly I've discovered it on my own. Must be pretty good at it since I've got nearly 20 years out of this thing so far and looking for many more. I'm truly disappointed that it gave me trouble this week. Things seem to be getting back to normal now. I know it's still not running right, but it's running. And if it's running poorly, I know that means I've got CRAP in the bottom of my tank, and I just need to get it out of there. I'd rather run as much out of the bottom of this tank as I can, than have it start infecting the next one.

    I've got a really good price on Propane this year. $1.59/gal. +tax, and a single $50 delivery fee, through an upstart local company trying to make headway against the $#%@& _%*!#$^$# that seem to run everything in this area. There have been years I paid $1.16, and years I paid $2.79 tho. And I'm guessing you can guess which years by who was running the country.


    But there are 3 most important things with propane, and they're kind of intertwined. I'll try to break them apart.

    #1. Own your OWN Tank. Having a provided tank means you pay at least 25 cents more per gallon. Rental fees are a &*+@#
    If you are Buying that house on a mortgage, Spend the Money in advance and BUY A TANK. Take a loan out if you have to. Some places will allow a payment arrangement right thru them as long as you remain a customer, but that also means paying their price which may not be the lowest on the market. That's how I got my tank thru the big guys. Had a monthly bill all year round on that tank, but had to pay whatever lower price THEY were offering for "owning your own tank" in the winter.

    #2. Buy a BIG ENOUGH Tank to run your seasons. I only heat with my propane, and 2,100 sf takes me over 750 gallons per winter. On a 1,000 gallon tank they will always allow an 85% fill on, that is 850 gal and a SINGLE BILL for the year. I like that concept and I save for it. And then it's done with. When I first started out on this scheme, they set me a "provided" 500 gallon tank. I was handing them another $400+ per month as they tried to keep it above 30%. They can only ever fill a 500 to 425 and it "needs" refilled at 150. It NEVER refills itself to a lower grade fuel as the gas tries to expand into the emptiness, it just runs out, and it's expensive when they refill it at least 5 times per winter.

    You have to understand compressed gasses. They will always try to refill their volume. Volume is important. They dilute themselves to refill it. That's why mild winter weather has my boiler running inefficiently. I know after several seasons of poorly timed refills at higher percentages than 150 gallon, which is 15% on this 1,000 gallon tank has left trash in the bottom. I'm not worried about it, as long as it doesn't also try to kill me. And it's also why I'm trying to run as much of this garbage out as I can get away with before refilling.


    A couple of my friends are currently a little "hateful" (jokingly of course) that I'll be getting such a good price after running as much of this trash out of the bottom of my tank as possible. But the deeper I go trying to reach that 15% that equals the same 30% in a tank half this size, the more those gasses will attempt to dilute themselves in this mild weather. And in a tank this size, they have plenty opportunity to do it also. It's a gamble. This sucker could just as easily decide, hey joker, I can't run on this crap you're feeding me, do you think I'm a lawnmower or something? And then it tries to kill me. And then I go thru what I've been thru in the past couple days. So even though I'm only down to 19% currently, I'm going to try to arrange for delivery sometime around right after the 24th. I think I can get away with that.
    Volare Magnet

  6. #846
    Super Moderator 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    I get raped on propane around here at $3 to 4 a gallon. They all are around the same costs so shopping around does nothing. Pellet stove is a piece of cake. I use about one bag a day except in frigid weather. $6 a bag x 30 days $180 a month. I only use propane for the water heater and stove. Electric baseboard is the worst IMO.
    Last edited by 77rr2x4s; 1 Week Ago at 07:43 PM.

  7. #847
    Aspen and Volare Super Member Mopars1's Avatar
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    Back in 2002 I purchased land at Lake Egypt in Southern Illinois. I know it doesn't get quite as cold as it does in your more Northern areas, but it still gets cold enough. The next year I started to build a house as sort of a getaway from the stress in the working world. As I was getting the main structure built and had all the plumbing and wiring in along with all the interior walls I had been thinking about what I was going to do about insulating and heating the place. I saw an advertisement in the area's co-op monthly news letter about baseboard heating. I ordered five baseboard units and then I found someone that sprayed in closed cell foam that lived close by. I put up the ceiling drywall so I could get the walls and ceiling insulated. Two inches of the closed cell foam and all was sealed up tight. I finished the house and for many years until I sold the house three years ago, My heating and cooling bill with all electric never was over $92. Of course the house was only 720 square feet but if I could have had that foam sprayed at my main house when I was remodeling, my gas and electric bills would lower than the $169 a month with budget billing at this time. By the way, the house at the lake was on top of a concrete slab.
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  8. #848
    Aspen and Volare Rattle Trap's Avatar
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    I'm really happy to have this local fuel company that tries to take care of customers who live here as they do. Obviously they're still making money at the prices they offer for home delivery or at their area gas stations. I do as much business with them as possible, trying to keep the bigger companies and corporate stores from dictating our supply.

    The other places around here were $2.19 at Ferral Gas, up to $2.49 elsewhere for fuel when I called around in early September. I had to ask her to repeat the price when she said $1.59! Went right over and locked in my price the same day.

    I bet my house would really benefit from sprayed in insulation too.
    Volare Magnet

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