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View Full Version : How do you heat your home?



Ltlabner
12-05-2006, 03:34 PM
Since the first wave of cold has hit Ohio, thought it would be interesting to hear what people are using to heat their homes....

Casa da la Ltlabner uses heat pump + electric furnace. Pretty effecient and reasonable power bills. Unless we have a really cold winter that drags on (where heat pump becomes less effeicent) for a long time, it seems to be a good deal for this area.

M2
12-05-2006, 03:52 PM
Radiators + natural gas furnace

bucksfan
12-05-2006, 03:53 PM
I am not sure if it qualifies as exotic, but we use water heat circulated by propane-fueled boiler. We have a huge cast iron radiator in our kitchen and smaller ones in each bedroom and one bath. In the other rooms we have old cast baseboard units. After having in previous homes electric and forced air, I don't think i'd ever have anything other than water again if presented with the choice.

westofyou
12-05-2006, 03:57 PM
When I lived in California we had an electric heater in the main room, that was it... it rarely got cold enough that anything else was needed.

Redsland
12-05-2006, 04:12 PM
I have electric "heat."

Therefore, my place is cold.

Ltlabner
12-05-2006, 04:15 PM
I have electric "heat."

Therefore, my place is cold.

Our house is all electric also. I've heard that complaint from a lot of people. The temprature of the air at the register is far less with electric than with natural gas so it does feal colder.

Our old house was all electric and the "heat" there was pretty darn cold most of the time.

Our new home (new to us, but the furnace and heat pump are 1 year old) is also all electric and the heat actually comes out pretty warm. Maybe they made some advance in electric furnaces so the warm air is actually warm?

Sweetstop
12-05-2006, 04:42 PM
Since we live in the country and have about seven acres of woods, when we built our western red cedar log home 31 years ago we put in a wood stove and back-up electric baseboard heaters. My husband enjoyed cutting firewood then... About 20 years ago we added a gas furnace (Southern States tank). Before it starts getting too cold in the fall I just turn on the baseboard heaters in each room as needed. Rarely ever use the woodstove anymore. We also have a generator in case of extended loss of electric service, which has happened during ice storms.

Falls City Beer
12-05-2006, 05:22 PM
Me.

Chip R
12-05-2006, 05:30 PM
In the 7 years I've lived here, I have never had to turn on the heat in my apartment once. Of course it leads to some days in the spring where I have to open my balcony door when it's 40 out.

oneupper
12-05-2006, 05:53 PM
What's a "Heat Pump"?

oneupper - Weston, FL

seriously, when it gets chilly we just throw the A/C into reverse.

pedro
12-05-2006, 06:04 PM
I have a forced air natural gas furnace for the main part of house and supplemental electric wall heaters for the finished basement.

My house wa built in 1911 and originally each room had wood stoves and the lights were gas powered.

Blimpie
12-05-2006, 06:59 PM
Gas...It sucks this time of year. I am on budget billing and my monthly gas bill is $117 per month.

All that so that my wife can gripe non-stop about being freezing to death in our 2,200 SF home. Ain't love grand?

Matt700wlw
12-05-2006, 07:02 PM
I have a fire pit in my cave.

SunDeck
12-05-2006, 09:58 PM
We heat with Vindaloo.

http://www.2flashgames.com/aa32hlj51934jh14t/flash/f-Excess-Gas-2404.jpg

westofyou
12-05-2006, 10:06 PM
Gas...It sucks this time of year. I am on budget billing and my monthly gas bill is $117 per month.

I have to order oil, to be delivered to my home and stored in a tank underneath my driveway, I have to stand in the rain with a dip stick and check the level. It's a 500 gallon tank, last time I filled it was $2.35 a gallon, with 200 as the price break ($2.45 for less the 200) last year it was $2.85 at one point, so you can go with 250 gallons at $2.35 and that's $588 right there.. and then you hope you don't have to refill, but you have to wait until late April to be safe.

Blimpie
12-06-2006, 12:25 AM
I have to order oil, to be delivered to my home and stored in a tank underneath my driveway, I have to stand in the rain with a dip stick and check the level. It's a 500 gallon tank, last time I filled it was $2.35 a gallon, with 200 as the price break ($2.45 for less the 200) last year it was $2.85 at one point, so you can go with 250 gallons at $2.35 and that's $588 right there.. and then you hope you don't have to refill, but you have to wait until late April to be safe.You win....:D

cincinnati chili
12-06-2006, 12:36 AM
Radiators + natural gas furnace

What he said. Our place is 1200 sq. ft, and have spent as much as $300/month on gas (not including electric - just the gas) in the colder winter months. Old house. Leaky windows. I've heard of people with bigger places spending more than double that.

