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Old 04-03-2007, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Margaritaville, State Of mind
275 posts, read 1,187,492 times
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As things continue to progress towards my relocation to VT I have come to accept a few things, one of which is winter is a BIG part of life. Personally, I'm looking forward to it.........I think. Anyways, with that being said....what is the best way to heat in VT? Electric or Gas? I'm guessing electric.
Also.......when I have looked at some properties I noticed something along the base boards that I believe is a heater of some sort? Is that mainly on older homes, or more common on newer homes?
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:34 PM
 
122 posts, read 414,545 times
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GAS is way cheaper. A friend just recently knocked the electric switch on a single register in her condo (otherwise she uses gas to heat) and didn't notice it until 3 weeks later...when her electric bill came back at $400!!!

I'm not sure exactly what the register is you're talking about, but you can have baseboard registers and have gas as your main heating source...through those baseboards. That's how we heat our house.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Burlington VT
1,405 posts, read 4,374,288 times
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Electric heat is prohibitively expensive. Though there were some condo projects built without anything but electric a number of years ago - most of them have been retrofitted. But people tend to leave the electric in place in condos at least in some rooms. Bathrooms in particular.

Central heat is typically Natural Gas, Fuel Oil or Propane. These are used either to heat air, or to heat water which runs through radiators. These radiators are often baseboards, but on older buildings they are occasionally still the old stand-up kind.

Some condos and a few houses use some sort of space heater instead of central heat. These can be very efficient propane or natural gas units, or even kerosene, and are typically vented outside and thermostatically controlled.

Radiant heat is catching on rapidly too. This involves placing a source of heat (often simply a loop of hot water plumbing) under a new floor. This would typically be a "zone" on a hot water heating system.

The Professional Property Inspectors buyers are advised to use often include a simple schematic diagram of various common heating systems in the reports or books which the client keeps. And there's no substitute for spending 3 hours or so with an ASHI (or similar) certified inspector having all the specific parts of the system (and the rest of the house and site) pointed out. I also typically recommend having the furnace technician (who does yearly maintainance) come by and perform service during or shortly after the inspection.

There are other kinds of heat used to suppliment these. Common ones are wood, wood pellets (which I think are very nice) solar, Off Peak Electric storage etc.

This is just the thumbnail sketch.

Hope it helps!

David
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Burlington VT
1,405 posts, read 4,374,288 times
Reputation: 544
Up,

...since the question comes up frequently.
David


Quote:
Originally Posted by chaz longue View Post
Electric heat is prohibitively expensive. Though there were some condo projects built without anything but electric a number of years ago - most of them have been retrofitted. But people tend to leave the electric in place in condos at least in some rooms. Bathrooms in particular.

Central heat is typically Natural Gas, Fuel Oil or Propane. These are used either to heat air, or to heat water which runs through radiators. These radiators are often baseboards, but on older buildings they are occasionally still the old stand-up kind.

Some condos and a few houses use some sort of space heater instead of central heat. These can be very efficient propane or natural gas units, or even kerosene, and are typically vented outside and thermostatically controlled.

Radiant heat is catching on rapidly too. This involves placing a source of heat (often simply a loop of hot water plumbing) under a new floor. This would typically be a "zone" on a hot water heating system.

The Professional Property Inspectors buyers are advised to use often include a simple schematic diagram of various common heating systems in the reports or books which the client keeps. And there's no substitute for spending 3 hours or so with an ASHI (or similar) certified inspector having all the specific parts of the system (and the rest of the house and site) pointed out. I also typically recommend having the furnace technician (who does yearly maintainance) come by and perform service during or shortly after the inspection.

There are other kinds of heat used to suppliment these. Common ones are wood, wood pellets (which I think are very nice) solar, Off Peak Electric storage etc.

This is just the thumbnail sketch.

Hope it helps!

