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Old 12-15-2012, 03:27 PM
 
Location: St. James, NC
169 posts, read 520,376 times
Reputation: 65

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My Trane heat pumps are almost eight years old. One controls the downstairs and the other heats/cools the Bat Cave (bonus room). My house is super insulated and sometimes my house is too cold when it's hot outside, the thermal transfer is slow, so we open windows and doors to even out the temperatures. Don't skimp on insulation and your heat pumps will have less work to do. In NJ I had a furnace and a central A/C, but here heat pumps usually are better.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:43 PM
 
78 posts, read 169,949 times
Reputation: 36
I also had a heat pump in maryland 30 years ago and it struggled in the winter. My house at SJp is tighter and the milder winter here should help.I got my first electric bill today and it was $79 for 16 days.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:06 PM
 
152 posts, read 238,885 times
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Ron - Thanks again the advice. It seems like Heat Pumps keep getting more efficient. So in a few years when I build, they may even be better then they are today.

CrimsonDregs - I have a feeling the house I build will be like yours. If I have an upstairs, it will be Bonus Room that seems to be popular in SJP. Did you have extra insulation installed or are the homes in SJP built super energy efficient?

TexasTim - Thanks for the info. This may be a dumb question since you received your first electric bill, but is $79 for 16 days what you expected?
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:13 AM
 
78 posts, read 169,949 times
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I think I would be ok with $200 I remember paying $300 in MD when it was cold out and the house never felt warm. Here I also have the propane fireplace for when it gets much colder. I justification paid $2.49/lb
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,320 posts, read 19,948,541 times
Reputation: 5107
Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotPaul View Post
And speaking of propane, I know many homes have propane fueled fire places and stove tops. Did you bury your tank? How big a tank did you buy/rent?
I have been told that the state's Coastal Area Management Agency (CAMS) does not allow buried propane tanks. The can apparently be washed up during a hurricane. In addition, a leaking tank can be an environmental hazard.

One neighbor in my community has 200 or 250 gallon outside tank to run a cook-stove. You would have to check with the St. James covenants whether they allow one that big. I am doubtful St James would allow it, as it is ugly.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:57 PM
 
Location: St. James, NC
169 posts, read 520,376 times
Reputation: 65
PilotPaul
During the planning phase insulation was a mantra for us. We also wanted it for sound insulation, though, here in St. James, noise is rarely an issue. We had a series of articles on building in St. James in Cat-Tales (just love our magazine) back issues are available on the POA website Jan thru August are up now the rest should be posted soon.

goldenage1
My tank is buried and so are most (if not all) the others in the neighborhood (Players Club).
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:19 PM
 
152 posts, read 238,885 times
Reputation: 60
Tim - Your story reminds me so much of my Maryland house. Now that I have natural gas and a new furnace, it is almost too warm. I "can't" wait to see what my bills are like this winter. And thanks for letting me know the cost of propane.

Goldenage - I was looking at the Coastal Area Management Agency (CAMS) web site and did not see anything about propane tanks. I am not sure how a leaky propane would be an environmental hazard, I can see the gas igniting, but if it did not ignite, it should just dissipate.

Crimson - I have received a couple of Cat-Tales and caught the end of the series of articles. I will have to call the POA to see how I obtain an account so I can read the rest of the series. I am glad that buried tanks are allowed. I have yet to see any above ground tanks, but I was not looking all that hard for them. I think lots of insulation is a great idea. And much easier to install when the house is under construction. Do most of your neighbors have propane?

In my research on propane I ran across the North Carolina Propane Club -- www.ncpropaneclub.com/index
it may be a good deal.

And thanks all for your help!
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,320 posts, read 19,948,541 times
Reputation: 5107
Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotPaul View Post
Goldenage - I was looking at the Coastal Area Management Agency (CAMS) web site and did not see anything about propane tanks. I am not sure how a leaky propane would be an environmental hazard, I can see the gas igniting, but if it did not ignite, it should just dissipate.
OK - My husband may have been wrong. However, the underground tanks have to be anchored. I found this: "In North Carolina, anything below the 100-year flood level must be anchored; this is also a FEMA requirement. For many of the barrier islands, that includes the whole island. Most counties have flood maps showing the 100-year flood level. If you place tanks, it is your responsibility to know where this level is and to anchor where appropriate. Remember, this applies to all areas of the state, as all counties are subject to occasional flooding." from NCDA&CS - Standards Division - Gas Tanks in Flood Prone Areas

If you decide on a propane tank for heating, I am sure you will have it done correctly.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:18 PM
 
152 posts, read 238,885 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
OK - My husband may have been wrong. However, the underground tanks have to be anchored. I found this: "In North Carolina, anything below the 100-year flood level must be anchored; this is also a FEMA requirement. For many of the barrier islands, that includes the whole island. Most counties have flood maps showing the 100-year flood level. If you place tanks, it is your responsibility to know where this level is and to anchor where appropriate. Remember, this applies to all areas of the state, as all counties are subject to occasional flooding." from NCDA&CS - Standards Division - Gas Tanks in Flood Prone Areas

If you decide on a propane tank for heating, I am sure you will have it done correctly.

Great information! I guess I am lucky as my real estate agent said that he refuses to sell land that is in a 100 year flood plain area. Using the Brunswick County GIS web site (Brunswick County, North Carolina GIS), it shows my property at 38 feet above sea level and my plat says I am out of the 100 year flood zone.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:35 PM
 
78 posts, read 169,949 times
Reputation: 36
Just spent the last 15 years in texas with cheap natural gas heat.I also had 105+ months in the summer with $800+ electric bills. Hoping the heat pump here will work out year round.
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