Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Burford, Ontario
    Posts
    2
    Our 1750 sq. ft. country home is 27 years old with 2x6 construction. It still has an air heat pump with backup electric elements in a forced air furnace. The heat pump has a leak where the bracket rubbed a hole in the outside condensor and no one wants or knows how to alunimum weld to fix it.

    All contractors say replace everything with a new gas furnace which I am getting quotes. I have to run a new gas line from the road with me paying for 20M at $30/Meter.

    Last year we installed a fireplace insert good for 3,000 sq. feet. We mainly use this with free scraps of hardwood but I want a lazy man's backup instead of just using those electric elemements. My wife has been talking about an outdoor wood furnace for $10,000 Cdn. while she is getting free wood scraps while working for a kitchen cabinet company. I say the free wood won't last forever, then what.

    MY QUESTION:
    Should I be looking into a heat pump using electric prices or just be putting in a high efficentcy furnace like the contractors are gearing me for? Also my electronic air cleaner values about $600 is still working, should I keep it installed until it breaks, or is it just a grease trap and should be removed and go with regular filters monthly. Did't know how long they last.

    I have been told that by electric company that they will not be double charging such as $0.05/KWhr and another $0.05/KWhr like last year as the govenment has told them when winter hits they cannot double charge when consumer use goes over the 1st 1,000KWhr/month.
    Last year we paid $2,100 Cdn. for the total heating/hydro bill but we did use wood. Natural gas prices will be going up and the thing that we all hate, is paying for another administration cost of an utility.

    Prices on Goodman furnace installed were approx. $3200 including tax and gas pipping, adding a 2nd air duct intakes, etc. Another $600 to pay Natural Gas for 20 Meters of outside piping. We will have to pay for an A/C later in the spring as I wanted to see what was happing with sear ratings over winter, etc. I was told to stay away from KeepRight.

    Maybe I should go heat pump instead of gas. What do you think? I not sure of calculations on gas vs. electric on BTU's, etc. I've been told that heat pumps are only efficient for higher temperatures and not cold winters in Ontario. Local contractors might try to steer me away from heat pumps as they all seem to not deal with them for repairs. They have said heat pumps don't last that long also as expensive compressors burn out, but I assume so does that A/C compressors. Also if I resell the house years down the road, what would the consumer want, electric or natural gas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Burford, Ontario
    Posts
    2

    Website comparisons

    I found a few websites showing prices for operating natural gas vs. electric furnaces or heat pumps. Also operating costs of hot water heater comparions. I used keywords "Electric heat vs natural gas heat" with google.com. I currently have a 40 gal electric hot water tank that fits under our crawl space. Its amazing the cost difference with natural gas hot water tanks vs. electric.

    http://www.energyright.com/cgi-bin/dtc?tvaparms
    http://www.mudomaha.com/naturalgas/pdfs/gas.elec
    http://www.hometips.com/help/wat2.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    6,383
    One can only tell you the savings upon knowing what your local utility rates are.

    A contractor that knows your home requirements and utility rates, can then figure the operational cost for both systems.

    Then you can decide on which system you want.

    As an example:

    $1.00 per CF Nat. Gas ($12.50 per *MMBtu) 80%
    $1.00 per CF Nat. Gas ($11.11 per *MMBtu) 90%

    $1.50 per Gal LP ($20.49 per *MMBtu) 80%
    $1.50 per Gal LP ($18.21 per *MMBtu) 90%

    $0.08 KW Electric ($23.43 per *MMBtu)

    3.3 COP Heat Pump ($7.10 per *MMBtu) at 47 degrees
    2.2 COP Heat Pump ($10.65 per *MMBtu) at 17 degrees


    *MMBtu is equal to 1 Million Btu.

    Remember the Heat Pump is going to rely on back-up heat after the outside temp lowers below the balance point.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,042
    Originally posted by jultzya

    Remember the Heat Pump is going to rely on back-up heat after the outside temp lowers below the balance point.
    It will rely on back-up heat when you drop below the balance point to make up the difference between its output and the total amount of heat needed. It's a supplement. The heat pump is still working more efficiently than electric resistance until significantly below zero F.

    Ontario and Quebec are cold, but they have darn cheap winter electric rates, and for that reason they are chock full of heat pumps. I don't know about in Canada but in Georgia natural gas rates are already triple what they were in 1999.

    Given the natural gas market and the winter electric rate you're quoting, if I were you I would find someone who wants to sell me a new heat pump. Five cents per kilowatt hour is already a great electric rate in US dollars... in Canadian it's even better. Actually given gas rates this year and the electric rate you're quoting it sounds like electric elements alone may actually tie the operating cost of a gas furnace anyway... the added efficiency of the heat pump in weather over 0 degrees F would push that well over the edge. And that's without the extra cost of installing all new gas lines.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    626
    In terms of cost to run, comparing only todays rates is short sighted thinking. In the next 5 to 10 years gas is going to be prohibitivly expensive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    If you choose to go with gas for any reason, you will see higher operating costs. Why would you consider paying all that additional money to have gas run only to realize higher heating costs?

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