David
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:27 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,415,020 times
Reputation: 395
When it comes to heating questions in New England in general it seems that electric, gas, and propane are the options most often inquired about. The fact is that heating oil is the major source with some exceptions regionally. Yes, I know many use wood and pellets, but oil is a primary source. The question of cost should be actually rephrased to how many units are used in a heating season (gallons for oil). We have a 2550 sq ft two story and keeping the temp between 63 and 68 we used 800 gallons of oil last season (forced air system) with no other heating source except a small electric space heater the wife uses at times when working in a large room. Our hot water is electric and our average use per month year round is 720 kwh per month. So what does it all cost? Last year a kwh averaged .17 cents and oil went for $2.69. Who knows what oil will run in six months and the cost of electricity in Vermont is certain to continue to rise substantially as the infrastucture for transmission and delivery is not up to standards for demand. When VT Yankee is finally closed then about 35% of our power will have to come from somewhere, more than likely being purchased from outside utilities at greater cost. The problem is that our neighbors face the same dilema of needed system improvements and rising demand. Therefore, anyone planning to live here needs to be prepared to budget accordingly to meet the rising costs of already high energy rates.
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Vermont
1,442 posts, read 5,897,418 times
Reputation: 450
My friend in Rhode Island has a wood stove and it keeps the house plenty warm in the winter. I don't know how much utility fuel they use, but they keep the woodstove on in the winter. I visit every Christmas and it is usually pretty cold outside.

I'm wondering how much heating fuel you save if you use a woodstove or pellet stove.

I just use natural gas and it is very expensive. But you can arrange to be billed on a level billing plan, so you know what your bill is going to be.

I used to have an old replacement bow window which caused a lot of wasted heat. Last year I replaced it with a new window of double plated thermal glass. That makes a significant difference, I think.
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:41 AM
 
1 posts, read 11,526 times
Reputation: 10
Default What have you learned?

Lukedaddy,

Presuming you have moved to VT since your posting, what have you learned. I am in the process of moving to VT now. We've been looking at homes. As we discussed our choices with the locals a look of shock came over their faces to learn that the homes were about 3000 square feet. They expressed concerns about heating them. The house most highly being considered was built in 1992 and uses propane heat with baseboard radiators. What is your best estimate for energy consumption if the thermostat is set at 69 while we are there and awake and at 64 while asleep or away?

Captmikemd
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:18 AM
 
2,143 posts, read 7,183,957 times
Reputation: 1138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captmikemd View Post
Lukedaddy,

Presuming you have moved to VT since your posting, what have you learned. I am in the process of moving to VT now. We've been looking at homes. As we discussed our choices with the locals a look of shock came over their faces to learn that the homes were about 3000 square feet. They expressed concerns about heating them. The house most highly being considered was built in 1992 and uses propane heat with baseboard radiators. What is your best estimate for energy consumption if the thermostat is set at 69 while we are there and awake and at 64 while asleep or away?

Captmikemd
That would be hard to answer without knowing more info-orientation of the house, insulation, layout, insulation again. You best source of information is the previous owners and the utlitie company. Check with the propane company to see what the usage has been.
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:08 AM
 
Location: 89121
413 posts, read 1,425,221 times
Reputation: 336
Residential energy costs in Vermont are some of the highest in the nation. Except for some of the "urbanized" areas, there are no gas lines so propane must be delivered by truck which adds substantially to the cost. With market oil prices rising to $3.60-$3.85/gal as of today, Vermonters are going to have to find a way to heat their homes by other sources. There are problems here also. Vermonters that sell wood for heating are taking advantage of the current oil market conditions and raping wood buyers. Pellet stoves are a great alternative but the cost of fuel and the delivery options are limited. As far as I know, there is no capability for bulk delivery of wood pellets. Absurd energy prices was one of the primary factors in our leaving this state. Alternative energy has gained a small foothold, but the climate is not conducive to the traditional wind and solar technologies and the energy suppliers know it. Here in Utah where the sun shines and the wind blows almost all the time, energy prices/btu are less that 1/3 of what they are in Vermont.
Check out the following for electric rates nationwide:

Residential Electricity Prices: A Consumer's Guide
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,520,799 times
Reputation: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYtoVT View Post
As far as I know, there is no capability for bulk delivery of wood pellets.
We get our stove pellets delivered on palettes in 1-3 ton loads. Is that what you're referring to? Or something else?
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