City-Data Forum Switching over from propane to natural gas (appliances, how much)
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12-26-2009, 09:21 AM
 1,467 posts, read 3,586,708 times Reputation: 2199

We have propane and are thinking about converting to natural gas.

Our neighbors have natural gas, so it would mean extending the line approximately 100 yards. Total cost for the switchover would be somewhere around \$4,000.

I'm wondering how long it would take to recoup the expenses. We live in a 3,100 s.f. house with high ceilings in a couple rooms.

12-26-2009, 10:12 AM
 1,938 posts, read 4,038,375 times Reputation: 836
Quote:
 Originally Posted by nmguy We have propane and are thinking about converting to natural gas. Our neighbors have natural gas, so it would mean extending the line approximately 100 yards. Total cost for the switchover would be somewhere around \$4,000. I'm wondering how long it would take to recoup the expenses. We live in a 3,100 s.f. house with high ceilings in a couple rooms.
Determine what's the price difference per sq ft for each then multiply by usage
per year. If you save \$400 per year, it will take 10 years.

Have you figured in the cost of replacing or converting your existing propane appliances?
The jetting is different and at a minimum you'll need to change that.

12-26-2009, 10:19 AM
 Location: 5,400 feet 2,067 posts, read 2,214,866 times Reputation: 2709
Mike is correct that you will have to change the orifice (part that injects gas into a burner) for every gas appliance. Propane has a BTU content 30-35% higher than natural gas. So, you have to burn more natural gas to get the same heat as propane.

New Mexico Gas Co. can probably give you an estimate of annual natural gas usage for your house, perhaps based on your propane usage.

12-26-2009, 10:29 AM
 Location: New Mexico U.S.A. 23,926 posts, read 38,388,662 times Reputation: 27900
Look at this calculator as a good estimate:

Propane vs Natural Gas Conversion Calculator (http://www.peco.com/pecowebsite/peco/html/propane.htm - broken link)

Rich

12-26-2009, 11:33 AM
 1,467 posts, read 3,586,708 times Reputation: 2199
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Poncho_NM Look at this calculator as a good estimate: Propane vs Natural Gas Conversion Calculator (http://www.peco.com/pecowebsite/peco/html/propane.htm - broken link) Rich
Thanks, Rich. The web site that you provided is very useful.
Paul

05-29-2010, 06:00 AM
 1,467 posts, read 3,586,708 times Reputation: 2199
Switching over from propane to natural gas

I'm switching over from propane to natural gas and am trying to determine how much lower my winter heating bill will be.

This past year, it cost me roughly \$2,100 to keep my place warm from late October through April. Can anyone tell me how much I'll be paying next year, assuming the rates remain the same?

05-29-2010, 06:40 AM
 Location: Ruidoso, NM 1,643 posts, read 4,159,895 times Reputation: 613
Quote:
 Originally Posted by nmguy This past year, it cost me roughly \$2,100 to keep my place warm from late October through April.
ASSUMING the winters are nearly identical temperature wise, and your house remains the same (no added insulation, thermostat the same, etc), you're going to use the same number of therms/btus for the heating. So you need to look at that number since the cost per therm is what will matter.
Quote:
 The therm (symbol thm) is a non-SI unit of heat energy equal to 100,000 British thermal units (BTU). It is approximately the energy equivalent of burning 100 cubic feet (often referred to as 1 Ccf) of natural gas. Since meters measure volume and not energy content, a therm factor is used by gas companies to convert the volume of gas used to its heat equivalent, and thus calculate the actual energy use. The therm factor is usually in the units therms/Ccf. It will vary with the mix of hydrocarbons in the natural gas. Natural gas with a higher than average concentration of ethane, propane or butane will have a higher therm factor. Impurities, such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen, lower the therm factor.

05-29-2010, 07:51 AM
 Location: New Mexico U.S.A. 23,926 posts, read 38,388,662 times Reputation: 27900
Quote:
 Originally Posted by nmguy I'm switching over from propane to natural gas and am trying to determine how much lower my winter heating bill will be. This past year, it cost me roughly \$2,100 to keep my place warm from late October through April. Can anyone tell me how much I'll be paying next year, assuming the rates remain the same?
One difficult part of the equation is the actual cost of propane and natural gas.

I found a quote of \$2.70 per gallon for propane, jiminnm estimated \$2.30 per gallon in thread: Propane versus Electric

jiminnm also stated "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."

So my guess, everything else being equal, your heating bill will be \$700 instead of \$2,100, for a savings of \$1,400. If I am correct (I was incorrect in the past calculation) you owe me a beer, wine or big chocolate chip cookie.

There is an other calculator here, which I was able to use as a close comparison: Propane vs Natural Gas Conversion Calculator (http://www.peco.com/pecowebsite/peco/html/propane.htm - broken link)

Rich

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 05-29-2010 at 08:00 AM..

05-29-2010, 03:39 PM
 1,467 posts, read 3,586,708 times Reputation: 2199
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Poncho_NM So my guess, everything else being equal, your heating bill will be \$700 instead of \$2,100, for a savings of \$1,400. If I am correct (I was incorrect in the past calculation) you owe me a beer, wine or big chocolate chip cookie.
Rich, If you're right, I'll buy you beverage of your choice. If not, what will you buy me? :-)

Paul

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 05-29-2010 at 06:09 PM..

05-29-2010, 06:10 PM
 Location: New Mexico U.S.A. 23,926 posts, read 38,388,662 times Reputation: 27900
Quote:
 Originally Posted by nmguy Rich, If you're right, I'll buy you beverage of your choice. If not, what will you buy me? :-) Paul

Rich
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