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Old 06-16-2011, 12:07 AM
4,135 posts, read 10,811,481 times
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Originally Posted by NaleyRocks View Post
I live in Northern NY (15-20 minutes from Canada, I can sing you their national anthem). 1200 sq ft house. Last year we paid more to heat our house than to rent it.

Fuel for heat right now, and its up to $4/gallon and we use about 200 gallons during the coldest months. Electric bills in winter shoot up to well over $200/month. This year has been brutal, its 28F right now, winter just doesn't want to let go.

But I will admit, that amount is high, utility costs really skyrocketed this winter. I heard many people talking about heating costs being more than rents/mortgages. Thats why we decided we are going to sawp out the furnace in the house we are buying for a closed loop system. We will still use fuel when its really cold (below 10F or 20F) but that should only be about a month out of the year. But I want to talk to folks who have had that type of furnace installed and see what their luck has been like. Its widely talked about up here but no one has been brave enough to take the first step.
Find a house with gas heat, for crying out loud! Yes, it was a brutal winter, and I run my heat at 68, 66 at night...We have 900 sq. feet with an additional 2 large well insulated porches (w/out heat -- but never go below 55 degrees due to the insulation) -- for a total of 1250 sq. feet. We have gas heat and a hi-efficiency furnace. After putting in the new furnace, we dropped to about $1200/year for all heating ( I have a gas dryer as well and it is frequently used). Our electric about $1000 a year ( because we have central air and do not skimp on it).

Forget the solar -- I live in a cloudy area in the west of the state... friends put in systems and wasted the money. Find a gas heat house
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:21 AM
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I am surprised to see this on a Frugal Living forum. The cost is high. Yes, eventually you will recover it. But unless you have access to low-cost capital, it doesn't make sense.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by NaleyRocks View Post
Last year we were renting a house and paid $4800 over the course of the winter for fuel and wood to heat the house. Plus we had electric bills over $300/mo during the winter months.
We live a bit to the east from you (in Canada) and we cut/split our own wood. Sure, some seniors buy wood but able folks in rural area could rent a splitter for $35 a day, or outright buy a woodsplitter for around $2K - which is a much smaller investments than fancy new energy projects. 3-4 cords wood cost = $10 for chainsaw fuel + $10 for gasoline for woodsplitter.

We do turn electric heat up once in a while, and run electricity in the workshop, plus of course lights and computers, - but our electricity bill is $150 a month in winter.

My husband has built an off-grid (solar+windmill) house for someone else, and we are thinking of implementing that here, but so far nothing can beat burning your own wood. We don't have much land, 4 acres, but it seems like there is enough trees to last us another 30 years. Even if you had to buy logs it should cost $180 a cord, - how do you manage to spend $4800 a winter?
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:34 PM
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
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My parents also bought a wood burning stove, and it has really saved them a ton of money. The cost was around 2K, but the wood is free. He's got a lot of wood available on the property, and he also drives up north with friends and hauls back a ton of wood from dead trees. They say the furnace almost never turns on in the winter, and they've even had to open windows on a few occasions. It may not be a clean solution, but cash is king is this land
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:37 PM
766 posts, read 1,394,520 times
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Originally Posted by Joke Insurance View Post
Could you please explain what a Solar Hot Air Collector does exactly (other than what you mentioned) and how much it costs? Thanks.
Check out the youtubes I posted. A Solar Hot Air Collector isn't something you buy. It's a DIY project. It won't provide you with ALL your needs, but it sure will make a difference.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:07 PM
29,981 posts, read 42,922,559 times
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There are a number of different designs and demos on youtube.
Just one:


A rocket mass heater might be another option to consider:
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:27 AM
Location: Fairfax County, VA
3,718 posts, read 5,694,650 times
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That is it, I assume?
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