Furnace that runs on propane, whoís got one

Furnace that runs on propane, whoís got one

This is a discussion on Furnace that runs on propane, whoís got one within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Iím preparing to move into a new house soon. Been doing some renovations on it now and this is my first time living in a ...

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 28
Like Tree32Likes

Thread: Furnace that runs on propane, whoís got one

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array AndyC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    646

    Furnace that runs on propane, whoís got one

    Iím preparing to move into a new house soon. Been doing some renovations on it now and this is my first time living in a home that the furnace runs on propane instead of electric. Gas company came out the other day got everything put in my name, did a leak check, filled the 500 gallon tank up from 20% to 80% ($1.99 gallon ouch) and put a new regulator on the house.

    While Iíve been working Iíve kept the thermostat on a constant 62 degrees, Iím not living in the home yet. Itís been low to mid 40ís around here during the day and upper 20ís to upper 30ís at night. Iíve been watching the gauge on the tank and itís using roughly 1% per day which if I figured correctly is I think about 5 gallons of propane per day.

    All thatís running in the house currently on propane is the furnace at 62 degrees. For those of you that have a furnace that runs on propane heat is 5 gallons a day normal or does that seem excessive for a home running a constant 62 degrees? Itís a 2 story home, but not what Iíd call a large home with the first floor mostly in ground with attached garage. Iíd say itís in the 1,500 to 1,800 square foot range. Thermostat is on the second level. I know square footage and this and that can all effect it, Iím just curious in general if this is about what I should expect, 5 gallons a day?

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Gulf Coast of Alabama
    Posts
    5,714
    If that furnace is more than 8-10 years old it is probably not real efficient. FWIW, when we lived in the mountains of Western NC we had a 2 story house about 1800 sq ft and 17' ceilings in half of it. It had a heat pump and a LP gas fireplace that went through about 70-90 gals a month when we used it a lot. The heat pumps don't work well below freezing. I installed a very efficient wood burning stove and a free standing vent free gas log stove w/ thermostat and blower. The house stayed very warm and comfortable and LP gas consumption went down to about 20-30 gals a month. We quit using the heat pump all together in the winter months. (FWIW, I used to own a licensed home inspection company.) Just my .02 worth! Good luck!
    Retired Police Lieutenant, Former UH-1N Huey & MH-53 Pave Low Gunner, Retired USAF Reserve, Glock Armorer, AL Retired LEO CPP, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, LEOSA Qualified, Active FOP Executive Board Member

    "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil 4:13

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The Florida Twilight Zone
    Posts
    32,917
    Heat pumps are definitely overrated.
    5lima30ret, OD* and oldIthink like this.
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon on the loose.
    Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array TSKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    SW MN
    Posts
    1,552
    I've never figured it out by the day.
    I average 12-1500 gallons each winter with my house (1600 qq ft), garage (30x30ft), and the backup furnace in Mom's house (2 story 1800 sq ft). It can vary quite a bit with the weather. Especially if Mom's electric heat doesn't keep up.

    The efficiency of your furnace and the insulation in the house makes a difference in fuel use too.
    oldIthink likes this.
    Democracy:
    Two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
    Freedom:
    A well armed lamb contesting the vote.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array DownInTheDark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Flat side of Montana
    Posts
    1,227
    Maybe because we have higher R values for insulation out here but I would go through about 3 gallons of propane a day during the dead of winter. Lows -20s, highs 0 for a 3 bedroom 2 bath house.

  6. #6
    Senior Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    18,986
    I've heated a couple of homes with natural gas, which has a lower heat content than propane, but with the advantage of not needing to be delivered by truck.

    "How much to heat my house?" is a how many angels can dance on the head of a pin question. So much depends on house size, window area, amount of insulation walls and attic, orientation of the house with respect to the sun, etc.

    But just based on the energy conversions, your 5 gallons of propane per day equates to 133.3 kilowatt-hours. Google says the average rate for electricity in KY is 9.43 cents per kWh. At $1.99/gal for propane, it's about $2.50 cheaper per day to heat with propane vs. electricity. Offhand, I don't think that's out of line.

    But - I don't know what your specific climate is like. I was a New Englander for most of my adult life and now I'm in Arizona, one extreme to another - you're somewhere in the middle.

    If the house is unoccupied, there is no advantage to keeping the temp as high as 62. Since your lone thermostat is on the second floor, which will naturally be warmer than the rest of the house, I'd drop it to 50 if you can. A lot of older thermostats only go down to 60 or so; I just checked my relatively new programmable one, it goes at least as low as 40. You just don't want your pipes to freeze, and 50 gives you plenty of margin from 32F. Right now your heat load is based on 62F indoors vs an average outdoor temp of, say, 40F, or a delta-T of 22 degrees. If you reduced the indoor temp to 52, you'd probably cut your fuel consumption by about 40%. $100 for a new thermostat would pay for itself in a heating season.
    Last edited by gasmitty; February 23rd, 2020 at 07:55 PM.
    Rock and Glock, QKShooter and OD* like this.
    Smitty
    AZCDL Life Member
    NRA Patron Member
    NROI Chief Range Officer

  7. #7
    VIP Member
    Array ShooterGranny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Southeast USA
    Posts
    6,941
    I believe the biggest factor by far in how much fuel of any kind you use is insulation! And that definitely includes double or triple pane windows that are completely insulated around the edges, door insulation, even around wall plugs, inside walls and particularly attic space. It can be a big one time expense to properly insulate a house but you will be much more comfortable in all seasons and over the years you will recoup the expense. It may take a few years to do that, though.

