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Electric vs propane heating

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hating_propane:
I have a brand new townhome, approximately 1700 sq ft. I live in the DC Metro area, and have propane bills that range from 400-600 a MONTH during the winter. This is keeping the thermostat at 67 in the day and 62 at night. Always FREEZING in my home. Had I not got on the "budget plan" this year and locked in my propane price at 2.59/gallon, my bill for January this year would have been over $700!!! For a townhome! Do NOT use propane to heat your home if you can help it. I am looking at selling my home because of this.

Paul:
When I bought my house in New Jersey in 1996, the price of heating oil was less than $1 per gallon. Now it is $3.30 per gallon. To save money, this is what I do: For downstairs, which is about 1600 sq. ft., I use oil furnace to heat. For upstairs, which has three bedrooms and a bathroom and is a little less than 1600 sq. ft., I use portable electric heaters in each room. Yes, portable heaters. I have hooked up each heater to Lux Win100 programmable thermostat which costs about $35 on Amazon. To be safe, each heater has its own dedicated 20 Amp circuit instead the 15 Amp that most manufacturers recommend. Also, never use an extension cord. Each heater is programmed to go on at about 10:00 p.m. and off at 8:00 a.m. The oil furnace is also programmed to go on at 8:00 a.m. and off at 10:00 p.m. Recently, we've had a severe cold spell (temps at night in the single digits to negative single digits) and I used Kill-a-Watt meter, which I bought from Home Depot for $28, to measure the use of electricity in my 400 Sq. ft. master bedroom. The total amount used for about ten hours was approximately 4Kwh. Electricity at about 17 cents per Kwh at this time of the year, it cost me about 70 cents to keep the bedroom at constant 72 degrees the entire night. I use DeLonghi Mica Panel heater in the master bedroom which I bought for about $80 a couple of years ago. If I were to run the oil furnace, I am absolutely positive that it would have cost me a lot more than 70 cents. If you want to buy portable heaters, check in Consumer Reports to see which are economical and safe heaters. So, in the end, I would say that if electricity is used as zonal heat with programmable thermostats, it will definitely save you money.

Anonymous:
Well gosh them dang energy bills here sure don't look frugal to me, I think I'll stick to my $140 a month in the worst of weather and start appreciating what I got seeing how I guess I just didn't know how good I had it, thanks for reminding me!

Jeff:
OK this is what you need to do, step one is to figurer out what your degree days are for you area. This is a fact put out by the weather service so you can estimate how many degree days you have to heat for. second is to determine how much energy/ insulation your home has as this will change all the numbers quoted by those experts. i can make the above very greatly. (example my house and my neighborers hose were identical constructed and heated with heat pumps. I super insulated my house and his last month heating bill was 320 dollar . My heating bill was 88 dollars. ) this insulation values critical in energy usage. next BTU is BTU . the only difference is the cost per BTU. Find the one that is the cheapest or bets fits your lifestyle. you can find all this information on a web site called 'build it solar dot com." he sells nothing and has every calculator you may need to make a decision..

Sean W:
I live in a 1400 sq ft home in Northwest Pa with a propane furnace, it cost $800-$850 to fill my tank, wich only lasts about 6 weeks in the winter, I am strongly considering switching to an electric furnace.

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