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Old 09-02-2005, 12:07 PM
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How are you going to heat your house this winter?

The heating costs are going to be a lot higher this year. How are you going to afford heating costs this winter? Are you thinking of going to an alternative source of heat?

I am worried about how Mom is going to heat her house this winter. She did replace her oil furnace with a new high efficiency propane furnace last year but I hear the price of propane is going up along with everything else. My sister should just drain her pipes and move out of her house for the winter. She couldn't afford to heat her house last year and she always ends up mooching money from my Mom. She has been draining money from Mom ever since her loser husband left about ten years ago.

I am not worried about what it is going to cost me to heat my home this winter. Last winter I put four gallons of gas through the chainsaw and that kept me warm all winter. That does not include the gas I put in my truck to haul the wood but most of the wood I cut was on the farm that I live on. I did cut up and haul a big maple tree that the wind blew over on one of our farms four miles from where I live. This year I am sitting pretty good as far as the wood supply goes. I could heat my home all winter without going over 400 feet from my house. Other than that I should cut up and haul a couple of maple trees that the wind blew down that are about one mile from my house but they are still on the same farm that we live on. There is a line of dead walnut trees on another of our farms that I should cut down and haul home and that farm is eight miles from my house. Still I can do all that with the way gas prices are now and not spend what I was spending on propane before I went to all wood heat tree years ago.

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Old 09-02-2005, 12:11 PM
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cleaned cooking oil works in old oilburner furnaces i've been told. 70 cents a glallon for the stuff, hell, i'd do it.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:17 PM
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Hey crashfarmer do you guys have any propane co-ops in your area? They usually have the best prices for propane.

What I do is offer a pre-buy program for my customers. I hold it for them untill they need it. See if any of the companies in your area do it, if they dont see if they will do it for you. (My pre buy is $1.89 this year and expect my winter normal prices to be $2.50+ here.)

John
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:32 PM
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when electricity went thru the roof last year i had just put in a wood stove. fished it out of the river from a flood the year before. got about a cord and a half right now. with the cost of gas going up, i dont have oil but i do have nat'l gas, which i except to go up too, i am going to get another cord and burn the holy hell out of it.. i also have baseboard heaters in everyroom so i'm covered. i have a logger friend who gives me free wood. i might just disconnect one of my sources of heat if it gets too much. my nutty mother with ol'timers likes to jack the thermostat all the way up from time to time. just gotta hope that she doesn't leave the stove door open
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propaniac
Hey crashfarmer do you guys have any propane co-ops in your area? They usually have the best prices for propane.

What I do is offer a pre-buy program for my customers. I hold it for them untill they need it. See if any of the companies in your area do it, if they dont see if they will do it for you. (My pre buy is $1.89 this year and expect my winter normal prices to be $2.50+ here.)

John
I'll talk to Mom about pre-buying propane. I know that Pelgas does that because I have friends that have been buying their propane for the winter about this time of year for years. I told Mom to go with Pelgas when she put in the furnace but she didn't listen to me and rented a tank from the company that I used to buy my propane from and I had problems with after they bought out the previous owners.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:37 PM
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Pay out the nose for natural gas. I wish I had the firep[lace put in when I built the house. I had thought about it,but decided I could use the money towards other things.I can say with the home being only 1 year old,that it is really efficent.Every room has furnace returns,double paned gas filled windows.Fiberglass inserts in the entry doors.Excellent insulation in the exterior walls and attic.Ty-vek wrapped celotex walls with brick.High effiecency furnace and water heater.Keep the thermosat a little lower and make everyone keep their clothes on and wrap up a little better if they get cool.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullheimer
when electricity went thru the roof last year i had just put in a wood stove. fished it out of the river from a flood the year before. got about a cord and a half right now. with the cost of gas going up, i dont have oil but i do have nat'l gas, which i except to go up too, i am going to get another cord and burn the holy hell out of it.. i also have baseboard heaters in everyroom so i'm covered. i have a logger friend who gives me free wood. i might just disconnect one of my sources of heat if it gets too much. my nutty mother with ol'timers likes to jack the thermostat all the way up from time to time. just gotta hope that she doesn't leave the stove door open
The elderly feel colder than younger people but you need to watch that she doesn't leave that stove door open. Maybe you could put some kind of geriatric proof latch or you may end up with no house. Free wood sounds great but I feel I need the exercise of cutting and splitting it myself. Mom has been after me to buy a gas powered log splitter but I tell her that would take all the fun out of it.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:48 PM
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I pre-bought my entire winter's supply of LP @ $1.65 gal. My local LP supplier buys huge blocks of gas (I think they said 100,000 gal at a time) at a locked in price which they then pass along to their customers. Unfortunately, in most places, there is a cut off date for bulk pre-buying. I know my local supplier cut off their program as of Aug. 30.

