Getting Propane, what do I need to know?

lisa11310February 18, 2013

I need educated! We heat 100% with a wood boiler. The wood boiler and my husband are both getting old. We need to add propane. I have no clue where to start. There was propane in this house before but there is no tank here now.
I am in West Michigan in the Manistee National Forest. It gets COLD. My husband thinks he can repair the boiler when it's gets warm enough however he wants a propane back up. I am faced with many questions. What size tank would we need to heat with propane for a year? Does it cost more to have a smaller tank and have it filled more often? My thinking is he is not going to be able to cut wood much longer as he has just been deemed "disabled". Buy or rent a tank? Is there a certain time of year that is best to get your gas. Could somebody please tell me what questions I need to ask when I start talking to the gas companies? Thanks!

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tigerdunes

To be clear, you have radiator or baseboard hot water heat?

Call several propane dealers for info on propane pricing and tank charge-both rental and purchase. Ask about contract pricing for a heating season.

Be aware propane pricing tracks home heating fuel oil.

At the very least, you want a high efficient system.

IMO

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 12:11PM
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weedmeister

around here, tanks are leased. They have little radio thingies that tell the company when to come out and refill. Propane is not cheap, but I don't know if it would be cheaper than hiring someone to cut wood for you.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:50PM
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joe_mn

Is ur house a log cabin? Trailer home? Tar paper shack? My point is, who new or nice is house built? Is ur wood boiler in an attached shed? Where would u install a propane fired boiler? Do u have a finished, cement block basement? Just trying to imagine ur house construction.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:45AM
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tigerdunes

You can bet your bottom dollar propane will be very expensive compared to a wood burning boiler. I would expect wood would be relatively cheap to purchase based on OP's location. Depending on age of homeowners though, it may be problematic and physically hard to feed the appetite of a wood burning boiler not to mention it's location and moving in and out of the weather elements.

IMO

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:54AM
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lisa11310

Thank you all. I talked to some neighbors. We have decided to go with an upright smaller tank for now. Found out we can change location & tank in the spring. No contract, just need to use 70 gal or more a year. Hubby is only 54 but had heavy duty job for 28 yrs and has numerous back problems. House is a walk out ranch. 1/2 finished partialy underground cinderblock basement. Cathedral celings 2/3 of first floor. Built in 1977 as a lodge or vacation home as it is 5 minutes to the lake, river, hunting, snowmobile trails etc. Woodboiler is detached. I really fear the cost but have taken the plunge, we had NO heat last night because the blower died, hubby has rigged for now. BBUUURR 13 blustery degrees last night .
Thanks again for your help.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 5:39PM
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Tinmantu

Please make sure there are no leaks at any connections. In my zone, we need LP sensors to shut off main. I have seen first hand what can happen to a condo when it's not tended to properly.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:09PM
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