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Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

[HVAC] Propane Price

Called this afternoon to check on Propane cost for my 100 gal tank I use for my emergency propane Buck Stove. My Heap Pump compressor is out and I'm running on my 15 kW strip heat. I got the shock of my life. It's $5.149/gal. I haven't bought any lately as the last I bought was $4.35/gal which I thought was outright theft. Needless to say I'm not paying that for it. My stove will run ~3 hours on one gallon which would be 5.149 / 3 = $1.72/hr. I can run my 15 kW strips for about $1.50/hr so it's a no brainer and the house will stay an equal temperature with the strips.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Propane is down in price here. Filled a 100# cylinder yesterday at $65. Last year was $75. Haven't filled my 250 gallon recently.


pende_tim
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join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Jack_in_VA
Must be the cold snap. supply and demand.
Do you own the tank? or are you captive to one propane company?

So in 3 hours you would get about 90,000 btu from the propane at a cost of $5.149/90000 = $5.70/100,000 btu.

Electric ( at $0.10/kwh?) 15Kw= 51000 btu*3hours=153,000 btu
3 hours * $1.50 = $4.50
or $4.50/153,000= $2.90/100,000 btu.

So the cost for electric is about 50% of the cost of propane.

This assumes the stove is very efficient and burning all the time and the strips are on 100% of the time.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
We had more or less relegated it to extreme emergencies when the power is out and we have no other choice. Thank you for the breakdown.

It's going to be down in the teens tonight here and I guess the strips will get a workout. It's 21.5 right now. Forecast to 15 - 17 degrees.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Jack_in_VA
That is crazy expensive Jack. My last propane fill-up was $2.14/gal in November. Don't know what the going rate is today, but I'll assume a bit higher than my last price.

Stunning that your price is over twice as high as mine. Oil is currently running about $3.60/gal in my neck of the woods (CT).

mj3431

join:2003-04-21
STL, MO
reply to Jack_in_VA
We hit -2 last night here and it's supposed to be -8 ish Sunday night with more snow. My 15kw strips ran a total of about. 6 hours to keep up overnight. At least the HP runs to 0 to help out!


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

1 edit

1 recommendation

According to what I've read tonight you either have an oversize unit or your house is very well insulated against heat loss. You're a lucky person.

I found this in several places so it may be close

at 72F outdoors, 70 indoors this system is rated at: 42,400 btu/hr. This is its greatest output, though clearly not winter conditions.

At 62F outdoors, the output is 38,700 btuh.
At 52F 35,000 btuh.
At 42F 30,600 btuh.
At 32F 26,200 btuh.
At 22F 23,500 btuh.
At 12F 20,400 btuh.
At 2F 16,700 btuh.

Or another example I posted on another thread:

a Goodman 4 - TON CPLT048 outdoor heat pump matched with a variable speed air handler blower section, model AEPT060

The heat output is about 46,000 BTU's. This result is the systems' rated heating capacity. the capacity is reduced in a very linear fashion relative to the outside temperature.

At 17 degrees, the output is about 30,000 BTU's produced at this temperature. This represents about a 35% drop in capacity as compared to the 46,000 BTU's, produced useing the standard 47 degree rating.

Colder climate zones require larger capacity heating systems because of the increased load placed on the heating system. Simply put, the colder it is outside, the more heat you will require to maintain a comfortable temperature
inside your home. This requires a supplemental heat source.

58,000 BTU's required

- 32,000 BTU's produced

26,000 BTU's shortfall (This is the BTU's required from supplemental heating element.)


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
That's expensive propane. Here's the EIA price chart for this year:

»www.eia.gov/petroleum/heatingoilpropane/

Definitely on the rise but still below what your vendor is charging.

I heat with oil at home, and am happy that I filled up at $3.50/gal in December instead of being stuck with $3.70 today.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
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Reviews:
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reply to Jack_in_VA
Be glad you don't heat with electricity. I got my electric bill for December and it was $193.32 and it wasn't that cold. January is off to a bitter cold start here in Mass and if the trend continues I may get one that is $300 or even $400.

Right now it's creeping around zero degrees out and I got the heat on and it's still cold in here. I was at Home Depot today and I was thinking of buying a space heater but they wanted $69 for a oil filled radiator type.

If I owned the house, I'd convert to gas as we have it available on our street.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
I'll have a heart attack I guess. I've been running on the 15 kW strips since 12/26. Seems like my HVAC company can't get a Trane/Copeland Scroll Compressor until sometime next week. Holidays have been a problem but this will be the 3rd one counting the original.


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit
reply to PSWired
I topped off my oil in June: $3.05/gal.

The Jotul wood stove is getting a workout past few days 75* in the kitchen where I have the stove and 73* in the family room (:)) with no oil used. In a perverse way Sandy helped me by downing a bunch of trees close to the barn where I season the fuelwood. It was not a big deal to cut/split/stack/shelter some of the mess left behind.

Lots more down trees for next year too.

Forecast to see -10* here tonight, this reminds me of the "old days" in late 1950's early 1960's when we skated on Blair Lake well before Christmas.

--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

Be glad you don't heat with electricity. I got my electric bill for December and it was $193.32 and it wasn't that cold. January is off to a bitter cold start here in Mass and if the trend continues I may get one that is $300 or even $400.

Somehow I burned through 2,800kWh in December(!!) - even at the peak of the summer with the pool pump running and the AC cranking full bore, I only hit 2,300kWh. Not sure what the hell happened, but holy cow ...

(FWIW, I have a natural gas furnace so the electric only runs the blower motor. Much less electric draw than in the summer when the AC compressor is pumping.)


