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OIL FURNACE DIED THINKING OF PROPANE

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by Jabbers, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Jabbers

    Jabbers Member

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    NE OHIO
    MY OIL furnace finally gave up so im in the market for something else. Here is my situation. I have a ranch with 900sqft main floor and 900sqft walk out basement. The house has blown in insulation in the walls the attic has one layer of r-12 so I need to add some more for ne ohio. I was thinking about a hi efficiency propane furnace hooked up to my duct work with ac. I have a pellet stove in the basement and a wood insert on the main floor which heat very well. I need something to cover several weekends im away plus cover anytime my stoves are down. Is there a website that has propane prices inmy area? So what do you guys think? Are there any concerns? Thanks for your help

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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  3. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    You'll have to decide if the cost difference is worth it or not. You may have tank lease fees and such that might make it less attractive. Remember a gallon of propane has 91,500btu/gallon whereas fuel oil has 138,500but/gallon. You'll have to run the numbers to get a breakeven since you probably don't use much oil anymore since you started running the insert and pellet stove.

    Get a few quotes so you can compare the costs. If your oil tank is getting a bit thin or starting to split the legs you don't want to forget to consider replacement cost of the tank.

    Matt
  4. Jabbers

    Jabbers Member

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    Oil tank is iinside and in good shape. I was thinking that propane prices in ne ohio are supposed to go down do to the masela shale deposits. Plus if I get a high efficiency it should be a lot closer.
  5. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    LPG prices are a complicated animal... usage plays a LOT into the price... My employer burns in excess of 10k gallons a month in the winter..... so they get the selkirk rate... The only gas appliance I have in my home is my gas range.... if I was contracted with a gas company... I'd be paying in excess of $4/gal... which is why I fill up a 20# propane bottle about every 6 to 8 weeks....

    The shale is natural gas.... a different animal than LPG....
  6. PastTense

    PastTense Member

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    I think you should consider electricity because you want a backup fuel which you will use relatively little. Conversely it will cost you a few thousand dollars to install propane vs a few hundred for electricity. What is your cost of electricity? Contact a couple local suppliers of propane to get that price.

    Run the numbers here:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/fuel_cost_comparison_calculator/
  7. Jabbers

    Jabbers Member

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    What electric heating are you thinking of. I looked at a heat pump but its not real efficient in cold weather. I also want whole house ac.
  8. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    Call your local propane suppliers for the price... it varies from area to area, dealer to dealer and also depends on how much you buy.

    I switched from oil to propane this year and it's a big improvement... one 30KBTU gas fireplace in the living room and a 7500BTU heater in each of the two back bedrooms. The furnace is still there but it didn't need to switch on once this winter, so it's coming out. House is about 1800 sf, no basement. The furnace ductwork is in the crawl space and leaky, not worth fixing, that and the noise and dust of hot air made me want to switch. My propane heat is silent and requires no electricity, a big plus with the weeklong power failures we've had recently Since then I've replaced the electric clothes dryer with a propane unit and I'll go to gas for DWH and cooking as those need replacement.
  9. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    I'd love to have a gas dryer..... it's too bad there is such a premium for them... and my electric maytag dryer works just fine....
  10. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    When my electric dryer shed it's belt I also noticed that it fragmented the idler pulley. Since it was 20 years old I figured that something else might be getting ready to burn out if the idler pulley was even available as a spare part for such an old machine. (It was free anyway so it didn't owe me anything.) I ran the numbers and electricity was 2.5 times as expensive as natural gas. It would also only cost $100 to run the black pipe and add a new shutoff valve, etc. It wasn't a hard decision once I saw how much more electric cost.

    I've been real happy with my gas dryer. For the past 6 months my electricity usage has been 270 something KWH/mo. About 80 to 90 of which is my Montgomery Wards branded refrigerator. 2014 is supposed to have a new load of more efficient refrigerators that are supposed to use much less electricity than they do now. The wife said she wouldn't be against getting a new one so we'll be looking at them. I'm curious how much my stove uses, but not enough to replace it.

    Matt
  11. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    270 kw/H a month? how did you pull that off? I can't get anywhere close to that... and the only electric heating appliance I have is my dryer.... Gas range, oil HWH, wood heat....
  12. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    It used to be much higher. It was something like 6 or 7 hundred on average when I first moved in. The first major change I did was put an indirect WH in when I changed the boiler over to gas. That cut a big chunk out of it. Then I moved the dryer over.to gas. Other than that, I'm the light Nazi of the family running around turning off the bathroom light and the kitchen light when nobody is in there. Well, sometimes I flip the bathroom light off when the 3 year old is taking a bath. That's always good for a laugh.

    [​IMG]

    Check out September of '12. I have no idea what happened to electric usage there. I think the belt may have been slipping on the dryer pretty bad before it went. Couple that with some AC and it was way over our next highest month in April at 423kwh.

    Other than that, it' a fairly normal house for this area at 1400 sq ft. It's not super small, but not super large either. The wife has 4 T-8s burning in the kitchen right now while she's sitting in living room. *sigh*

    Since I switched to gas I've cut way down on wood heat also. It only costs $130 a month or so to heat the house. I used to scrounge, but if I had to buy a cord a month to heat with it would probably cost more than that. I'll keep the dry oak stacked in the back yard. It'll keep.

    Matt
  13. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    My highest month was last december.... 1012kw/h..... I still haven't figured that one out, considering that my house has a 100 amp service...
  14. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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  15. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    I don't need a killa-watt... I can figure out usage using my clamp meter..... The december usage was an anomaly.... it was early into the "smart meter" being installed on my home.... which I'm still not happy about, but unless I'm planning on coming up with my own generation solution.... I'm kinda stuck.
  16. Jabbers

    Jabbers Member

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    Hp cant heat when its really cold and my house is to small for baseboards. I guess ill look into propane a bit more. I would want to get a hi efficiency one with AC. Plus it will help when I want to resell.
  17. Jabbers

    Jabbers Member

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    I found a nice calculator on line. It converts oil and propane, price per gallon, efficiency of furnace and how much oil used yearly. The calc. showed propane cheeper by $120.
  18. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    If you adding central AC, getting a HP unit of the same or slightly higher tonnage is usually only a small upcharge (its basically an AC unit with a little extra valving and circuitry). Even though the HP might not be up to a good midwestern coldsnap (say below 20°F), it would deliver much cheaper BTUs than propane the rest of the time. IOW, rather than an AC/propane furnace, look at HP/propane furnace with a duel fuel thermostat. You can burn spendy propane when the Alberta clipper goes over, but then give the propane a rest when it is 35 or 55 deg out.

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