I forgot to add...

$300/month allows us to keep the house at 65 when we're awake and 55 when we sleep or are at work...

jmcclain19
12-06-2006, 12:36 AM
What's a "Heat Pump"?

oneupper - Weston, FL

seriously, when it gets chilly we just throw the A/C into reverse.


Who heats their house?

-signed jmcclain19 from Sunny Phoenix.

Seriously - I turned my heater on in my new house for the very first time this week, just to make sure it works. Never know - someday we might actually need to use it.

smallbattle
12-06-2006, 02:08 AM
Natural gas forced air. I'm not on budget and last year my average bill was $275 a month. I replaced a couple of windows this year and hopefully this will help.

Jpup
12-06-2006, 03:04 AM
baseboard electric heaters in my apartment. They work pretty well considering. My electric bill is reasonable, I guess. I only use 1 of them and it heats the entire apartment unless it gets down to about 0 or below, then I turn on another in the bedroom. They have always been said to be dangerous, but I don't really see that big of an issue. I do turn them off when I leave the house, just in case.

Ltlabner
12-06-2006, 09:00 AM
What he said. Our place is 1200 sq. ft, and have spent as much as $300/month on gas (not including electric - just the gas) in the colder winter months. Old house. Leaky windows. I've heard of people with bigger places spending more than double that.

I forgot to add...

$300/month allows us to keep the house at 65 when we're awake and 55 when we sleep or are at work...

Yikes....our all electric house (2100sqft) house usually costs $150 to $175 in cold months. It is a 1 year old furnace/heatpump and the window on the home are less than 10 years old so that's a big differernce. Also, for the past two years I've been caulking and patching every last seam, crack and opening I can find. Next year we will be upgrading the insulation.

I'd get a caulk gun Cinci chili and start caulking like mad for a cheep way to cut down on some of those bills!

SandyD
12-06-2006, 09:09 AM
What's a "Heat Pump"?

oneupper - Weston, FL

seriously, when it gets chilly we just throw the A/C into reverse.

Here in South Louisiana too. I was wondering why that wasn't in the poll. Must be a northern thing. ;)

dabvu2498
12-06-2006, 09:15 AM
Who heats their house?

-signed jmcclain19 from Sunny Phoenix.

Seriously - I turned my heater on in my new house for the very first time this week, just to make sure it works. Never know - someday we might actually need to use it.

Jeff Foxworthy does a "you might be from Ohio" bit. One of his punchlines is "if you've ever had to switch from heat to A/C in the same day.

It's true.

For the record, we used to heat almost entirely with our wood stove. After our son was born, we fired up the old propane bolier that sounds very similar to what bucksfan described above.

M2
12-06-2006, 09:24 AM
What he said. Our place is 1200 sq. ft, and have spent as much as $300/month on gas (not including electric - just the gas) in the colder winter months. Old house. Leaky windows. I've heard of people with bigger places spending more than double that.

I forgot to add...

$300/month allows us to keep the house at 65 when we're awake and 55 when we sleep or are at work...

I hear window insulators can save you a lot of bucks in places like we've got.

Ltlabner
12-06-2006, 09:33 AM
I hear window insulators can save you a lot of bucks in places like we've got.

Not sure if it's what you mean M2, but I put that plastic shrink wrap over the inside of the windows in our bedroom/master bathroom and it makes a huge difference.

Also, our master bedroom has a sliding glass door out to an enclosed portch. I made wood frames and covered them with very heavy gage plastic and completely closed in the porch. I used the same plastic to cover the sliding glass door. Of course, I did this all last winter which was very mild. Seemed like most days it got up to 50F :bang:

By the way, sorry I overlooked our southern friends in my original poll. I should have put a choice in for "I never have to heat and like to rub it in the nose of all my yankee friends on Redszone". :p:

Roy Tucker
12-06-2006, 09:36 AM
We've got one of those programmable thermostats for our heat pump and electric furnace. So I have it set for 67 during the day and evening and 62 for when we go to bed.

Sometimes in the evening, the house is just chilly. I feel like a character from Dickens when my wife and daughters say "please kind sir, good sir, just one more lump of coal, we're so cold" (actually, they want me to bump up the thermostat a degree or 2). I say such Scrooge-isms as "put on a sweater" or "get a quilt" while I grumble and make a show of bumping up the thermostat. I also complain about lights left on. I have become my father.

GAC
12-06-2006, 10:36 AM
Bryant electric heat pump with propane backup. We buried a 500 gallon propane tank. If the outside temp hits 32 then the propane kicks on.