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Good Grief! 2800 kWh that's a lot not to have a heat pump.


pende_tim
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join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
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Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to dennismurphy
JCP&L is very notorious in my neighborhood for the "estimated" bill trick. Is this possibly an actual reading catching up with a bunch of wacky estimates?
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


Tex
Dave's not here
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2
reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

...but this will be the 3rd one counting the original.

Do you know what's killing your compressors? BTW, Trane uses their own Climatuff compressors, not Copeland.


dennismurphy
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Parsippany, NJ
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Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to pende_tim
said by pende_tim:

JCP&L is very notorious in my neighborhood for the "estimated" bill trick. Is this possibly an actual reading catching up with a bunch of wacky estimates?

No, Just Can't Power the Lights actually gave me an actual bill in Nov & Dec.

Trying to figure out where the frack the electricity went. Or, if the meter guy misread it. That's probably the likely cause. I'd buy 1,800kWh with the christmas lights and all, but 2,800 is out of control.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
reply to Jack_in_VA
I know someone who had to replace an entire furnace two days before Christmas and had to pay holiday rates.


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
reply to dennismurphy
Go read it now and see if the current reading is less than the bill. You could add 60Kw per day since the last reading and see where you are.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


IowaCowboy
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Springfield, MA
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reply to dennismurphy
Does your poco use automatic meter reading (where they use a radio in a truck to read it) or does the meter reader still come in the yard to read it. Maybe if you have a dog in the yard when the meter reader comes they estimate because they treat all dogs as vicious.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
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Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

Good Grief! 2800 kWh that's a lot not to have a heat pump.

Something is very, very clearly wrong. Not only is the meter reading right but between 12/31 and today (3 days), I've burned through another 319kWh.

What the hell could it be? The furnace motor is running normally - just checked the nest, running ~7 hrs/day. I'm thinking that maybe my outdoor sump pump is stuck on or something? Checking that now.

What the hell else could it possibly be?


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Check every appliance, a high bill could be a sign of a malfunctioning appliance.


UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
reply to Jack_in_VA
Wow. We sell it for $3.29/gal or $74 for 100# cylinder fill here in Iowa.


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

been a problem but this will be the 3rd one counting the original.

That is a lot of failure. Any idea why?
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


Cogitate

join:2014-01-01
US
reply to Jack_in_VA
Cooperstown, NY

Propane $2.89 gal
Heating oil $3.89 gal

I take a picture of my electric meter each month and email it to NYSEG.

It's -11F here right now.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
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Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

Check every appliance, a high bill could be a sign of a malfunctioning appliance.

Found it! I just came back inside - it was definitely the sump pump. I have an outdoor sump pit next to the inground pool, designed to keep the water pressure from pushing too hard on the liner.

Anyway, the net net is that I just opened the lid of the pit and the motor is stuck and overheating. It was steaming inside the sump pit!

I just shut it off and I'll deal with it when it warms up. It's 6 degrees out there right now - mucho frio!

Well, that $75 motor just cost me about $300 in electricity. How fun.


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to dennismurphy
Did something out in the pool get turned on accidentally- like a motor- and it is running constantly?

Based on what you say, this is about 40KWH/day higher than normal.

This is a constant 2KW load, almost 10 amps at 220volts. Is there a greenhouse in your basement? Someone hatching chicks?

Seriously, maybe a space heater somewhere? or the sump pump may be stalled? Is the Air Conditioner drawing this? Do you have an electric hotwater heater? Is there a leak in the pipes or a running faucet? A second oven that was used at Thanksgiving that never was turned off?

Best way is to get a clamp on amp meter and check the panel. Look for a load where there should not be a load.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

1 edit
reply to Tex
No they have a joint venture with Copeland/Emerson to make their scroll compressors. I've researched the heck out that.

Also the tech that checked it said that it was a copeland.

Copeland Compressors
Trane is an “Authorized Copeland HVAC distributor” for all HVAC Emerson Climate Technologies (Copeland) reciprocating and scroll compressors for R-22 and R410A applications * **


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
reply to pende_tim
Glad you found it so quickly.

markf

join:2008-01-24
Burlington, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·WIND Mobile
·ELECTRONICBOX
·Execulink Telecom
reply to dennismurphy
said by dennismurphy:

Somehow I burned through 2,800kWh in December

Good thing you found your problem. You might want to invest in one of these guys (or similar)

»www.bluelineinnovations.com/Products/

Shows real time usage. After using it for a bit you'll be able to notice anomalies right away.

Just checked my usage, 220 kWh for December (natural gas heat, stove and water heater). You must have a nice big place out there.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to pende_tim
said by pende_tim:

Did something out in the pool get turned on accidentally- like a motor- and it is running constantly?

Based on what you say, this is about 40KWH/day higher than normal.

This is a constant 2KW load, almost 10 amps at 220volts. Is there a greenhouse in your basement? Someone hatching chicks?

Seriously, maybe a space heater somewhere? or the sump pump may be stalled? Is the Air Conditioner drawing this? Do you have an electric hotwater heater? Is there a leak in the pipes or a running faucet? A second oven that was used at Thanksgiving that never was turned off?

Best way is to get a clamp on amp meter and check the panel. Look for a load where there should not be a load.

All great ideas, but it's pretty much certainly the outdoor sump pump. It was warm down in the pit and the motor was hot and buzzing. Again, no time for diagnostics - it's too cold out for that. Just shut it off and I'll check the meter in a few days to see what the burn rate is.

The pool pump is off - that breaker is shut off for the season. The AC's off too. Hot water/oven/furnace/fireplace/grill are all natural gas. Just the pump as far as I can tell.

Of course the Christmas lights & tree burn some electricity as well, so that'll help next month's bill as well, but as far as I can tell, it was the stuck pump that was the issue.