Holy heating bill!


runn6610

New member
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
wisconsin
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
Regardless of where you live or what you live in, the first step to lowering your heating/cooling bills is making your "home" more energy efficient. Reduce the amount of "conditioned" air escaping from the interior and you'll use less energy to keep it at the temperature you want it.
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: CFB3B5F7F32B37 Expires: March 30, 2020

LEVE

New member
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Location
The Palouse, WA State
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Automatic
Last year the in the inland PNW we had our worst winter on record. Our heating bills for a 2200sqft (one level) home was over $300 per month. The furnace is electric. In search for an answer to lower the bill I picked up an old Quadrafire Pellet stove and installed it over the summer. It had a few quirks to work out. I bought two tons of pellets and put them on a rack in the garage... and when the cold winter hit... I watched the bags disappear as I'd heft them into the house.

I'm heating the house with pellet stove 18 hours a day and the electric furnace takes over at night. I did install a remote thermostat to control the stove and though expensive, I highly recommend it.

Bottom line is that I pay a little over $5.00 a day to heat the house. I'd like to get corn to try, but it's not available in this area.

While living in the Cascades I heated with a wood stove and hauled in a logging truck's worth of wood. I buck it in the summer and the kids would carry it up during the day. That cost about $40 a month for the wood. The stove wouldn't bank well at night, so I went to banking at coal. I'd use a ton, or so, a winter and buried two tons of coal in the backyard as an "energy supply" if I ever needed it.

I liked the coal and the wood, and the ease of the pellet stove. One problem with the pellet stove is that if you loose electricity then you'd best have a backup generator or lots of batteries and an inverter. Me, I have both, and I'm modifying my Prius to power the house during these weather events.

There are alternatives, but there's an up-front cost to each of them.
 

Dsetz

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
96
Reaction score
28
Points
18
Age
34
Location
Montana
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.8 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
10 year bump.
Its almost unbelievable how high those energy bills for members in the Midwest/South were.
I'm above the 48th parallel and haven't had a energy bill over $200 in about 15 years. Even during -20F months.
Keeping my shop above freezing is more expensive, relatively. Wish I had the $$ to run the gas furnace in it. Pisses me off they want $10/month fee just to have gas on.
Instead I use an electric heater to keep my herbicide cabinet from freezing, and use a diesel torpedo heater whenever I'm out there to bump the heat up to 40-50F.
One nice thing I've discovered about the torpedo heater is I can burn bad gas in it at about 10%. I add a little kerosene too. Never gels and runs considerably cleaner than on straight diesel.
 

Bird76Mojo

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
Messages
2,305
Reaction score
921
Points
113
Location
nunya
We always used a higher wattage light bulb in cabinets to provide just enough heat to keep things from freezing.
 

Dsetz

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
96
Reaction score
28
Points
18
Age
34
Location
Montana
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.8 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My dad has always gotten away with using a bulb too.
The electric heater ran a minimum of 40 F last year, this year ill run it through a 2nd t stat and shoot for 35 F. Also need to insulate the floor and ceiling of the cabinet. February was very cold and cost more than the rest of winter combined.
I like redundancy and herbicide is expensive so maybe ill add a bulb on a 30° t stat.
Long term I'm going to be using it as a jewelry shop in winter too so the oven will produce a lot of heat and ill just hhave to bite the bullet and turn on the furnace. Its 90% efficient so should do a good job keeping the whole shop usable.
For now the torpedo only takes a few minutes to get it reasonable.
 

Shran

Junk Collector
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4,626
Reaction score
386
Points
83
Location
Rapid City SD
My house usually costs under $100/month in the winter to heat with natural gas. It's fairly small though, 1400sq/ft or so. My shop is not heated yet but it's insulated really well and is easy to heat up to 60 or so on the coldest days with a 3 burner tank top propane heater. Sometimes I use a kerosene radiant heater if I can score fuel on sale...usually propane is a lot cheaper. I tried the diesel torpedo heater route but the fumes just kill me.

I have a 100k BTU gas shop heater that I need to install out there.
 

Dsetz

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
96
Reaction score
28
Points
18
Age
34
Location
Montana
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.8 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Kerosene is stupid expensive. I bought an excess just to clean filters so figured I'd experiment with burning it. As ive come to understand, kerosene is the main ingredient in no-gel diesel, so now I buy cheap dyed diesel and mix my own no-gel.

Try running your torpedo at 10% pump gas and 10-20% kerosene. It burns a lot cleaner, the soot dissapears and so do the fumes mostly. Gasoline doesn't burn as hot as diesel but kerosene burns hotter so it's about the same.

That said; its not any safer to run a torpedo than an engine indoors. Stay safe. I just use mine to bump the temp from 20 to 40 or so.
 

Shran

Junk Collector
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4,626
Reaction score
386
Points
83
Location
Rapid City SD
I'm curious if there's actually a difference between dyed offroad diesel and kero. There's a gas station in town that sells both at the pump - thing is, they're both red, they both look the same, smell the same, and burn the same but come out of different pumps and last winter kero was almost $7/gallon where offroad diesel was $2.50/gallon. Probably comes out of the same tank so I quit buying it. I heard the red dye in kero ruins heater wicks too.