    I have a friend here in the same development/community who owns a house that is abut 2/3 the size of ours. Her house was built very early when the developer was building seasonal small houses. It has very little insulation. We have electric heat: Heat pump with auxiliary "electric furnace" heat for very cold weather. Last month her electric bill was $100 higher than mine. We keep our house at 73 during the day and 68 at night, which is warmer than recommended for efficiency - but we are old and need heat!
    Getting old was not on my list of "things to do" in the Golden Years!

    ==================
    Talking to each other here is good, but taking action is better.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The Florida Twilight Zone
    Posts
    32,917
    If I need to heat my house, I open the windows. My wife appreciates my letting the gas out.
    5lima30ret and TangoHotel like this.
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon on the loose.
    Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array 1MoreFord's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    AR
    Posts
    1,427
    When I was a youngster we lived in a house heated with propane although not with a furnace. Also cooked with it and had propane hot water. During the summer the usage seemed non-existent. During the winter my folks would pay up to $300 a month when $100 a month was a big bill for natural gas and even electricity was probably cheaper then. However, as I said very little usage during the summer. Probably one tank lasted 5-6 months until real winter hit and then usage skyrocketed.
    Joe

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array patkelly4370's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,792
    Ours runs on propane. We live in AZ. The hottest part of AZ.
    We've never ran the furnace.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array AndyC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    646
    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I've heated a couple of homes with natural gas, which has a lower heat content than propane, but with the advantage of not needing to be delivered by truck.

    "How much to heat my house?" is a how many angels can dance on the head of a pin question. So much depends on house size, window area, amount of insulation walls and attic, orientation of the house with respect to the sun, etc.

    But just based on the energy conversions, your 5 gallons of propane per day equates to 133.3 kilowatt-hours. Google says the average rate for electricity in KY is 9.43 cents per kWh. At $1.99/gal for propane, it's about $2.50 cheaper per day to heat with propane vs. electricity. Offhand, I don't think that's out of line.

    But - I don't know what your specific climate is like. I was a New Englander for most of my adult life and now I'm in Arizona, one extreme to another - you're somewhere in the middle.

    If the house is unoccupied, there is no advantage to keeping the temp as high as 62. Since your lone thermostat is on the second floor, which will naturally be warmer than the rest of the house, I'd drop it to 50 if you can. A lot of older thermostats only go down to 60 or so; I just checked my relatively new programmable one, it goes at least as low as 40. You just don't want your pipes to freeze, and 50 gives you plenty of margin from 32F. Right now your heat load is based on 62F indoors vs an average outdoor temp of, say, 40F, or a delta-T of 22 degrees. If you reduced the indoor temp to 52, you'd probably cut your fuel consumption by about 40%. $100 for a new thermostat would pay for itself in a heating season.

    The house was built in 1963 and it has a old GE thermostat in it, idk if itís original, but it is an older one. Iíve often wondered how these new thermostats save you money? I donít know a thing about them. My brother is all into new age stuff and gadgets and all this ďsmartĒ home things and he is wanting me to get a Nest or Ecobee programmable smart thermostat like he has. They are all voice controlled touch screen programmable deals and I donít understand them or how it would save a person money. He tries to explain it, but he does in his new age computer voice and it all goes over my head.

  12. #12
    Senior Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    18,986
    Quote Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
    The house was built in 1963 and it has a old GE thermostat in it, idk if itís original, but it is an older one. Iíve often wondered how these new thermostats save you money? I donít know a thing about them. My brother is all into new age stuff and gadgets and all this ďsmartĒ home things and he is wanting me to get a Nest or Ecobee programmable smart thermostat like he has. They are all voice controlled touch screen programmable deals and I donít understand them or how it would save a person money. He tries to explain it, but he does in his new age computer voice and it all goes over my head.
    Very few people need thermostats that communicate to your smart phone. Skip Nest and Ecobee as they are ultimately hackable; skip the touch screen as well, buttons work just fine and will save you a few bucks.

    New thermostats save you money by adjusting the home temp to more economical settings while you're not in the house. In the heat of the AZ summer I let the house get as warm as 85 while we're gone during the work day, and having it cool to 77 or so by the time we get home; turn that around for the heating months. Most these days use "fuzzy" (adaptable") logic to "learn" when to start heating or cooling to achieve the desired temperature at the desired time. Some have 5-day programming (1 set of setpoints for a work week, a second set for the weekend), some have 7-day programming.