Looking down the road to next year, I just this morning met with my heating contractor to begin plans for the installation of a geothermal heat system. He's still got to do all the design and cost estimates - but I'm pretty certain we will be going that route ASAP. According to the EPA it is the most economic home heating alternative available (short of Crashfarmers chain saw). We already have a super insulated home (12" thick wall insulation and 18" thick ceilings) as well as quite a bit of passive solar south facing windows. But I'd really like to get free from petroleum products for heating the house. I think we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of gas prices.

(BTW, our plan is to run the geothermal heat pump and ground pump with photovoltaic solar panels...so the heat system, in theory at least, is designed to operate at zero cost. Obviously, there is a huge up front cost - but it looks like the payback period will be between 11 and 12 years. After that, our home heat will be totally self sufficient.)
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Old 09-02-2005, 01:20 PM
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I built myself a hydraulic logsplitter, and installed a wood stove in my basement. If I keep it stoked up, it will heat my whole house for next to nothing. My father-in-law has one in his basement, runs it all winter, his avg n/g bill is $43.52 per month. That is basic delivery + the water heater. Swing an axe for a few hours to make some kindling, cart wood in every day, save around $1000 over the winter. Plus the ashes are good for keeping bugs out of the garden.
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Old 09-02-2005, 01:51 PM
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I've been thnking about looking into geothrermal heating. I'm afraid if they did a deep well like that it will affect my shallow well I get my water from. Plus I hear it's expensive to have one put in.
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Old 09-02-2005, 02:01 PM
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Whatever you do,I want to check the oil and clean the windshields of our customers cars!!!
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Old 09-02-2005, 02:46 PM
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We have oil heat. My mom gets a contract every year or something, she signs for a flat price rate. It saved us money last winter, I'm sure it will save us money this winter.
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Old 09-03-2005, 12:55 AM
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I've been installing fireplace inserts/freestanding/builtin units, gas, wood, pellet for about 14 years, I do this in my off season from USDA. Heating your living area, aka zone heating, can save a ton of money. An insert or free standing unit in your living room, den, where you spend most of your awake time, keep this area warmer, set your thermostat lower and heat the area you spend the most time. These units are far more efficient today, some of the gas units are 80-85 % (vented), stay warmer for less. I've got a freestanding Jotul (nat. gas) in my living room, I run my furnace about 10 hours a year. And yes, it gets pretty cold in the valley, fog that goes right to your bones cold. The Jotul keeps the house warm, you can even hook remote control/thermostats to these things now, take the remote to bed, wake up, turn the unit on and it will be toasty in the living are by the time you get up. Woodstoves are hard to beat, specially if you can get free wood. Be safe, check and clean the pipe on a regular basis. Dan
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Old 09-03-2005, 03:44 AM
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Quote:
And yes, it gets pretty cold in the valley, fog that goes right to your bones cold.
Oh yea Dinger.....What's it get down to? 50? Try dropping down to about 10 below with winds howling, snow blowing, no sun for a month, just grey skies. Now I went and got myself all depressed!!
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Old 09-03-2005, 04:46 AM
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I contracted 1200 gal lp @ $1.21 in may. My shop old house furnace,I am going to either put a high efficiancy furnace in or radiant heat tube, can't decide which hope it helps anyway I can.
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