The only thing I don't like about burning propane (besides a slight odor) is the humidity that comes with it. If I get the shop up to 70 in February with my propane heater, I'll have water droplets covering all my tools.
 

Dsetz

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
96
Reaction score
28
Points
18
Age
34
Location
Montana
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.8 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Yeah I've heard the dye can cause problems in the heaters too but haven't seen it.
Looks like kero and diesel are largely the same, kero is a little bit cleaner, lower viscosity and actually has less energy potential than diesel.
No idea why it costs so much more. Maybe it is a low yield compared to diesel when its produced.

Ooh what a double edged sword- a little humidity in these climes in winter is nice but not on ur tools!!!
 

Bird76Mojo

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
Messages
2,305
Reaction score
921
Points
113
Location
nunya
Be careful using those torpedo heaters, regardless of fuel type. When I was building my V8 truck in my buddies extremely leaky, uninsulated 3 car garage I ended up with carbon monoxide poisoning. I wasn't right for about a week after that. We were only using the heater as sparingly as we could, just to take the chill off.

I started seeing multi-colored rings at random when reading a wiring diagram.
Then my overall energy level just tanked. I noticed it in my legs the most.
I thought maybe I was getting the flu because it was that time of year.
When talking to my buddy I wasn't making sense all the time.
I waited outside to get some fresh air and started feeling better so I headed home after about 30 minutes.
I passed out about 90% on the way home. Luckily I felt it coming on and was able to pull over first.
My coordination was way off for about a week, but it came and went.
Had the screaming sh*ts for a day or more.
I was having extremely excruciating headaches for the first 24hrs and I NEVER have headaches, but they'd pass as quickly as they'd happen.


Had I been there in that garage alone, and ran the heater a little more, it could have killed me before I even knew what was happening. Nothing makes much sense and you just feel kind of disoriented, so it's easy to see how it could kill you before you knew it.
 

Dsetz

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
96
Reaction score
28
Points
18
Age
34
Location
Montana
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.8 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Yep- They will get ya. I've always used them in large shops. Maybe being a prodigious smoker helps resist :p
Makes me think-- My folks used to operate a dog kennel and would use a diesel heater out there with the place fairly closed up when it got real cold. Poor dogs :( Not that we ever SAW a problem- Probably wasn't as bad as most of the heat was propane supplied. Still.... dog lovers, we should have known better.
 

Shran

Junk Collector
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4,626
Reaction score
386
Points
83
Location
Rapid City SD
My radiant kerosene heater has never really bothered me as far as the fumes go. There is a slight odor but it seems to burn MUCH cleaner than the torpedo... fuel consumption is probably about the same. It's actually my backup heat source in the house, hope I never have to use it, but it's there... pretty common in other countries. Wouldn't use it while sleeping but during the day, sure. I have a propane Buddy heater that is indoor safe as well.

I know it's time to shut off the torpedo heater and get some fresh air when I start getting some mild confusion and irritation with things that I wouldn't normally be annoyed with. If I go any longer than that my eyes start watering and stuff and it becomes intolerable.
 

adsm08

Senior Master Grease Monkey
Supporting Member
Ford Technician
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
32,423
Reaction score
1,756
Points
113
Location
Dillsburg PA
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
31X10.50X15
I just dropped $800 to buy my heat for the winter. Cost about twice what it should have because I couldn't get a pole wood delivery this year, had to buy it already cut and split.

Normally I can get a tri-axle that will give me 8 cords for $750. This year the loggers were struggling just to make their standing orders with the retailers, let alone private orders like mine, so I had to drop $800 on 4 split cords. My house and shop are set up for wood to be the primary heat source, and my electric heat pump struggles through the winter.
 

Dsetz

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
96
Reaction score
28
Points
18
Age
34
Location
Montana
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.8 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Ouch that's a big increase in price!
About in line with cut prices here though.
What kind of wood do y'all burn over there?
Reminds me to start looking for pellets.

How are you using your heat pump? As a low end geothermal?
 

farmer

Active member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
568
Reaction score
50
Points
28
Location
Rochester, NH
Vehicle Year
Mix of 78-96
Make / Model
Ford donors
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
357w
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
13ish
Tire Size
39.5x15.5
I just dropped $800 to buy my heat for the winter. Cost about twice what it should have because I couldn't get a pole wood delivery this year, had to buy it already cut and split.

Normally I can get a tri-axle that will give me 8 cords for $750. This year the loggers were struggling just to make their standing orders with the retailers, let alone private orders like mine, so I had to drop $800 on 4 split cords. My house and shop are set up for wood to be the primary heat source, and my electric heat pump struggles through the winter.
$200/cord is decent price where I am, $93/cord for log length is damn good. We have an abundance of firewood here since the heating oil price dropped a few years ago.

I have 2 275 gal oil barrels and a wood stove. I need to top off the tanks and buy some wood as well. Didn't get around to firewood like I had hoped, kinda thinking switching to pellets, but the cost savings just isn't there.

Hooray winter
 


Top