Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    47

    Is there a way to know reasonable amount of propane???

    OK, I'll probably win the award for dumb question on this one but I'll ask anyway. Please don't kill me for it. I have a 90% dual stage variable furnace. We have propane heat and live in a 3,000 sq foot 10 year old home in the Philadelphia area. My gas bills get high in the winter but I have no way of knowing if it's due to the propane prices or whether for some reason I am burning more than I should be. But I do know how much I burn so I thought I'd throw it out there in case anyone knows if these are reasonable numbers.

    In a really cold month by our standards (20-30 degrees), I'll burn about 6 gallons a day. In a month where it's more seasonable (30-40) I'll burn about 4.5 gallons a day.

    Again, probably too many variables for someone to venture a guess but I thought I'd ask.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,685
    You have to factor in length of hot showers, baths, cooking with oven, drying clothes, when cold outside all these things take longer to heat up and faster to cool down. Most of your usage comes from your furnace however.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
    421
    If the furnace is properly sized, a complete combustion analysis shows the burner is firing properly, and staging properly, then basically everthing is fine.
    In our area (philly), its been about 20% colder then last year, and 10% warmer from 2 years ago. Also propane prices are up.
    Also, how much did you buy? How do you get it delivered? Does your company delivery automatically? Give them a call, if they're tracking your usage by a Degree Day System, or equivalent, they should be able to give you a usage summary.
    And check for leaks around the outside tank.
    And, it's not a dumb question.
    And the Flyers are playing horribly......grrrr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEusaPA View Post
    If the furnace is properly sized, a complete combustion analysis shows the burner is firing properly, and staging properly, then basically everthing is fine.
    In our area (philly), its been about 20% colder then last year, and 10% warmer from 2 years ago. Also propane prices are up.
    Also, how much did you buy? How do you get it delivered? Does your company delivery automatically? Give them a call, if they're tracking your usage by a Degree Day System, or equivalent, they should be able to give you a usage summary.
    And check for leaks around the outside tank.
    And, it's not a dumb question.
    And the Flyers are playing horribly......grrrr
    Flyers do stink!

    Yes to many of your questions (auto delivery, etc). I just don't trust the propane company to tell me "sure your usage seems normal". I'm sure they'd love for me to be using more than normal

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,580
    In colder weather (if only furnace uses propane) you're losing about 25,000 BTU/Hr and if mild it looks like @18750 BTU/Hr. About normal lose sounds like to me. Propane prices are generally the problem, not the actual usage itself. We have a few complaints when we explain the new furnace will save them 30% of their fuel and then the fuel costs go up by 40%. But what would it cost if they had not replaced the old furnace??? A BUNCH MORE!
    When you are using +90% furnaces, you're getting nearly all the heat into the home (unless ductwork is in an unconditioned area), so actual fuel costs are the variable from winter to winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by wahoo View Post
    In colder weather (if only furnace uses propane) you're losing about 25,000 BTU/Hr and if mild it looks like @18750 BTU/Hr. About normal lose sounds like to me. Propane prices are generally the problem, not the actual usage itself. We have a few complaints when we explain the new furnace will save them 30% of their fuel and then the fuel costs go up by 40%. But what would it cost if they had not replaced the old furnace??? A BUNCH MORE!
    When you are using +90% furnaces, you're getting nearly all the heat into the home (unless ductwork is in an unconditioned area), so actual fuel costs are the variable from winter to winter.
    Thanks for the peace of mind. I don't know if I even bothered to mention we keep the house at 68. But yes prices vary GREATLY. In the past 5 years I've paid anywhere from $1.99 to $3.19 / gallon (and not necessarily in ascending order with some years being less than the prior). If I had my choice it would not be my ideal source but that's what we have....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,740
    i would be adding a heat pump and a dual fuel thermostat
    We really need change now

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,032
    One possible way to help stabilize your propane cost throughout the year is see if your dealer offers a pre-buy program. These kinds of programs should give you a locked in price for the winter, so on a keep fill type schedule you're not at the whim of the market and time of year.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,012
    What is the Btuh input of your propane furnace?

    Divide the input by 60 minutes to get the amount of Btu used during its minutes of runtime.

    A gallon of propane has around 91,333-Btu per gallon.

    Furnace winter design for the Philly area is 10-F @99% or, 14-F @97.5% design.

    3,000-sf is a lot of area; you could do a heat-loss calc on your home, this would tell you what you might be able to do to lower the heat-loss rate.

    Example:
    Here in SW WI my winter design is -13-F @99%. I have a 95% propane 60,000-Btuh Input furnace, or 57,000 Output.

    I have a swing temp RM-TH set for rather high differential temps, so when temps average around 15-F, runtimes averaged around 16 minutes an hour.

    60,000-Btuh / 60-minutes or 1000-Btu per minute of runtime; or 16,000-Btu an hour. * 24 hours is 384,000- Btu a day; / by 91333 is 4.2 gallon per that kind of a day.

    Everyone should get someone in the family to check average daytime & nighttime runtimes per hour while recording temps & wind velocities so you have an idea how your home & furnace are doing compared to a heat-loss calc., etc. I did that with my new 95% propane furnace...all you need are typical samples during the day & f you know the temp & wind velocity during the night you can use similar daytime tests to estimate nighttime runtimes per-hour.

    You can do your load calc figuring it at those coldest tested temp-conditions to see if your home &,or duct system, etc., needs retro-work.
    The furnace may not be delivering its rated Btuh OUTPUT to the conditioned areas; or your home may need some weatherization work.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    i would be adding a heat pump and a dual fuel thermostat
    +1. And depnding on prices for electric and propane and your existing electrical service, looking ot switch water heating and other things over the all electric. SOmetimes straight electric is cheaper than propane. Especially if you can take advantage of time of use rates ifthat's an option and limit showering and washing clothes to evening and mornings, except on weekends.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Dubuque, IA
    Posts
    114
    The real problem is you are a flyers fan! GO PENS!!!! haha All in good fun guys.
    Seatonheating "Well, when you are the salesman/layout guy/installer/owner, you kind of have to watch out for yourself."

    Words to live by my friends.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,326
    Quote Originally Posted by fishacura View Post
    OK, I'll probably win the award for dumb question on this one but I'll ask anyway. Please don't kill me for it. I have a 90% dual stage variable furnace. We have propane heat and live in a 3,000 sq foot 10 year old home in the Philadelphia area. My gas bills get high in the winter but I have no way of knowing if it's due to the propane prices or whether for some reason I am burning more than I should be.
    Again, probably too many variables for someone to venture a guess but I thought I'd ask.
    Is your home a 2-story?

    http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/.../philadelphia/
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event