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Heating options

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Master Angler, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. Any opinions on gas vs. electric furnaces vs. heat pumps, etc. I think I will be replacing an older gas furnace in my new house soon and wondered what peoples thoughts are on costs/ benefits, etc. With gas going up 70% i'm not looking forward to big gas bills..and I don't want to burn pellets, pallets,wood, etc. I have a newer AC unit so I would think that would eliminate the heat pump as an option but I am not sure.
    Thanks,
    MA
     
  2. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    Don't go ghetto and put a plug-in heater in each room. You know, the open-flame type. Then, there was this hillbilly friend of mine who would heat his garage with his gas-grill. Smart.
     

  3. Investigate hot water heat via under floor tubing and a gas fired boiler/hot water tank. The heat is steady, comfortable and efficient.
     
  4. Well definitely not doing the ghetto heating thing..also don't want to spend 10k to "save" $500 bucks a year...this means I have to use existing ductwork and keep existing newer AC unit. Tearing up new floors is not an option although i'm aware of its upside. My interest is in comparing gas vs. electric furnace and/or heat pump options. Also, if anyone has any experience with new heat on demand hot water heaters.
     
  5. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    if you have a fairly new a/c unit,i'd look into the high effeciency gas furnaces.
    .i've had both over the years,including heat pump,and found that gas provides better/warmer,quicker heat at or below electric costs.
    i hate electric heat :mad:
     
  6. I agree with MISFIT but the hot water is a hot item at work with the guys. Free wood! :D I use force air on a high eff. Nice and costless so far.
     
  7. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    The on demand water heaters are a good way to go if you are not going to have severl different water demands for the hot water at the same time. I've used these in Thailand and my buddy at work just got one. Great when taking a shower, but if you need hot water for washing dishes or doing the laundry, then it creates a supply problem. I believe the cost is coming down for the units. I'm not sure if they are installable by a weekend warrior or need specialized installation. Something you might want to check into.
     
  8. Hook N Book

    Hook N Book The Original Hot Rod Staff Member

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    The Fed's passed legislation for the HVAC industry to manufacture higher efficiency AC units...going from a max. 12 SEER rating up to a 16 seer. What this means is that the current furnaces will have to get larger is size to accomodate the larger condensing coil which will be required. Once the current supply of furnances and AC units are exhausted the price of the newer units will be much higher.
    As already stated, gas is a warmer heat and historically has been less expensive than electric. I hate electric heat too...it just doesn't seem to ever get warm enough. I'd look at the high efficiency condensing units (92%+). The super high efficiency condensing units (94%+) will be substanually more expensive initially with a slower pay back and if you ever need repairs that can be quite expensive also.
     
  9. shuvlhed1

    shuvlhed1 Banned

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    Know what you are getting into. Heat pumps put out "cold heat" ie. room temperature heat. Feels cool to the skin when blowing on you. Also, below certain temps, I think upper 20's or low 30's, the heat pump can no longer extract heat from the outside air and your secondary heat source will kick on. If you have lived with gas heat or some kind of forced air heat like it, don't go to a heat pump. You will probably hate it. But it is cheap compared to gas heat, at least mine is. But I also "supplement" my heat by running a fireplace insert when I am home and it is cold out.

    Food for thought.
     
  10. Cat Mazter

    Cat Mazter Pro Catfisherman

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    Your right on shuvlhed1 about the Heat Pumps, I have an older one & When it gets below 20 or so we have an electric Heater we Plug in to keep the Heat on in the Trailer, Yes I live in a Trailer. :eek: But I chose to go all Electric when I Bought it. Pure & simple fact is that Gas will continue tio rise & the screw you everytime you need it. I have saw it first hand with the Neighbor's. They go with very little gas because they cant afford to fill up. My Heat Pump is over due for replacement, But still works great on the Air Condition, & Works good in the Winter. One thing we do is put Plastic over all the Windows, in the Summer too, Turn down the Heat on the Water Heater & Have our roof Sealed once a year. I have also went around the Trailer & Plugged every hole that is used for a Cable or Phone line with Insulation. We have cut our bill way down from Last year & the year before.

    For you I think Id go with Electric room heaters & close off any room you dont need heated. The Small Electric room heaters are efficiant & low cost to heat with out Gas. It an Option Id look at if I were you. But this is only my Opinion.

    Cat Mazter
     
  11. ok so the heat pump is out..and most don't like electric furnaces...sounds like i'm stuck w/ a high efficiency gas furnace...my view is 90% is cost effective...above that isn't worth the added expense....I do have 3 zone heating and will install digital thermostats...and from my last experience proper insulation seems to be the X factor...I wont keep my house below 70 -cost be damned. I grew up in a "wear your sweater" house and mom can't believe that I keep it warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt inside. Thanks for the opinions.
     
