Fuel Cost

velvetfoot Posted By velvetfoot, Feb 12, 2013 at 2:10 PM

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 5, 2005
    9,065
    662
    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.
     
  2. Augie

    Augie
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 8, 2012
    468
    234
    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 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 28, 2006
    11,738
    1,900
    Loc:
    Cascade Foothills, 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 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 14, 2007
    4,355
    610
    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 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 27, 2008
    3,577
    621
    Loc:
    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 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 5, 2005
    9,065
    662
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Are the life spans of mini split heat pumps similar (10 years)?
     
  7. sloeffle

    sloeffle
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 1, 2012
    289
    32
    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 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    61,954
    7,924
    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 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 27, 2008
    3,577
    621
    Loc:
    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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