MedicatedMoney wrote: ↑Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:53 am
To answer a couple of questions:
- No option for gas in our area. All electric
- Heat pump is an air to air heat pump with backup/emergency heating coil on air handler - recently installed an ecobee and changed settings to keep emergency heat from turning on until outside temp is 20 degrees or colder. The compressor runs constantly, but still cheaper then the electric strips heating
- Yes, we use a serious amount of hot water. From baths for kids, showers for adults, washer, dishwasher - that baby is working hard. Hot water heater is 8 years olds (scheduled to be replaced at 12 years). It uses an estimated 4500 kWh per year, but we probably use more considering the size of our family. Trying to determine if changing out to a heat pump hot water heater that uses 1100 kWh/year (cost $1500 - $350 energy provider rebate) makes sense this year. Thoughts?
- Also thinking of installing a propane fireplace insert with blower to help heat downstairs. Unit and install would cost $5k. Figured it would decrease use of heat pump to 50% use as we spend majority of time in rooms that would be heated by the fireplace unit.
- Not sure on ROI of those upgrades as we will need a new HVAC unit in 3-5 years.
If you are considering adding propane for a fireplace, what about switching your water heating to propane? Propane is cheaper per unit as you buy more, remarkably so. We don't have NG down our road, so we have propane for the kitchen stove, and oil for heating (with the water heater indirectly on the boiler).
Investing in new equipment based on fuel costs is tricky. Nearly 20 years ago we were replacing an oil furnace (we had a standard propane water heater then), and waffled back and forth on propane vs oil. Stuck with oil, because it was cheaper then, .69/gal. Piggybacking the water heater on the boiler was a bonus feature. Later oil prices shot up, and LP looked cheaper. Then the LP company began imposing extra fees for delivery, and much higher rates for small deliveries, and forced us to a smaller tank (forcing more frequent deliveries with those fees).
For reference, our electric usage (big old, drafty farmhouse, no AC, LP stove, oil water heater and boiler, 3 at home currently, down from 7):
This should give you an idea of the base load of lights, fridge, washer, TVs and other small devices (excluding heating devices on our other fuels).
Our usage is down as a few more kids have gone to college. Still, our usual daily usage was around 7 kWh / day when all the kids were at home as teens. It stayed fairly stable at that number as the number of electronic devices crept up, only dropping as we got down to one kid at home. Replacing an older fridge a few years ago also dropped usage a few kwh per day.