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Old 09-25-17, 10:04 AM   #1
oil pan 4
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Default Wood pellet, heat pump, propane, wood stove versus natural gas

Natural gas is cheapest. But comes with a service charge.
For example during the warmer months I will use about $5 worth of natural gas per month, but get about a $25 to $30 service charge.
So I get stuck spending about $30 for around 1,000,000 btu.
During the summer most of that 1Mbtu is used for water heating, but water heating will be taken care of by the heat pump water heater which I have a ready bought but not yet installed.

Propane is just about the most expensive way to heat so I would use that sparingly. For cooking, that would be about it. We use the stove about 2 or 3 times a week, the oven, maybe twice a year. We have been using the stove more, eventually will use it just about daily.

Wood pellets are pretty cheap, cheaper than propane for sure, but about double the price of natural gas per btu, but wood pellets don't have a sercharge.

The gas surcharge will be up $350 per year. (I hear gas service charge is a little more expensive where we are moving)
The surcharge alone would pay for almost 60 bags of wood pellets. I know I'm not going to use any where near 60 bags of wood pellets. My parents in Maine use about one 40lb bag about every 2 days.

What do you think?

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Old 09-25-17, 12:10 PM   #2
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Here is a fuel calculator from Builditsolar:

https://www.builditsolar.com/Referen...uelCompare.htm

Notice that it's results are both in Cost of fuel, but also the environmental effects (CO2), if you happen to be one of those people who can understand the effect of our heating choices on the environment.

I think that insulation should be a bigger concern than fuel type.

-AC
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Old 09-25-17, 01:10 PM   #3
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Looking at the chart AC posted Pellets and a heat pump are much closer in economy then I imagined.

In cold weather the pellets might even surpass the mini splits economy

I hate Surcharges with a passion

I myself would Pass on the gas and pick up a pellet stove it could be used to preheat the water before the heat pump heater see it.

Could wrap the flue with a coil or drill and mount a loop inside alternatively use a stove with a built in water heating coil.

Could add a on/off water valve and drain the copper tube when your not heating fresh intake water for the bath or shower. that way its used when required and not when its not.
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Old 09-25-17, 01:17 PM   #4
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I have no problem spending a thousand or 2 on insulation. I saw this house during last phase of the renovation and they actually insulated it pretty good where there is insulation. Of course I am going to go back and add more.
The main opportunity to add insulation is under the house, where there is none. I have some wire to pull for welding machines and electric car chargers and gas lines to run under there I'm going to stuff insulation up under there when I do all that.

As far as the wood stoves go it won't be a main source of heat. I have 3 gigantic standing trees next to the house, i already cut down the standing dead one, another barely alive one and have one remaining high risk almost dead partially rotten one left to fell and will have tons of wood until that wood is burned up. There aren't a lot of trees around so when it's gone it's gone.

I love global warming, the more the better I say.
I have already determined coal is the cheapest heat source besides natural gas, I would burn coal but have no local source for it.
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Old 09-26-17, 10:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
I love global warming, the more the better I say.
I am glad that you love global warming, because you will have so much more to love!

It is good for you that already, the world's climate is resulting in a reduced ability of the earth to produce essential grain crops, which have always been the basis for civilization. This is what is driving the wars in Africa and parts of the Middle East. The failure of subsistence farming due to global warming caused drought is what is driving the huge immigration into Europe.

But, you may not be a big salad-eater, or even a big grain eater, but consider that grain crops are the feed-stock for the world's live stock and poultry production. That means a global reduction in beef, chicken, pork, and cheese and eggs. all of these are going to decline in supply, and escalate in price.

But what most people who ARE aware of the seriousness of global warming don't know, is that due to political pressure (research funding reduction) on the Scientific Community, the reports have been watered down because the dire consequences of global warming are not solvable through our political system., Also, the scientific reports are usually limited to a single issue.

The unspoken truth is that when the totality of consequences of all individual effects are considered together, the prospects of life as we know it are too uncomfortable to imagine.


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Old 09-27-17, 01:02 AM   #6
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Climate change may have very well created the concept of warfare. Wars have been waged for as long as recorded history where extended drought, famine caused a group of people to fight their own government or pack their stuff and go attack their neighbor to take their resources.
So beliving or not believing isn't going to change the outcome. Driving a battery powered car and eating only salad, still not going to change the outcome.
The government getting involved, given their track record the only logical outcome is they make it worse.
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Old 09-27-17, 02:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecomodded View Post
Looking at the chart AC posted Pellets and a heat pump are much closer in economy then I imagined.

In cold weather the pellets might even surpass the mini splits economy

I hate Surcharges with a passion

I myself would Pass on the gas and pick up a pellet stove it could be used to preheat the water before the heat pump heater see it.

Could wrap the flue with a coil or drill and mount a loop inside alternatively use a stove with a built in water heating coil.

Could add a on/off water valve and drain the copper tube when your not heating fresh intake water for the bath or shower. that way its used when required and not when its not.
Another surcharge I am getting rid of will be the trash pickup. $45 per month.
Now that I have discovered at home pellet mills I could potentially turn paper and cardboard, a large portion of my trash into pellets, along with twigs and small sticks that don't usually get put in a wood stove or fire place.
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Old 09-27-17, 11:53 AM   #8
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That's a good idea oil pan 4

Now that i'm aware of pellet stoves economy think my next house will have one as its winter heat source.

Its hard to get steady Solar power all winter to power a house and a mini split , a pellet stove makes more sense.

Firewood gets harder to deal with every year its very much like work splitting blocks and packing and stacking.

My Dad had us kids doing it and he was pretty young at the time .. I still hate splitting blocks it gets me right in the lower back.
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Old 09-27-17, 06:35 PM   #9
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It seems like solar would do pretty well in NM during winter.
There is a place in Albuquerque and another one in Lubbock that buy gridtie solar panels by the truck load.

The only road block to getting grid tie solar here is the municipality here is anti solar, they charge an additional 20 to $30 per month to install a net meter, that way they can pay you 2 cents per kilowatt hour for generating solar power all day when you're not home, then charge you 12 cents a kwh in the evening, after the sun goes down when you are home using power.

I have a bunch of cottonwood, while green it can't be split, it swallows splitting wedges. I just end up ripping them with my electric chainsaw.

The cheapest option to get a wood pellet grinder is about $1,100 to get one with out a motor. Since I have a motor or 2 that would work.

Last edited by oil pan 4; 09-27-17 at 07:06 PM..
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Old 09-27-17, 08:33 PM   #10
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When I read you were thinking about pellet presses I was thought a hydraulic pellet press would be a nice way to press.
Could press out foot long pellets , haha

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