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Fuel Cost

Post in 'The Green Room' started by velvetfoot, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,475
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    The simplest thing is a wood stove, although some have cats to replace, there are the firebricks and fans for some. Actually the simplest would be electric resistance. The others have electronic controls, switches, augers, whatever.

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  2. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    North Of Canada
    I look at it this way, wood for me is minimal cost, for now, Stove Purchase all up was less than $1200(incredible deal, buddy owed me a favor and he owns a Fireplace/Stone Store). I usually spend about 700 keeping my house in the low 60's every winter. Ill spend very little to keep my house in the 70's and so my total cost, Opportunity cost +real cost, by my calculations puts me ahead this year...
  3. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,878
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    We all should have a woodstove and a saw in any case. I just can't imagine a home without a form of woodheat available. I own a gun but do not shoot people, often. Electric resistance heat in the form of a built in wall heater is extremely cheap and dependable. We're talking less than 150 bucks per heater and you can zone heat.

    Like BB, I am concerned with life expectancy of heat pumps. I have several coworkers that have had to replace their entire systems after less than 10 years. 1000$ per year for equipment.
  4. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
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    3,471
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    Natural gas and electric prices have shot up here in NE to 5 year highs since last Summer.
    Oil and a wood stove is still working for me, but I'm too far from NG.
  5. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,577
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    SE PA
    I think service life for HP should def be taken into account. I pump ~60 MBTU/yr, so after 600-900 MBTU, the thing is caput. If I keep my ductwork, a new compressor + blower (they are often paired) should cost <$5k. That works out to $5-8 more per MBTU. Still has a good margin relative to oil and has low annual maintenance (which for oil would be $1000-1500 w/o parts over the same period).

    When I bought a HP in 2008, I picked a cheapo brand and a mid-range eff unit, figuring I would get 10 years. Over that period, the higher eff unit did not pay back its difference in cost. And getting a (supposedly) more reliable (and more expensive) brand....the units in 2018+ are gonna be a lot more eff than 2008 models....a more reliable unit might cost me more money and energy overall. 5 years in, the tech has already improved.

    FYI, studies have shown that 'annual checkups' on ASHPs actually shorten service life by several years on average...when the tech's kids need braces he 'finds' little problems that need to be 'fixed'. I skip the 'checkups'. I just change my filters regularly, hose off the outdoor coil every couple years and call it good.
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    6,475
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Are the life spans of mini split heat pumps similar (10 years)?
  7. sloeffle

    sloeffle Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    101
    Loc:
    Morrow County, Ohio
    I am told that the life span on our GSHP is 25 years since their are no outside units. After the local and federal rebates I had about 1k more into it than an air source heat pump and propane furnace.

    When the temps are below 40F I try to run the wood furnace. I can't stand to listen to the geo furnace run most of the day. According to everyone I have talked to they are designed to run for longer periods of time on the first stage of heating or cooling vs off and on like a conventional gas and outside AC furnace. Like the others have said, I am sure that I am not saving allot of money but I like the idea of being somewhat self sufficient.

    When you are running A/C you can't beat the geo unit for cooling along with the free hot water.

    Scott
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    46,729
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I am expecting at least 15-20 yr life from our heat pump. That's not an unusual number, especially because we don't use it for cooling most years. It has a high end, very efficient, dual speed compressor. If it has an issue the problem is most likely going to be with a relay points or worst case scenario, a compressor. Both are far less expensive to replace than the cost of the whole unit.

    If you don't have a trustworthy dealer to have it professionally serviced, then at least lubricate the motors in addition to keeping the coils clean (outside and inside the air handler).
  9. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    2,577
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    SE PA
    Okay. Looking at the manual on the outdoor and indoor units...the manual says both are 'permanently lubricated' and do not require lubricant.

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