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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1

    Question

    I need to replace my baseboard heating to some fuel burning heating system. My electricity bills are way over $600 and it's killing me. I don't know whether to use oil, propane, or a natural gas furnace. Do any system using fuel allow me to heat rooms in my home individually?
    And how much electricity comsumption do these fuel burning furnaces use? How much electricity does a HVAC unit (2-5 ton and 14 sheer) with oil heating use when the heat is on? thanks, any and all info will be useful

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996
    You need to find the cost of fuels in your area to compare. Sounds like you're in the N.E. if you have all fuels available and electric is real expensive. LP and heating oil usually track very close in price but oil gives you more heat output per gallon. You have to see what the piping cost of putting natural gas in relative to getting an oil or LP tank. Since you don't have a chimnney now, it might make more sense to get an LP or nat gas condensing unit (furnace or boiler) that can side wall vent with PVC piping.

    If you're not in a very cold climate, you might want to consider a heat pump. It would probably be the cheapest to install seeing you want AC/heat and have the electrical service available.

    With warm air, you'll be limited to 2 or 3 zones off of one furnace. To zone individual rooms will require hydronic heating with multiple thermostats, pumps, zone valves and piping. Because of the added expense and complexity, you'd normally only zone by floor or zone by groups of rooms like bedrooms or kitchen/family rooms.

    The furnace/boiler uses very little power. Gas units usually have a draft inducing blower. Oil has burner with fuel pump and combustion air blower.

    Hydronic heat will require circulating pupms that are all 110V and about a 1 amp draw. A Hot air furnace still needs a large 208V blower that will draw at least 5 to 10 Amps while running.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grottoes VA
    Posts
    5,856
    Where in the country are you located. A heat pump might be a good idea (you get heat and a/c with this option).

    You have to have natural gas available. Propane can be shipped in as with oil. Propane is a bit expensive to use and natural gas is not much better. Oil usually has the best bang for the buck.

    If you installed a boiler you would have to add duct's for a/c, as well as piping and rads, this can be a very expnsive undertaking.

    A heat pump would cut your bill in half, at least, and probally more.
    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    654
    For heating a home, oil heat is generally less expensive. Electricity to run a boiler is typically less than 350 watts. Warm air furnaces probably use 1200 watts due to the blower motor running.

    Oil gives the most BTU per gallon of any fuel. If you break down all fuel into what they cost per BTU, you'll agree.

    But if you live in a temperant climate, mid-Atlantic or more south, a heat pump is probably the least expensive to run if you include A/C. If you live in the North, forget the heat pump because they use electricity for heat (like you have now) when it's really cold out.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    146
    No one can tell you anything about the relative costs without knowing your utility rates and your climate. In my area, natural gas is less than half of propane and also cheaper than oil for the same amount of heat. But natural gas heat is still 50-100% more expensive than a heat pump.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,717
    There are systems that you can control your rooms as you want, be the more control you have, the most it cost to put it in up front.

    You need contractors from your area to check your house to see what will work best for you.
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