Hey I know this is a car forum but I figured I'd throw this out there and
see what comes up. I rent a townhouse where nothing is included except the
well water. I use propane to heat my water and fuel the furnace. Around
here heating costs just keep rising every year(probrably everywhere else as
Unfortunately by renting I can't get a woodstove to help save some money but an electric heater that's somewhat portable would work just fine. So here's the big question: Would I save money in the long run by buying a new electric/ceramic heater? I hear the newer ones are getting better and better but are they enough to pay for themselves if not better than sticking with just gas. Anyone have any ideas on $/BTU between what I have and what I can get. Keep in mind the furnace is a nice bryant which is pretty good. I generally go through about 200gallons every 5 weeks in the winter, not bad but with propane over $3.25 now a 200gallon fill costs a pretty penny, and as the cold moves in prices will go up.
I was always under the impression that the only time an electric heater
will save you money is if your propane heater isn't divided into zones and
you only want to heat one or two rooms. In other words, if you only need to
heat the bedroom over night, instead of heating the whole house with the
propane heater, just put a little electric space heater in the bedroom. For
the most part though, gas heat is more efficient, and thus usually more
cost effective, than electric heat. Of course it will vary from place to
place, especialy if you have to factor in delivery costs.
depending on how old the furnace is, you should be ably to find the efficiency rating. same goes for an electric heater. look at your utility bill and find out what you are paying for electricity and do the math.
One gallon of propane contains about 91,690 BTU's. multiply that by your furnaces efficiency rating, and you have the number of BTU's you use per gallon. times the number of gallons, and you have the total BTU's used to heat your home. (with a little effort you could subtract the aproximate amount used to heat your water.) A new electric heater will tell you how many watts per BTU, times your cost per watt, and you have the cost.
long winded and discombobulated, I know:ohcrap: but hopefuly that helps some.
Interesting. I'll definately look into it. How can I find the rating on my
furnace? Look up the serial online or something? As you said I'm just
looking to heat a small area on the top floor(between two bedrooms directly
across from each other). Two zones for the furnace, bottom and second
floor. The third floor usually stays a few degrees above the second. I
figure leave the thermostat set at 60-62 and warm up the bedrooms at night
As you said it's common knowledge that fossil fuels give you more heat but they've been saying electric's the most expensive since they said a barrel of crude would NEVER reach $100.
I'll check into it though, thanks for the help.
If it is a newer furnace, it might have an energy star sticker on it, which
should tell you, otherwise you just have to google the model number, even
then you might not find it, but you should be ably to find a round
Keep in mind that by letting the temperature drop over night, the furnace will have to work harder/longer to get it up to temperature, so you don't want to let it drop too far, or you will have left for work before it gets up to temperature. 60-62 sounds reasonable.
When you rent, it makes it difficult to add things like insulation in the walls, etc. but some of the tips here (http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/pollprev/WHConservationTips.html) should help.
Well I went out a bought a little ceramic forced air job. It's a 1500W max but has all sorts of fan speed and temperature adjustments, along with a safety auto-shut off. Didn't pay too much for it but it'll take the chill out of a room quick. Next month ask me how much the light bill went up and we'll see how a made out.
Figured I'd throw this out there for anyone interested. I was talking to my boss the other day and his brother bought some ceramic panel heaters. He liked them so much he went out and bought three more. Aparently they're warm to touch(not hot) and only use as much electricity as a 100W light bulb. They come with or without thermostat control but it's probrably cheaper just to buy a x-mas tree timer and set it for evenings and mornings. He'll be getting me some more information soon so if anyone's interested let me know. I believe they're ball-parked at $90/ea.