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Thread: Alternate heat

  1. #1

    Alternate heat

    living in a rural area of texas the electric will go out fairly often in winter thus making our electric heat useless. So we are debating whether to go a free standing wood stove or a larger vented propane heater.

    We have 40 acres of woods BUT that stuff has to be cut. hauled and split then the heater and pipe has to be cleaned fairly often

    Our house has propane but only for the stove but could be easily plumbed for and additional propane connection. Think gas last we got it was $2.75 gal.

    Seems to be pros and cons to whichever one we go with but from a professional standpoint which do you guys think would be the best bang for the buck and the cheapest to use?

    House is well insulated (r19 walls, r60 ceiling, and tight construction) 1550 sq ft, single story, slab construction. double pane windows, hardi siding.

    We are not looking for the alternate heat to heat the entire house but a 18 x30 living area that we would live in while the electric was out. So what do you guys think? Best to go wood heat or propane?
    Last edited by Old Man Kenneth; 10-26-2012 at 01:39 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Morgan Hill Ca.
    Posts
    1,219
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Man Kenneth View Post
    living in a rural area of texas the electric will go out fairly often in winter thus making our electric heat useless. So we are debating whether to go a free standing wood stove or a larger vented propane heater.

    We have 40 acres of woods BUT that stuff has to be cut. hauled and split then the heater and pipe has to be cleaned fairly often

    Our house has propane but only for the stove but could be easily plumbed for and additional propane connection. Think gas last we got it was $2.75 gal.

    Seems to be pros and cons to whichever one we go with but from a professional standpoint which do you guys think would be the best bang for the buck and the cheapest to use?

    House is well insulated (r19 walls, r60 ceiling, and tight construction) 1550 sq ft, single story, slab construction. double pane windows, hardi siding.

    We are not looking for the alternate heat to heat the entire house but a 18 x30 living area that we would live in while the electric was out. So what do you guys think? Best to go wood heat or propane?

    In all honesty, I would have a small wood burning stove installed, you stated it was only going to be used in case of an emergency or during adverse weather conditions..

    To be a a little outside the box I would have installed a propane Genset so I can stay caught up on my cartoons during the storm. (I hate being without power.).

    GT
    If a day goes by and you have learned nothing, I hope you got a lot of sleep.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    A wood direct vent fireplace or stove can put out 30-50k BTU's of heat. That's not a bad option and makes for a nice to have features on any colder day. I think wood stoves are cheaper than propane direct vent fireplaces and should be cheaper ot operate, but you do have to haul wood. IN Texas, yu might find that it can heat your house most of the colder days by itself and save you some money.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,347
    I would not install any combustion appliance for back-up heat unless that appliance (be it a wood stove or properly VENTED - to the outdoors- propane fireplace) draws its combustion air from outdoors. The last thing you need during a prolonged power outage in winter is your heat source sucking air from the house. You're trying to heat your house, not dry it out and make every room away from the heat source cold.

    Do not consider any gas burning heat source that vents directly into the room. Let it get its air from outdoors, and let it vent back to the outdoors. The only thing you want from it is heat, not air exchange. Same goes for wood stoves, obviously.

    There is one thing...an old saw that says when you fell and cut wood for a woodstove or fireplace, you get two "heats". One during the cutting and the other during the burning.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

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