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Old 01-18-2019, 12:31 PM
 
Location: NYC
12,068 posts, read 8,041,373 times
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That's still quite high in usage. I've spent about $3000 in the past on insulation, I've had many wall area cavity inspected and the insulation have dropped or no longer working so I've had blown in insulation done. If you have drafts consider getting house insulated with rigid foam too. The amount you're paying with utility costs is adds up. If you get the work done you'll break even in 1-2 years.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie0689 View Post
Yea it is very expensive but it's not due to the system being inefficient. I do believe its a mix of insulation and propane fuel costs as I have a family relative who has a 2700 SQ Ft colonial home with a finished basement that's also forced air(natural gas) and his gas/cooking bill is usually $325-375 in the winter and under $100 in the spring/summer.
It's very difficult to zero in on this because you haven't provided the volume of what you're using. We can see your bills but we have no idea if you're being charged $1.50 per gallon of propane or $5.50 per gallon of propane. Your relative is paying much less to heat his home because natural gas (in terms of unit price) costs much less. If you want to really compare your relative's home to yours, take your propane bill for February (usually the coldest month) and his gas bill for February. Use an online calculator like this one:Residential Energy Calculator to figure out how many BTUs you each consumed during that month. If your BTUs come out roughly the same, the operative difference is the cost of the propane. If your BTUs are markedly higher than his, then start looking at insulation, etc... Regardless, you may also just want to shop around for propane. I only use propane for clothes drying and cooking, but I use a small local company instead of Amerigas or Suburban-I've found the pricing and service to be better.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:36 PM
 
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You may want to contact an insulation contractor that does retrofitting of energy inefficient homes. Your electric company may also provide a free thermographic inspection of your house to see where your heat loss is occurring. What kind of insulation is in your attic and is there insulation between your basement and first floor? Your Anderson windows are almost 30 years old and the vacuum between the panes may no longer function.


I would invest in insulation before changing out your current heating system. Putting in a new oil burner could run from $5,000 to $10,000 and there is no guarantee that you'll save money.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:17 PM
 
134 posts, read 74,604 times
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Also, are you using propane for hot water and clothes drying in addition to cooking and heating? We moved from a house where we had forced air oil heat, an electric dryer, electric water heater, and propane for cooking. Now we have oil for heat and hot water (Buderus boiler with indirect fired DHW tank), and propane for cooking and clothes drying. It was interesting to see how our costs shifted since we are using different energy sources for things. In our old house (1000 SF two bedroom ranch) we would have $150-175 per month electric bills even in winter (the major drivers being lights, clothes drying, and hot water), but now that we are seeing the latter two costs shifted to propane, our electric bill only barely makes it above $100 even in the summer. We did convert the entire house to LED lighting though, which makes a big difference.
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Old Yesterday, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Woods
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I definitely would not switch to oil. Propane and oil follow the same trajectory, and your propane bills aren't far off what most people pay for oil a month (maybe a bit higher, but a 275 gallon oil tank costs $600 to fill, and its not hard to go through a tank a month in the winter).

I'd recommend a pellet stove or wood stove in the basement if possible. A cheap woodstove will provide a TON of BTU's and not cost that much. They're also great if the power goes out.

Heck, I'd install electric baseboard heat before I ever switched to oil. Don't do it.
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Old Today, 03:08 PM
 
Location: union county, nj
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in this case, I would seriously look at a heat pump. I know there are geothermal options, but I am not well versed in them..


We put a mini split AC/Heat Pump in our last house, and I was pleasantly surprised how inexpensive it was to use these units as room heaters (to a point-- at a certain outdoor temp...18 degrees?... they drastically lose efficiency). This was a great option for us-- we kept the heat really low during the shoulder seasons and used the minisplit to heat only the occupied areas.
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Old Today, 06:38 PM
 
18,918 posts, read 12,359,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swamp_Yankee View Post
Transmission pipelines (which move large volumes of gas over long distances at high pressures) have nothing to do with regular service mains which supply low pressure gas to customers. Main extensions are subject to NJBPU regulation, which essentially relies on a formula to ensure that the gas company can only extend a main which will supply gas in such a way that there will be a reasonable return on investment. This is to deter companies from simply extending mains willy nilly and then recouping the expenses incurred by raising rates on all ratepayers.

