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Re: Re: Electric vs propane heating


    Hello! I stumbled across this while Googling…looking to buy a propane tank because I have been told the gas companies in our area will only “rent” them to you for approx. 50 cents a gallon above the cost of propane. What a scam! (We sold our farm and bought smaller acreage with a newer home. Drawback: we lost our free gas :-( and now will have to deal with propane. However, it is coupled with a Trane high-efficiency heat pump). Those who are blindly recommending propane here are not giving you anywhere near the whole story: What KIND of electric heat? Baseboard? Resistance? Of course those are expensive! But a 12-14 SEER or higher heat pump will destroy every single propane cost model. Not even close. And Geothermal goes well beyond that. A good compromise, if you are in a climate that regularly goes below freezing in winter, would be a “Dual fuel” system: Propane furnace coupled with a good high-efficiency heat pump (which also gives you central air). The heat pump will save you HUGE dollars in the “fringe” heating months of September, October possibly November, and then March/April. On the coldest days the propane may in fact be more efficient at times (see earlier reference to low temps). I state without hesitation that propane by itself is wildly expensive when compared to other alternatives. To be fair, so are electric baseboard and straight resistance heating. But those really are not good alternatives, and are RARELY installed as stand-alone systems today. It simply is not done. As for the guy who was a utility engineer, I would ask: What kind of engineer? I spent 15 years in the electric utility industry and spent a great deal of time on this question. There is simply NO WAY that propane is the most efficient or least expensive home heating method/fuel. Pure, complete nonsense. Mark my words: Propane is used as a primary heating fuel ONLY in areas where natural gas is not available. I used to hear anecdotal stories from field member services reps; they reported that propane salespeople would stop at new construction homesites and ask what type of heating was being installed. When the answer was “geothermal” they would not even get out of their vehicle! Please give strong consideration to a dual fuel system. If you must use propane, this will save you a huge amount of money over the life of the system. Finally, make sure you get a qualified, licensed HVAC person to PROPERLY SIZE whatever system you choose. Many a good home has been badly (and expensively) heated by a botched size and install.