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Old 08-31-2007, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Fort Myers, FL
83 posts, read 296,857 times
Reputation: 31

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Hello~

Okay so a builder down there freaked out my hubby! Can you all just be quiet till we get there! LOL

Anyway, he was told that gas there costs a LOT! and that most houses have gas and electricity. If a house completly runs on electric than the elecrtric is sky high because of the heating plates!

Shed some light on all this for me. I guess going form electric only to a combo deal is a bit scarry thinking in terms of costs.

Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth TX
24 posts, read 110,192 times
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I was also told that gas was a little high this yr compared to usual . The builders I've talked to recommended Heat pumps which only require the auxilliary heat to come on during colder time periods(approx below freezing). This is what I have here in north TX and it works fine but I expect the auxilliary will be on more often because the cold temps are about 10 deg different. The KWH will be 1/2 of what I now pay so all is good.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:04 AM
 
Location: East TN
9,781 posts, read 7,960,164 times
Reputation: 34679
Costs of electricity are very low per kwh, so you can use more without having your bill go up too high. Heat pumps are very efficient as long as you don't monkey around with the thermostat and put it way up and down all the time. Chevy is right, the heat strips usually only trip on when it is below 40 degrees or when someone jacks up the thermostat quickly. I know for us Californians, it's going to be about 50% cheaper than what we pay now.
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:29 AM
 
13,106 posts, read 37,394,855 times
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I've had the electric heat pump before, and now I have gas heat in my house. There is no way that I will ever go back to an electric heat pump. I don't care that it costs me an extra $20-30 per month in the wintertime to heat my house (I have a small house). It's worth it to come home to a WARM home with WARM air coming out of the vents. Heating strips or not, I NEVER felt completely warm when my house was heated with an electric heat pump. But with gas heat, it's toasty warm, no matter what the temperature is outside.

If you're determined to have an electric heat pump, maybe you could supplement it with a gas fireplace. Believe me, there will be times in the winter when it will get COLD (like below 0) and you'll want the magic of a gas fireplace to give your home instant heat. And it's nice to hold your cold hands to a fire in a fireplace instead of some central air vent in the floor.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,170 posts, read 7,341,879 times
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I had a electric high efficiency heat pump installed two years ago. Replaced an old electric HVAC system. Heats and cools perfectly. I do like that the heat pump doesn't blast hot air at you.
My electric bill for a 1200 sq. ft. one level condo (with large expanses of single pane glass) is $50-$70 a month. I can't get natural gas where I am so that's all electric.
You'll find very little natural gas in the South, outside of areas that had gas lights installed in the pre-electric days. Gas is found with oil deposits and drillers need to get rid of it to get to the oil. That's why it's very cheap in Southern California, Texas and other areas where you have a oil drilling.
If you want a gas fireplace, get propane. My sister in Pennsylvania has one. It works like a gas barbecue, runs off a tank installed outside the house. Really nice.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:23 PM
 
2,197 posts, read 7,137,839 times
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I would think twice--then three times-- about an electric heat pump. My parents have one, because the builder told them it would save a bundle on utilities. They can't stand it.

The vents blow lukewarm air that feels cool when it hits you. You can't put chairs or beds anywhere near them or you'll be very uncomfortable in cold weather. If you really want one, be careful where you place the vents. Otherwise, you're going to have some unusable space.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,279 posts, read 20,362,316 times
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I too do NOT like the heat pumps. I have one now and we can never seem to get the house a comfortable temp either winter or summer and our electric bills are high! Then again no one in the house wants to leave that thermostat alone. I sooo miss my gas (kerosene/diesel fuel) furnace, now THAT was great warm heat and I loved standing on them after coming in from outside, it would take no time at all to heat a two story house.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
36,935 posts, read 38,406,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniellec View Post
Hello~

Okay so a builder down there freaked out my hubby! Can you all just be quiet till we get there! LOL

Anyway, he was told that gas there costs a LOT! and that most houses have gas and electricity. If a house completly runs on electric than the elecrtric is sky high because of the heating plates!

Shed some light on all this for me. I guess going form electric only to a combo deal is a bit scarry thinking in terms of costs.

Thanks!
Here's a state by state electric rate map for the entire US. I'm thinking it's an average for each state. What may me high to some may be dirt cheap to others or about the same as what you pay where you live.

http://www.kaec.org/images/stand/0607_RateMap.pdf

I have a related question. If you live in a city (meaning it has its own electric, schools, police, etc. apart from the county or state) do you pay more or less for your electric/utilities than a neighboring town that is not a city? Is that true for any city in the US?
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:19 AM
 
13,106 posts, read 37,394,855 times
Reputation: 10420
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
I have a related question. If you live in a city (meaning it has its own electric, schools, police, etc. apart from the county or state) do you pay more or less for your electric/utilities than a neighboring town that is not a city? Is that true for any city in the US?
I think it depends on the area and the local utility company.

Some rural electric cooperatives purchase their electricity from the nearest municipal power company and therefore pass on the additional cost to the customers.

In addition, cities generally have a higher concentration of customers per mile of power lines which reduces the per capita cost of maintenance.

I'm basing that only on my personal experience living in some rural areas vs. urban areas. Others may have different experiences.
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:51 AM
 
188 posts, read 535,766 times
Reputation: 117
I went with the electric heat pump "dual fuel" option. This means that I have the heat pump and, when it gets so cold that the heat pump doesn't work, my system switches over to gas heat.

It's true, the warm air from the heat pump is not terribly warm at all. There is at temperature at which heat pumps simply aren't able to produce heat. I believe maximum efficiency is somewhere close to 40 with the heat pump. Below that, the gas heat is programmed to come on.

Yes, I was amazed at the air from the heat pump heat...it just didn't feel warm at all coming through the vents. I thought it was broken until others informed me that this is just how it is! This year, I'm going to pay attention to the exact temp. breaking pointing at which the heat pump just isn't adequate.

I have been told that, not long ago, gas was much cheaper than electric (and electric is very cheap in east tenn.), and gas heat was very popular.

Gosh, I wish gas heat was cheap because gas heat totally does the job!
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