Propane VS. Oil Vs. Pellet??

torotJuly 14, 2008


I've posted before about getting a good Pellet Stove. It looks around 4K or so, that's without buying ONE Pellet!

Then I thought to myself...what happens IF my 40+ year old Utica Boiler goes! It poduces the heat to my radiators, and makes my Hot Water!

I have a friend that's laid up after an operation (I gave him a visit), he happens to install Propane Sytems for a Heating CO. I got to gabbing about Propane...he said there are these panel things, run $1,700 or so. OK...maybe that'll work for me. Then he asked about my hot water, I've got a Boiler that does that. So doing one of those Propane driven instant things isn't going to work for me. That Boiler of mine will die, if it doesn't run all year!

So...then I got to thinking about replacing it all with Propane! Maybe a Budburous! Now I find out, that Propane doesn't have the same BTU as Oil. So price wise per BTU gallon, there about the same (?). So...I don't know what to do! Just sit...and FINALLY by a Programmable Thermostat, hope the world changes? Just don't know!!

Yes, my old house has insulation in the attic, just did the side walls. I have Storm widows with old replacement windows.

HELP!! Ted

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For a fuel comparison, compare the cost of 1 million btu's of heat for several fuels. Insert your own costs and efficiencies for a more accurate number.

Propane at $3/gallon, 80% efficient furnace:
(1,000,000 btu / 91,000 btu per gallon) x $3/gallon / .8
= $41.21. $36.63 for a 90% efficient furnace.

Oil at $4.50/gallon, 80% efficient furnace
(1,000,000 / 139,000 x 4.50 / .8
= $40.46

The difference in the operating cost of oil heat and 80% efficient propane furnace is negligible (2%) at the above prices. 90% propane furnace is almost 10% cheaper.

With today's prices, oil and propane are now the most expensive heating fuels.

Electric resistance heat w/electricity at 12 cents per kw-hr delivered:
(1,000,000 / 3413 x .12
= $35.15

Heat pump w/electricity at 12 cents per hw-hr, COP = 3.25 at 35F ambient
= 35.15 / 3.25
= $10.82

Heat pumps produce cheap heat but require auxillary heat as outdoor temps drop below 32F or so.

Wood Pellets at $225/ton, 90% efficient pellet stove:
(1,000,000 / 16,500,000) x 225 / .9
= $12.27

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 8:02PM
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I agree with Ted but find an online estimator to avoid most errors.

The biggest question is really not what the new system costs but how quickly it will pay for itself and put money back in your pocket.

That was my concern when I put in geothermal payback was 4 1/2 years and I've had 18 yrs now. Waterfurnace

that was my question when I added outdoor wood stove at the office. Check out the online savings estimates

Now the new question ...will it qualify for tax rebate
my new outdoor pellet stove should qualify me for $1500 back because it's 92% efficient and doesn't contribute to net carbon dioxide in the atmosphere like fossil fuels.

Renewable energy from sawdust.
Hope this helps


Here is a link that might be useful: Central Boiler

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 6:18PM
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