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Old 10-10-2012, 07:45 PM
 
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Hi guys,

can some of you share please some info on heating costs for a house of about 3000 sq feet? We have oil baseboard now but my husband thinks electric would be cheaper.

We live in Fairfield County.

Please share how big your house is and how much you spend on heating. I would like to compare the numbers.

Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:06 PM
 
Location: USA East Coast
4,445 posts, read 4,754,610 times
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I have a 1900 sq foot house.

Over the last few years I've spent about $1000 - 1300 give or take.


I do take advantage of passive solar heating (large south facing windows, WNW blocks, ) and I have a very heavily insulated house, which keeps it warmer in winter and cooler in summer. In the shoulder months (mid October to mid November...April) I use a few space heaters for quick warmth in the mornings and evenings. I normally run my furnace from early November through March and burn about 400 gallons. I don't use oil to make hot water, so I use far less oil.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:38 PM
 
Location: CT - close to coast
26,202 posts, read 14,265,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marketa View Post
Hi guys,

can some of you share please some info on heating costs for a house of about 3000 sq feet? We have oil baseboard now but my husband thinks electric would be cheaper.

We live in Fairfield County.

Please share how big your house is and how much you spend on heating. I would like to compare the numbers.

Thanks!
There's many factors at play when comparing. But First.. No, electric will be a TON of money to warm that house.

What size is your oil tank?
Do you guys like it warm or cool generally?
Do you have programmable T-Stats?
Are you conservative enough to shut off the heat each time you leave the room or house?
Do you take hot baths, use hot water for dishwasher, hot water for laundry, long hot showers?

All this plays a role in oil consumption.

My first year without a wood stove I spent $1600 on oil and I kept the 2500 sq ft house below 68 degrees. Some days it was near 60 inside.

Sister spends $400 a month (Nov,Dec,Jan,Feb) in bad winters on oil for a 1900 sq ft. She likes it hot.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Derby/Orange border
1,088 posts, read 517,309 times
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I have a 1600 multilevel three bedroom townhouse with electric. Our highest bill in the winter last year was $220.00. Winter before that was $250 but it was a little colder.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:26 PM
 
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You hubby seems not to be from New England. He's probably thinking of the typical heat pump system. Have him do some research.

Standard heat pumps are not a good choice for a single family home in CT. Below 35 degrees or so, you'd probably need a back up system. They're just not efficient in cold climates due to their design. The only place you'll really see them in CT is in some condos. But condos are no comparison as most have the benefit of neighboring unit walls to protect them from the cold. Comparing a condo to a single family home is apples and oranges.

Geo thermal heat pumps are another story but they cost a small fortune to install. In CT. I think you'd find the cheapest heat is natural gas, followed by oil or propane, then way behind that electric.

How much oil you're go to use is going to be very dependent upon how energy efficient your home is
( insulation, doors, windows, etc.), the newness and efficiency of your furnace and where you set your thermostat.

You're going to find that most people in CT keep their homes cool in winter, well below 70 degrees, often in the low 60's or less. Many people make use of supplemental heat ( wood, pellet stoves, a space heater here and there) to help put. And in time, you'll probably learn to throw on another layer of clothes for warmth.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
10,678 posts, read 8,050,105 times
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Electric is ridiculous. My electric bill in a small 2BR condo was up to $500 some months. Now, the most I pay for gas in a given month in a 2150 square foot house is ~$120. My house is new and well insulated too.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:49 PM
 
85 posts, read 91,495 times
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Thank you, all! Your input is very helpful.

Our oil tank is 275 gallons. We have two programmable thermostats one upstairs and one downstairs. This is our first house, and we just moved in, so I am not so sure how well insulated it is. We haven't turned the heat on yet. We are comfortable with a temperature of around 70. The furnace has been recently replaced. We love hot showers, and we use hot water for dishes and laundry.

I am going to keep researching this.

Please share more cases, and maybe suggest a reliable method to do some calculations and see how much it would cost us with oil and with electric.

Thanks
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:11 AM
 
3,861 posts, read 2,896,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marketa View Post
Please share more cases, and maybe suggest a reliable method to do some calculations and see how much it would cost us with oil and with electric.

Thanks
Here are some calculations, which you can alter for your own situation.

A full tank is 275 gallons, so to fill it costs $3.519 per gallon * 275 gallons = $968.

The energy equivalent of this tank of gas is 275 gallons * 85% = 233.75 gallons. The number 85% represents the efficiency of the oil boiler. It may be slightly different in your case, but you will have to look up your particular unit. This is the oil used to make heat, less the amount that is used simply to run the boiler.

So to find the gallons of oil energy equivalent 233.75 * 41.85 = 9,782 kWh.

Next find the price that you pay for electricity. It is probably anywhere from 10 to 15 cents per kWh.
To buy the equivalent amount of energy in electricity will cost $0.10277 * 9,782 = $1005

So it costs me $1005 in electricity to buy the same amount of energy that I get from $968 in oil. I have to alter these calculations as electricity rate changes or the price of oil changes. However, in my case the house is 80 years old and does not have good zone heating. So a lot of the energy from oil is wasted heating empty areas of the house. Turning off radiators is only partially effective. It is much more effective to heat individual rooms with electric space heaters or wood pellet stoves.

