"Oil, that is."
Originally Posted by phil ossiffee
In our area electric strips are actually cheaper to run than propane, what is your winter cost per KWH?
Order of cost to run heat in our area:
Natural gas is cheapest and best choice if you have it piped to your house.
Heat pump is best for all electric house.
Electric strips, expensive option for all electric homes.
Propane is the most expensive.
Oil heat doesn't exist in most of the south.
Thank you. I am paying close to $0.15/kwh, which seems pretty costly, probably better to have oil or propane backup. Right now propane is about 35% cheaper than oil, though the average over the past 5 years is closer to 20%. I'm thinking that the cost difference will be mitigated by using the heat pump in all but sub freezing temps. Do you think it's worthwhile to have an Infinity type system (which only runs on gas/propane), or is that overkill technology? I've also gotten the opinion that it's better to go with a Honeywell thermostat than the Carrier (I do want something that can be adjusted via phone or pc).
Originally Posted by 54regcab
Have you figured the cost per BTU using each fuel for backup?
Pull the rate schedule from your utility company to get the latest rates. Sometimes winter rates are significantly different than summer. Some utilities vary price depending on time of day.
Not sure on the Carrier/Honeywell stats. The high end systems are typically designed to work with a proprietary thermostat. If you want web enabled control look at the ecobee, excellent thermostat.
Did you compensate for the Therm difference; or is it priced by Terms?
Originally Posted by phil ossiffee
One Therm at sea level is 100,000 Btu.
Oil delivers around 140,000 Btu per gal; propane, I believe, delivers around 91,500 Btu per gal.
Therefore, propane has only 65% Btu per gal verses oil; so at 35% cheaper per gal that would make them the same cost per therm of heating.
So, is it priced by Therm or by the gal?
Last edited by udarrell; 09-03-2012 at 12:09 PM.
I have looked at each source based on the per btu or equivalent cost, at least to the degree that you can isolate the numbers. Electric rates are all over the place but added fees per kwh seem so high that it's always pricing higher than LP, NG and oil. Looks to me that unless oil prices continue to rise out of proportion to propane, that oil is slightly cheaper. But it also seems that the best HVAC systems are more geared to work with NG and propane (and electric), so you get a better system for your money when you use a gas furnace and/or heat pump. In my case, after I spend the $ to put in a propane tank, I'm getting a better setup for 10% less than I would with oil. I don't know how to weigh the cleaner, quieter properties of propane vs. the non-explosive nature of oil (a nagging worry).
I will look at the Ecobee thermostat, thanks. Still, unless it's a complete gimmick to keep people tied to the brand, I'm leaning toward the advantage of all-Infinity to keep everything as optimized and fully functioning as possible.
More like severe melting of the drain pan problems, plus a little airflow.
Originally Posted by udarrell
To be blunt, how much money you got? (rhetorical question, please don't say.)
In your situation, I'd go Geothermal.
If thats out of your price range, then step down to Oil/propane with a heat pump.
Anytime your using those "expensive fuels", I'd throw a heat pump on it.
"Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."
"Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."
"Just get it done son."
Thanks for the input; I think geothermal is beyond the budget. Am planning a heat pump and propane or oil furnace.
Have you considered all tax credits and local/utility rebates? It's the rebates/tax credits that makes geo feasible.
I think it's about a 30% credit? But I think the up-front is more than double, no -- maybe a net after tax of $10,000+? Have to admit I haven't really looked into it carefully given the total cost.
The gas versus oil choice really comes down to the creature comforts, features and benefits. IMO, gas has all of those features and as others have pointed out, changing to natural gas in the future is simple.
All that said, if you're going to be on propane very long, I'd recommend you consider a Carrier Greenspeed or Bryant Extreme (same product, difference is in brand name only) heat pump as they are modulating and can be sized larger for heating. This will allow you to reap the benefit of a high efficiency heat pump with capacity to heat your home well down into the 20's, whereas a HP sized properly for cooling will only have full capacity for your home down into the mid 30's as a rule. The Infinity/Evolution products are among the best of market. Modulating furnaces, modulating heat pumps, modulating zone systems are all products of the communicating equipment line from Carrier/Bryant. Others are playing catch-up but theirs is the gold standard at this time, IMO. Please be sure the system is properly sized using Manual 'J-8' and if you go with a larger HP, be sure the duct system is properly sized for the job.
If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.
If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!
We have been getting rid for oil for over 10 years. Heat pumps and gas are what most prople are going to. Oil is almost $4.00 now. And your heat goes up the chimney. It's like going from a mule and wagon to a new 2013 pick up truck.
Interesting suggestion, thanks. Assuming energy rates stay about the same, how cold can it get before it's no longer practical to use the heat pump? Any idea how much of a premium I'd expect to pay to go from a 16SEER Infinity 4ton to an Infinity Greenspeed?