15fan
12-06-2006, 11:02 AM
Heat pump + natural gas furnace x 2

(One system upstairs, another downstairs).

Downstairs furnace is almost 20 years old, and I'm trying to coax 1 more winter out of it. Fortunately, it never really gets that cold for that long down here. Between cooking on gas stove/oven in the kitchen and a couple of electric space heaters, we don't have to crank up the furnace that much during the winter.

macro
12-06-2006, 11:03 AM
Bryant electric heat pump with propane backup. We buried a 500 gallon propane tank. If the outside temp hits 32 then the propane kicks on.

Wow, that sounds like a great system/plan! I had never heard nor thought of burying the propane tank.

As for us, we have electric heat pump. I built the house in '94 myself and insulted it very well, so it holds heat well. Our biggest electric bill ever was around $200, but it averages about $160-170 during the winter, and that includes all electricity, not just heat.

Speaking of heat, I recently discovered this at Lowes, which I use to heat my garage when I want to be out there on cold nights:

http://images.lowes.com/product/converted/089301/089301748156md.jpg
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=131258-51644-F274815&lpage=none

You can pop those disposable propane one-pound tanks ($2 each) in each side, or buy the hose and hook it up to a regular-sized propane tank. I had been using kerosene, and hated the smell and the way it dirtied up the walls. This thing is great - it heats as well as propane without the mess.

westofyou
12-06-2006, 11:56 AM
Downstairs furnace is almost 20 years old,

Mines at least 90, it's a converted coal furnace, in the back of the basement is the old coal shoot, closed up in the 50's from what I can surmise.

My furnace is so scary looking it could be in a movie, it's covered in stickers for the companies that have serviced it over the years, some so long ago they have phone numbers like VE 1456

VR
12-06-2006, 03:40 PM
Heat Pump and electric furnace. We are going through and extensive remodel...and it's been a very cold 45 days here. With walls knocked out, windows not weather stripped, insulation pulled out....and add 4 boys running in and out of our house like it was a barn.....our bill was $458.70 last month. Turns out the contractor had the heat pump turned off for most of it, and now the thing is a solid block of ice after running for 48 hours.
As someone mentioned, all this to keep our house at a continual 60 degrees.

My wife and I have also been under the weather for the last several weeks, cutting down on other heat sources.

GAC
12-06-2006, 09:22 PM
Wow, that sounds like a great system/plan! I had never heard nor thought of burying the propane tank.

I didn't either until several friends recommeded it when we were building our new home. Not only does it look "cosmetically" better because you don't have a unsightly propane tank sitting visibally in your backyard, but it does raise the value of your home burying it. It cost us about $500 to do so.


As for us, we have electric heat pump. I built the house in '94 myself and insulted it very well, so it holds heat well.

And that is really the key - having your house well insulated.

Blimpie
12-06-2006, 09:45 PM
Mines at least 90, it's a converted coal furnace, in the back of the basement is the old coal shoot, closed up in the 50's from what I can surmise.

My furnace is so scary looking it could be in a movie, it's covered in stickers for the companies that have serviced it over the years, some so long ago they have phone numbers like VE 1456Did you also find BR-549?

pedro
12-06-2006, 10:46 PM
methane. ;)

RFS62
12-06-2006, 11:00 PM
Heat pump with electric furnace.

Heat pumps have improved a lot in the last 20 years.

RBA
12-06-2006, 11:15 PM
Okay a quick overview of houses I lived in over the past years.

1. Araxos, Greece: A portable propane heater.
2. Atwater, CA: Natural Gas
3. Araxos, Greece: A portable propane heater and electric heater.
4. Uden, the Netherlands: Radiated Heat thru out the house.
5. Iraklion, Crete: Portable propane heater and Portable Kerosene Heater.
6. Mildenhall, UK: Radiator heat.
7. Oahu: None
8. Vandenberg AFB, CA (Lompoc): Gas Furnace.
9. El Paso, TX; Gas Furnace.
10. San Diego, CA: ?????????

The best heater was the Radiated Heat in Holland. The water was heated in the attic.

The worst was the Portable Kerosene and Propane Heaters in Greece/Crete. Not only did you have to be right next to them for heat, you also had to keep the windows crack so you don't die from the fumes.

919191
12-09-2006, 01:40 AM
Natural Gas. I make my own budget plan. Throughout the late spring and summer when I only use gas for the water heater and the bill is low, I overpay somewhat. I don't get hit with a big bill in the cold months. Sometimes there is a month in the spring I can skip a payment and still carry a balance, and I'll pay ahead on electric in anticipation for the hot months.