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Thread: How are you heating your house?

  1. #1

    How are you heating your house?

    I live in a 37 year old rancher in south central Pennsylvania where the winter months are quite cold. The house is equipped with an oil furnace and wood stove. During the past winter’s I’ve primarily used the oil furnace for heat, but because of the ever increasing price of #2 home fuel it will cost about $1900 to heat with the furnace this winter. Although it’s still more cost efficient then heating with electricity it’s still too damn high.

    So I’m looking to retire the oil furnace (not completely it’s also used to heat the hot water heater) and use the wood stove in the basement as the primary heat source. I’ve been heating with the wood stove for a week now and it’s been working well. It maintains an upstairs temp of 68 while the basement is 74. To better circulate the heat I added an 8 x 10 floor registry in the living room directly above the wood stove.

    The only thing I don’t like about the wood stove is the amount of attention it requires, about a log every 1 – 2 hrs. Because of this I’m now looking for a used coal (maybe wood pellet) stove that will only require attention twice a day.

    What are you heating with?

  2. #2
    $1900 for the winter seems steep, gas or not.

    I'm currently camping out in my mom's house, heated by dual electric heat pumps. I'll check later, but I think the electric bill is ~$140-180/mo for ~3k sq. ft. (this includes everything, not just heating costs). We turn the temp to 68-70 or so & leave it on auto so the units don't have to work overtime to regulate the temp if it gets too cold.

    We've got a wood fireplace that literally sucks warm air out of the rest of the house and up the chimney if we leave it burning at a rate that actually generates heat, but the stone warms up & the family room gets cozy when we run it.

    The other thing you could consider is a space heater. I have a radiator-style one that works quite well, and IIRC, cost $75 or so. It draws a fair amount of electric current, but it's effective & safe.

    Personally, I don't care for the heat pumps. They don't give the immediate gratification of sitting in front of a fire or other heat source. If we had a wood stove I'd be thrilled, but you're correct, they require attention.

  3. #3
    A new furnace would help. Mine’s only operating at a 60 -70% efficiency rate where new ones are 80%. But I much rather spend $3000 on a new Harmon coal stove that will heat my house all winter for a grand total of $200. That’s the price for a ton of coal delivered.

  4. #4
    I'm using electricity this winter.
    However, I used a wood stove supplemented with gas for heat when I lived in a log cabin for many years. The wood stove was high maintenance (keeping it stoked), but it was toasty warm. I did not have to put wood into it, but every four hours. I burned oak.
    I wish you luck on the wood stove.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LooseCannon
    But I much rather spend $3000 on a new Harmon coal stove that will heat my house all winter for a grand total of $200. That’s the price for a ton of coal delivered.
    I don't know much about heating with coal, but that seems like a reasonable investment to me.

    edit: where do you store 1000lbs of coal?
    Last edited by -scott-; 01-18-2006 at 03:10 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    Heat the house? Nahhhhh! Heat the people in the house. I ask members of my house: Are you cold? well then, RUN LAPS AROUND THE HOUSE!!! (j/k but I'm about to decree this given the cost of gas this year, ouch!!!)
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

  7. #7
    Senior Member queen's Avatar
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    I'm in IndianaI & was total electric up until a few years ago...
    I live in a one story brick ranch about 1450 sq. feet, 3 bdrm.
    When my electric bill got to $500 a month Nov. thru Feb., I
    sold the total electric furnance and put in energy saver gas
    furnance. I'm now on a budget plan, pay $120 a month and
    use my Better'n Ben's wood burning stove. I can stoke it at bedtime
    and it will last til morning...plus I get free wood which also helps.
    June is their end of the budget month and I usually get alot back
    depending upon how much/little wood I burn. I still have electric
    for stove/frig/lights thats on budget too around $40 a month.
    But I cook alot on the woodburner as well. Have ceiling fans
    thru out the house and open/close bedrm doors as needed. I also
    put that plastic up at my larger windows too.

    Queen
    Your life is what you make it, and only you have that choice!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Pruett
    I don't know much about heating with coal, but that seems like a reasonable investment to me.

    edit: where do you store 1000lbs of coal?
    1 tone = 2,000 lbs

    I would put some in my 6' x 10' wood shed and some in the basement.

  9. #9
    ah, I misread. I know how much a ton is.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by queen
    When my electric bill got to $500 a month Nov. thru Feb., I
    sold the total electric furnance and put in energy saver gas
    furnance.
    My father in-law heats with electricity and spends $400 - $500 a month for Nov - March.

    I can stoke it at bedtime and it will last til morning...
    WOW! I can stoke mine with three logs and it'll be nothing but hot coal in 2 hrs! I must have my dampers open too much... I'm burning between 500 - 600 degrees. Is that too high? I'm using a mix of locust and oak.

    I'm just learning about wood stoves so I'll take any advice you have.

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