  12. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    When we get out wood burner going it's thong time in my house! Ha - there was this time during the super bowl party when...... Just kidding. Bad mental picture there...
     
  13. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    LOL,pete.
    atta boy :D
    my house hardly gets above 65 in the winter or below 85 in summer.guess the wife forgot she lefty the mountains of west virginia over 40 years ago:rolleyes: ;)

    the 90% should work fine,and you're right on the insulation.more is better fits in that case..............winter and summer.
     
  14. Do the math when looking at the efficiency of a furnace. An 80% efficient furnace is conciderably cheaper initial cost by a couple/few hundred $. A 90% is 10% more efficient but has conciderably more things to go wrong with it, like pc boards, blowers, sensors, ect. Chances are increased something will go wrong, high efficiency is more expensive to fix. If your gas bill is $200.00/mth in the winter with 80%, then it will be a mere $180.00 @ 90%. a savings of $20.00/mth or 20x6 mths $120.00 for the season. I am not advocating one or the other, just exploring.
     
  15. Think hard about gas. Natural gas is forcast to go up drasticly this winter. I just wonder why. You could have the gas company come onto your land and drill. Then you get gas free. My mom and dad burned wood every winter until they bought a piece of property that has a gas well on it. Now they set there in 80 degree heat all winter. I just wonder what made them do it. May have something to do with the mornings that the fire went out. When you stuck your head out from under the covers you could see your own breath.
     
  16. There are too many option to list..But lets try..

    80%--A lot cheaper initial investment----Good option!

    90%--Single stage gas valve with single speed fan( Fan does not modulate)
    This is still a good option-----Better!!

    90%+---A two stage gas valve--(Hi and low) It should run most of the time
    on low speed thus saving you on energy cost..These furnaces
    usually have a direct drive motor that will modulate along with the
    load of the house...These high end furnaces usually have 10 year
    warranty on parts and labor..Examine the warrany closely and ask
    questions...----------Best!

    There are other options to consider..

    A humidifier, i have one and will not be without one..Moist air will
    have a better heat load and helps with dry mouth, bloody
    noses and static electricity..


    gl with the hunt
     
  17. Master Angler I have a total electric home and as already said it is a cool heat.But on the other hand in my former house i had a dual system gas & electric. Before i had it installed they had a hard time convencing me it was cheeper to operate but it was.The heat pump would run down to 32 degrees then then it would kick over to gas furnace. The reason for this is the heat pump is cheaper than gas to run above 32 deg.The heat pump is plenty warm down to that temp but not much below it, and it was also cheeper to operate,i didnt believe it until i had it installed and used it.. Just some thought Good Luck on your Heat choice Fishguy
     
  18. SwollenGoat

    SwollenGoat Scourge of Hoover

    Sorry I'm late to the party, you can go gas or you can go electric - but I won't own a house without a wood-burning stove. If for nothing else than the peace of mind it brings when the power goes out. (Remember last year's ice storm?) If you have to, you can cook breakfast, lunch and dinner on a wood-burner. Currently my house is all electric with a wood-burning stove in the family room. In the past 7 years my electric bill has never been over $130 in the coldest winter. However, I do burn 2-3 cords of firewood every year.

    Wood is not a great option for those who don't want to deal with cutting/splitting it - I've seen prices up to $150 cord! You're better off using pellets or just turn up the thermostat if you have to pay that. However, if you have the back for it, and the tools, it does pay for itself and gives me a sense of pride that I can heat my home regardless of what prices of gas or electric are.
     
  19. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    Wood prices are cheap if you have in-laws with several acres of woods in their backyard. Constantly cutting up downed trees. Have hydraulic splitter and dry storage. This equals a sufficient supply of firewood for the little house on the prairie. No buffalo chips in my house!
     
  20. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

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    Master Angler, I replaced an old oil furnace converted to gas that was 40% - 50% efficient at best in 2001.
    I boiled it down to installing a Bryant Plus 90i after doing a lot of research and comparison.
    This furnace has an annual fuel utilization efficiency of 96.6%. From my old furnace to the new one that is basically a doubling of burner efficiency. The Bryant actually runs in low heat mode up to 90% of the time and I rarely hear the blower kick up in speed.
    My blower is a variable-speed unit, and so is the inducer motor. Combined they greatly reduce the electrical demand for operating the furnace. In fact the electrical wattage consumption is 80-100, whereas typical high-efficiency furnaces average 625.
    When you consider the furnaces use for central air and it being used year-round, the electrical savings add up as well.
    Especially if programmable thermastats are used.
    The initial outlay is more, but I felt it a sound investment. My Bryant has been trouble-free, and great to own. They have my full recommendation.
    I also recommend upgrading your air filtration at the same time, but look at the filter replacement costs and compare. Some units have a lot more expensive filters.