Exactly!


Natural gas companies aren't going to run a line down a street or to whatever residence unless enough customers (or potential) are there to make it work.


Years ago (and maybe still for I know) if you wanted NG but there wasn't service on your street however a main was close enough the local utility company would make a deal. Get enough of your neighbors to sign up for NG and they will run a line for your street/area.


This would have been in areas where large numbers of residences likely went from coal to oil, and or say a development that was built with oil heat.


Natural gas has not always been an easy sell. Historically oil was cheaper, and many old timers believed natural gas would "blow up your house", so wouldn't go anywhere near.


Now of course thanks to our friend Mr. Fracking the USA has more natural gas than it knows what to do with, and prices have plummeted. Problem is getting that gas from sources/storage to where it is needed or wanted. Not surprisingly not everyone is thrilled with having a NG main going through or near their property.



On another note you'd be surprised at how many homes in parts of PA, northern NJ and NY burn coal. They can't get NG, and propane blows holes in their budget. But there is plenty of coal out there, even for free if you know where to mine the stuff.
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Old Today, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Woods
2,490 posts, read 2,555,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Exactly!


Natural gas companies aren't going to run a line down a street or to whatever residence unless enough customers (or potential) are there to make it work.


Years ago (and maybe still for I know) if you wanted NG but there wasn't service on your street however a main was close enough the local utility company would make a deal. Get enough of your neighbors to sign up for NG and they will run a line for your street/area.


This would have been in areas where large numbers of residences likely went from coal to oil, and or say a development that was built with oil heat.


Natural gas has not always been an easy sell. Historically oil was cheaper, and many old timers believed natural gas would "blow up your house", so wouldn't go anywhere near.


Now of course thanks to our friend Mr. Fracking the USA has more natural gas than it knows what to do with, and prices have plummeted. Problem is getting that gas from sources/storage to where it is needed or wanted. Not surprisingly not everyone is thrilled with having a NG main going through or near their property.



On another note you'd be surprised at how many homes in parts of PA, northern NJ and NY burn coal. They can't get NG, and propane blows holes in their budget. But there is plenty of coal out there, even for free if you know where to mine the stuff.
Yeah, I was blown away at how many people in PA still heat with coal. Coming from NJ, I though oil was old fashioned. Some of them even mine it themselves! One old timer told me that he goes up to Schyulkill County and knows of waste heaps of coal or slag. He wouldn't tell me where cause he wants it for himself! Can't say I blame him. Anyway apparently its a pretty cheap way to heat in certain parts of the country, much cheaper even than wood. So, the OP might want to think about a coal stove depending on where he lives.
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Old Today, 08:41 PM
 
18,918 posts, read 12,359,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
Yeah, I was blown away at how many people in PA still heat with coal. Coming from NJ, I though oil was old fashioned. Some of them even mine it themselves! One old timer told me that he goes up to Schyulkill County and knows of waste heaps of coal or slag. He wouldn't tell me where cause he wants it for himself! Can't say I blame him. Anyway apparently its a pretty cheap way to heat in certain parts of the country, much cheaper even than wood. So, the OP might want to think about a coal stove depending on where he lives.

Large parts of PA do not have NG lines, nor are they likely to receive in near future; just to rural or whatever to run NG lines. Well that is unless someone or entity picks up the tab (subsidy). Hence all that propane gas use in parts of that state.


Pennsylvania has been known for coal, much of it good hard anthracite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_Region


It was one reason so many railroads operated from that state. Huge fortunes were made hauling coal out of PA to various points east and west including ports in NJ for shipping all over the world.


The Knox Mine coal disaster was the beginning of end for king coal in PA: https://www.pahomepage.com/news/knox...ary/1717826889


That being said, again oh yes, there is still plenty of coal in that state. It may not be viable for large scale mining, but there are still small operations that supply everything from the few steam locomotives that remain to various residences and businesses who burn coal for heat or other purposes.


Then as you say there are those who know where to look and have their own "free" stash.
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