    Do a google search on "programmable thermostats". Most of the ones by Honeywell (shameless plug for my employer, although I'm in aerospace) are simple enough for DIY types, the key being to take a picture of your existing t'stat wire connections before you remove the old one.
    OD* and 5lima30ret like this.
    Smitty
    AZCDL Life Member
    NRA Patron Member
    NROI Chief Range Officer

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array AndyC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    646
    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Very few people need thermostats that communicate to your smart phone. Skip Nest and Ecobee as they are ultimately hackable; skip the touch screen as well, buttons work just fine and will save you a few bucks.

    New thermostats save you money by adjusting the home temp to more economical settings while you're not in the house. In the heat of the AZ summer I let the house get as warm as 85 while we're gone during the work day, and having it cool to 77 or so by the time we get home; turn that around for the heating months. Most these days use "fuzzy" (adaptable") logic to "learn" when to start heating or cooling to achieve the desired temperature at the desired time. Some have 5-day programming (1 set of setpoints for a work week, a second set for the weekend), some have 7-day programming.

    Do a google search on "programmable thermostats". Most of the ones by Honeywell (shameless plug for my employer, although I'm in aerospace) are simple enough for DIY types, the key being to take a picture of your existing t'stat wire connections before you remove the old one.
    I guess in my older ways of thinking it would run less if you kept the house at a constant 77 versus having it run for awhile to get it back down from 85 to 77 in the afternoon. To me it just seems like yeah it wonít run much during the day, but then that afternoon would have to run quite a bit to get the house back down to the 77. Also unrelated, but Iím a hot natured type person anyway so Iíd die in your house at 77 degrees. If itís 72 and up I canít handle it inside, if itís above 65 at night I can forget sleeping. I just havenít been able to wrap my head around and make my brain comprehend that fluctuating temperatures is more efficient and money saving than just a constant hold temperature. Before I move in though I do plan and had already planned to update the thermostat anyway to a programmable one.
    oldIthink likes this.

  14. #14
    Senior Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    18,986
    Quote Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
    I guess in my older ways of thinking it would run less if you kept the house at a constant 77 versus having it run for awhile to get it back down from 85 to 77 in the afternoon. To me it just seems like yeah it wonít run much during the day, but then that afternoon would have to run quite a bit to get the house back down to the 77. Also unrelated, but Iím a hot natured type person anyway so Iíd die in your house at 77 degrees. If itís 72 and up I canít handle it inside, if itís above 65 at night I can forget sleeping. I just havenít been able to wrap my head around and make my brain comprehend that fluctuating temperatures is more efficient and money saving than just a constant hold temperature. Before I move in though I do plan and had already planned to update the thermostat anyway to a programmable one.
    Again, it depends on your house and your climate; if you're talking about cooling, the fact that AC dehumidifies as well is a big part of the comfort equation.

    One strategy which folks on "time of day" pricing plans use here is to "pump" the house temp low overnight, like to 62 by an hour after sunrise, when electricity rates are lower. This keeps the house cooler longer, but just how long depends on all the factors I mentioned earlier. I don't use TOD pricing so I use a modified cool-pumping strategy.

    But I can assure you - based on living in a desert climate - that leaving your house at a constant temperature will cost you more overall than adjusting it for when you're home. Of course, this is based on being away from home during a work day; obviously, a different situation if you are retired or don't work out of the house. FWIW, nearly all the homes out here have ceiling fans to blow down on us which reduces the AC demand dramatically in the warm months (April - October here).
    airslot and OD* like this.
    Smitty
    AZCDL Life Member
    NRA Patron Member
    NROI Chief Range Officer

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array AndyC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    646
    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Again, it depends on your house and your climate; if you're talking about cooling, the fact that AC dehumidifies as well is a big part of the comfort equation.

    One strategy which folks on "time of day" pricing plans use here is to "pump" the house temp low overnight, like to 62 by an hour after sunrise, when electricity rates are lower. This keeps the house cooler longer, but just how long depends on all the factors I mentioned earlier. I don't use TOD pricing so I use a modified cool-pumping strategy.

    But I can assure you - based on living in a desert climate - that leaving your house at a constant temperature will cost you more overall than adjusting it for when you're home. Of course, this is based on being away from home during a work day; obviously, a different situation if you are retired or don't work out of the house. FWIW, nearly all the homes out here have ceiling fans to blow down on us which reduces the AC demand dramatically in the warm months (April - October here).
    I think my next step, if companies even provide this information?, is to go the propane company and see if I can get records for the past couple years of how much propane was used in this house years past. That 5 gallons a day is with only the furnace running with the temp set for 62. The hot water heater and gas logs are not on at all which both run on propane themselves. I turn the logs on and set them just to kick on and off plus the hot water heater plus set the temp to a more comfortable 68(ish) and Iím almost scared how much more over 5 gallons a day itíll end up going.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •