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Old 05-10-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Location: New York
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May be buying a place in the East Mountains and its around 2100 sf. Its totally heated by forced air propane. Should we be concerned and what would you supplement with? We have a 1600 plus house now and its electric baseboard, pellet stove and passive solar. We currently have 3 sources of heating, but I have heard the cost of propane is out of this world. Any advice greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Burque!
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Propane can be expensive. I would expect winter heating costs to be around $200+/ month
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:31 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homewardbound66 View Post
May be buying a place in the East Mountains and its around 2100 sf. Its totally heated by forced air propane. Should we be concerned and what would you supplement with? We have a 1600 plus house now and its electric baseboard, pellet stove and passive solar. We currently have 3 sources of heating, but I have heard the cost of propane is out of this world. Any advice greatly appreciated.
You might read this one post (or the whole thread) from Hold off on solar panel installation? which is from a user in the East Mountain area: http://www.city-data.com/forum/14000166-post31.html

There are a lot of factors to consider. Propane only? I personally would consider a good/decent pellet stove (one that will burn 24 hours). I guess you are already familiar with them.


Rich
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Originally Posted by rybert View Post
Propane can be expensive.
And potentially more dangerous than other forms of heating. When comparing the cost of heating with propane to available natural gas, one has to take into consideration that propane has about twice the heating value per unit.

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Burque!
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Originally Posted by jaxart View Post
And potentially more dangerous than other forms of heating. When comparing the cost of heating with propane to available natural gas, one has to take into consideration that propane has about twice the heating value per unit.

Absolutely. An argument for purchasing turbo diesel cars... energy density.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
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Why would you be concerned about having propane forced air heat, or feel that you need a supplement? The process of delivering heat to you is the same as natural gas. The only difference is that the fuel is delivered to you via truck and stored in a tank on your property, instead of coming through an underground line. That simply means you'll need to ensure that the delivery truck has access to the tank in the winter.

Before moving into our current house, we had a propane only heated house for 8 years. Propane is more expensive than natural gas, and I expect that Rybert's estimate is little low. Electricity has got to be the absolute most expensive way to heat.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:46 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminnm View Post
Why would you be concerned about having propane forced air heat, or feel that you need a supplement? The process of delivering heat to you is the same as natural gas. The only difference is that the fuel is delivered to you via truck and stored in a tank on your property, instead of coming through an underground line.
Right now propane gas costs about seven times more than natural gas $/MMbtu. $4.10 vs $29.23 (assuming these numbers are current and accurate, they seem a bit high, I have seen four times more for propane when we lived in MD.). Fuel Cost Comparison - Nicor

But if you do not have natural gas line available, it's a moot point.


Rich

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 05-11-2010 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:56 AM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
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Rich, those numbers are a bit out of line for NM. According to my last NM Gas Co bill, the total natural gas cost per MMBtu was about $8.10 (assuming 1,000 Btu gas at $0.81 per therm). I asked someone who uses propane and their last bill was $2.30/gallon (including taxes and fees), or $25.08/MMBtu (relying on Nicor's ratios). That puts propane here a little over 3 times the cost of natural gas.

I agree that if natural gas is not available in the area, then it's a moot point. If it is available, one could find out the cost to connect from NMGC and decide what works for them. The pellet stove idea might also be economical.
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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I'm in the process of switching from propane to natural gas. Luckily, I can extend the line from my neighbors' place, 300 feet down the road, then extend it from the property line to my house (another 120 feet).

Figure I'll save 1/3 every winter, which means the switch will pay for itself three years hence.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Mesa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminnm View Post
Electricity has got to be the absolute most expensive way to heat.
It seems cheaper out here. I used my gas furnace the first winter here and my bill was as bad as my FL summer A/C bills This past winter, as cold as it was, I used ceramic heaters (one in each room) when home, and only used the furnace for overnight, when I was gone, and a quick warmup in the a.m. Both my gas and electric bills were significantly lower and the house stayed comfortable.
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