In your case you already have a zoned system. You can turn down the heat in the floor you are not using. So there is much less advantage to using a zoned heating.
--------------

As a general observation, to satisfy what you like (long hot showers, 70 degree heat, etc.) is nearly impossible in a house where oil is the only heat. Only people using natural gas can usually afford that kind of indulgence. If you bought this house only recently, like most people you are using a large percentage of your income to pay for the mortgage.

As to ripping out your present system and replacing it, that usually makes sense if there is a big discrepancy on the cost of fuel. You can frequently save 70%-80% on fuel cost by switching from oil to natural gas. That savings justifies getting a loan and changing the boiler. But oil and electric cost about the same. Pulling out your oil boiler to put in heat pumps will probably not work very well.

There may be the appearance of saving money because heat pumps don't work very well when it is cold. But you could get the same savings by keeping your oil boiler and turning down your thermostat and wearing electric socks or snuggies.

I would only switch out the main heat system for natural gas. If natural gas is not available where you are, then you should simply turn down the thermostat and wear warm cloths. If you need electric space heaters to keep warm, then make sure they are the safe kind that are filled with oil.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:53 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
4,445 posts, read 4,754,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marketa View Post
Thank you, all! Your input is very helpful.

Our oil tank is 275 gallons. We have two programmable thermostats one upstairs and one downstairs. This is our first house, and we just moved in, so I am not so sure how well insulated it is. We haven't turned the heat on yet. We are comfortable with a temperature of around 70. The furnace has been recently replaced. We love hot showers, and we use hot water for dishes and laundry.

I am going to keep researching this.

Please share more cases, and maybe suggest a reliable method to do some calculations and see how much it would cost us with oil and with electric.

Thanks

Give or take a few degrees…in the winter months (late November through March) our indoor temp is about 70 F too. Some like it warm like my parents (they keep it at 72 – 73 F)….some like it cool (65 F). As far as insulation, if you’re lucky enough you get a more modern house (built from 1970 forward) you likely have good insulation – and you can always add some more later. I have two 275 tanks, but I rarely ever fill both of them.

3000 sq feet is a large house, so you’re going to have to sacrifice…but the best strategy is a mix of at least two sources of heat: Maybe oil and electric, maybe oil and wood burning stove/pellets…etc. A morning like today is a good example – it’s cool but not cold. So you can get quick heat for morning when everyone is up and about, and not use any oil.

Last point…don’t forget passive solar in CT – we get a lot of winter sun on the East Coast below Boston - so use those big south/SW facing windows all you can. I have large south facing windows and on a typical 40 F mid winter day can get my rooms so warm the furnace stays off much of the day.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:07 AM
 
240 posts, read 220,537 times
Reputation: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
Here are some calculations, which you can alter for your own situation.

A full tank is 275 gallons, so to fill it costs $3.519 per gallon * 275 gallons = $968.

The energy equivalent of this tank of gas is 275 gallons * 85% = 233.75 gallons. The number 85% represents the efficiency of the oil boiler. It may be slightly different in your case, but you will have to look up your particular unit. This is the oil used to make heat, less the amount that is used simply to run the boiler.

So to find the gallons of oil energy equivalent 233.75 * 41.85 = 9,782 kWh.

Next find the price that you pay for electricity. It is probably anywhere from 10 to 15 cents per kWh.
To buy the equivalent amount of energy in electricity will cost $0.10277 * 9,782 = $1005

So it costs me $1005 in electricity to buy the same amount of energy that I get from $968 in oil. I have to alter these calculations as electricity rate changes or the price of oil changes. However, in my case the house is 80 years old and does not have good zone heating. So a lot of the energy from oil is wasted heating empty areas of the house. Turning off radiators is only partially effective. It is much more effective to heat individual rooms with electric space heaters or wood pellet stoves.

In your case you already have a zoned system. You can turn down the heat in the floor you are not using. So there is much less advantage to using a zoned heating.
--------------

As a general observation, to satisfy what you like (long hot showers, 70 degree heat, etc.) is nearly impossible in a house where oil is the only heat. Only people using natural gas can usually afford that kind of indulgence. If you bought this house only recently, like most people you are using a large percentage of your income to pay for the mortgage.

As to ripping out your present system and replacing it, that usually makes sense if there is a big discrepancy on the cost of fuel. You can frequently save 70%-80% on fuel cost by switching from oil to natural gas. That savings justifies getting a loan and changing the boiler. But oil and electric cost about the same. Pulling out your oil boiler to put in heat pumps will probably not work very well.

There may be the appearance of saving money because heat pumps don't work very well when it is cold. But you could get the same savings by keeping your oil boiler and turning down your thermostat and wearing electric socks or snuggies.

I would only switch out the main heat system for natural gas. If natural gas is not available where you are, then you should simply turn down the thermostat and wear warm cloths. If you need electric space heaters to keep warm, then make sure they are the safe kind that are filled with oil.
I bought a oil burning energy kinetics system 2000 last year it produces enough hot water to allow for long hot showers. We can also keep the heat up to 70, and it is pretty efficient.

I'm surprised by your numbers. I noticed that you have a factor applied to the furnace to account for inefficiency, but shouldn't there also be on applied on the electric heat? Where does the 41.85 come from?
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