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Old 12-20-2007, 09:48 AM   #41
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Rustic, I saw some numbers on this a while back but can't recall where. It compared heating costs and setback thermostats using natural gas and heat pumps. There was clearly a savings using gas but the cost actually increased with heat pumps due to the cost/inefficiency of the "heat strip" coming on to help the heat pump make up a big temperature differential each morning.

I would think propane would equate to natural gas, but can't quote you a source.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:35 PM   #42
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3000 s.f., two story with lots of windows, a DW who wants things cooler than anyone in town winter or summer, heat pump, electric water heater, well water (pump). Set tstat at 65 in summer and winter, unless we have visitors.

summer: $300-$380
winter: $100-150
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:55 PM   #43
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[quote=Walt34;591020]
The caveats are that we like it warm and are willing to pay for it - the thermostat is at 77 and I'm still wearing a long-sleeve flannel shirt and a sweatshirt over that.
quote]

Wow...77 is warm. Ours is set at 19C (68F) and ONLY because we don't want our 20-month old toddler to freeze. Before the kid, the thermostat was set at 15C (60F)....I like it cold

I double checked our bills for 2007 and we only paid $1,162 for natural gas...not too bad. If it wasn't for the kid, it would have been even less!
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:56 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Rustic, I saw some numbers on this a while back but can't recall where. It compared heating costs and setback thermostats using natural gas and heat pumps. There was clearly a savings using gas but the cost actually increased with heat pumps due to the cost/inefficiency of the "heat strip" coming on to help the heat pump make up a big temperature differential each morning.

I would think propane would equate to natural gas, but can't quote you a source.
T-Al, where the heck are you? We need some stats, stat!
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:42 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Rustic, I saw some numbers on this a while back but can't recall where. It compared heating costs and setback thermostats using natural gas and heat pumps. There was clearly a savings using gas but the cost actually increased with heat pumps due to the cost/inefficiency of the "heat strip" coming on to help the heat pump make up a big temperature differential each morning.

I would think propane would equate to natural gas, but can't quote you a source.
I believe there are setback thermostats made especially for heat pumps.
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:59 AM   #46
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I believe there are setback thermostats made especially for heat pumps.
You are correct.

My comment was to the information I have seen in the past regarding the savings one could gain by using temperature setbacks with a heat pump system vs. natural gas or propane heat. A brief Google search doesn't provide any good source of information on the wisdom/savings of heat pump setback thermostats. This "it depends" information is typical of what I found: Heat Pumps and Setback Thermostats

My understanding is you may see some savings using a setback with a heat pump if you have an "intelligent" thermostat (one that brings the temp back up gradually to avoid kicking in the heat strip) and if outside temperatures aren't too low (nothing lower than the 40's).
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:16 PM   #47
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We let the thermostat drop back to 58 at night.

It goes back up to 68 in the morning. I have noticed that it takes longer to bring the temp up than if we kept it at 65. Anyone have thoughts if this is really saving energy? It is below 68 from 9 at night till 6:30 in the morning.
I'm certain you are saving money - the cost is in the heat differential between outside and inside temps. As noted an "intelligent" thermostat to bring it up gradually will help if you have a heat pump. If it's gas or oil, I'd think it probably doesn't matter - any retired physicists out there who would know?

When we were working we'd turn the thermostat down during the daytime when we weren't home for 10 hours since no one else was there. That house was also natural gas so the heat came up quickly. I never bothered with a programmable thermostat.
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:24 PM   #48
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We put in a ground source heat pump with programmable thermostat two years ago. It is a dual capacity system with the efficiency of the low stage at about eer 4 (400% of resistance electric), and the high stage at about eer 3. The name of the game, here, is to keep it running on low stage as much of the time as possible. After fiddling every whick way with setbacks for a while, I concluded that it is better to just leave it alone. (72 in winter, 78 in summer) Sometimes I do kick it up a degree, or two, in anticipation of some extra cold weather, but need to do that at least a day ahead. I guess I'm the semi-intelligent programmable thermostat
Bottom line is the annual cost of electricity for heating a 1700 sf house in Minnesota (the balmy southwest part, however) is something under $500. (5.3 cent cheap electricity out here, and they can't raise it without all kinds of hearings and such. It's supposedly going up 6 to 8% next year, but it's been steady for the last 20)
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:26 PM   #49
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I looked back over my utility use and gas and electric have definitely gone up since retirement.

Used to only have winter heat to 60F from about 3PM to 9PM on workdays. Didn't even have A/C until retirement.
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:39 PM   #50
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Just got a propane bill ... $2.72/gallon. Last fill was $2.82. This time the tank was MORE THAN HALF FULL. Something tells me they're capping the tanks while the price is DROPPING. Better put more wood in the stove (and cancel the auto-fill).
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:38 PM   #51
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Have a neighbor that has been in the propane business for some time. He said January will be the lowest price as December has been warm and the dealers will be feeling the glut. I think last top off here in Tx was $2.40
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Old 12-23-2007, 03:20 AM   #52
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3400 sf house in Chicago area (keep 68 degrees year round)
gas: $1364
electric: $1778 (have one more month to pay)(had $150 refund in Nov)

1300 sf condo in Phoenix area (keep 85 in summer, 55 in winter when not there)
gas: $255
electric: $770
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:19 AM   #53
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My 'cheap bastard ' days being pretty much behind me and no longer in a fish camp in the Louisiana swamp - I no longer do without electricity, air conditioning, or cage free wood and buck saw by hand for the Sears and Rareback Ben Franklin fireplace.

My 94, 250,000 mile, 4 banger, 5 speed, little GMC Sonoma pickup with rusty fender is for 'fun' driving - not an essential beater transport anymore.

After the first decade of ER and Mr Market of the 90's - I'm a little in the catching up phase spend wise.

What with having overdone frugal a tad early on - as it were.

heh heh heh - noted on another thread - I did buy LED Christmas lights this year - more as a tech toy than frugal.

P.S. 1100 sq ft - last year 160 to 180(combined) in coldest months, $95 highest electric in summer A/C season. Locals watch gas/eletric rates and run small resistance heaters in small areas when they decide gas rates are to high relative to electric.
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