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Old 2012-02-02, 11:09 AM   #31
Anna C
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We're in Northumberland, north of Cobourg. Don't expect NG will ever come out our way as we're on a rural road with only a few houses. Still looking at Geo but will probably wait and do out research. I still think that if installed properly it's the way to go. Perhaps a propane back-up but also looking at wind and solar to offset some of the electricity costs.
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Old 2012-02-02, 04:27 PM   #32
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Depending on the outcome of the microFIT review ( I.e if it continues and at what rate), if you have enough cash/credit you could receive free heating for 20 years.
Basically, no lose if the rates don't drop. It's currently a 7-10 yr estimate payback on the solar.. your other 10 would likely finance the Geo install as well if your solar install is large enough.

You can look at it as paying your normal monthly rate and getting free panels+Geo or look at it as buying the equipment and getting 20 years run time free. Either way, you're getting a good deal.

Only downside is you need some serious credit up front with a good rate.
Though if you're looking at Geo, you're still looking at a significant chunk.
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Old 2012-02-03, 11:38 PM   #33
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Geo will save more electricity in one year compared to straight electric heat than a 1kw residential solar array can produce in 10 years. (based on 3kwh per day in Canada - https://glfc.cfsnet.nfis.org/mapserv...illement&NEK=e)


I think solar is a lousy investment and the microfit program is really skewing the market in a negative way.
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Old 2012-02-04, 10:36 AM   #34
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The 20 year fixed price is the only reason it's viable $-wise. I never said kWh for kWh
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Old 2012-02-06, 02:31 AM   #35
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Hey Classicsat, think I've seen ur handle before on ID? Anyways..

Thought i'd give you all my story and experiences with Heating systems I have tried as I have 4 of them. You live and learn.

We moved into our Dream Home 3 years ago, Cul de Sac, Huge backyard, raised bungalow.. we were looking for 5 years. We were surprised the house was still on the crazy Toronto market. What seemed to have scared all potential buyers was the fact the home did not have forced gas heating. House was built in the 1969 and was tooted as an all electric home with a 250 AMP service. That's insanely big even by today's standards. It has electric radiant in ceiling heating. A very pleasant and comfortable heat, but incredibly expensive to operate.

Anyways we bought the home and moved-in in the fall ( November ). When I called Toronto Hydro switch over account from old house to this one, they customer service rep said they wanted a $2500 deposit. That set off alarm bells. We ran the system, along with the 80 gallon electric water heater for a week and the bill came in at $788! It hadn't even started to get cold yet.
When I called Toronto Hydro they had told me nothing wrong with the bill, it was typical for the house and bills cold winter months typically hit $1400! I could see now why we were the 3 owner of the house in just 7 years.

I immediately started researching alternatives and speaking to Heating contractors and engineers. Part of the problem was we had no duct work and the basement, walk in from ground floor is beautifully finished with crown molding 8 foot high ceilings, so i wasn't about to run 12" trunk duct work everywhere.

First thing I did was rip out the electric water heater and installed a tankless Bosch gas heater 98% efficiency. That dropped the electrical bill buy $120 or so a month.

I had read some mixed reviews regarding geothermal and actually mentioned something to my sister's boyfriend who referred me to a friend of his which which had one installed. Long Story Short, it's very expensive and the success of the Geothermal system depended largely on proper installation. Not able and willing to make the huge investiment to rip up driveways, tear up my backyard and essentially spend 40K in a heating system, I called around and as luck would have it spoke to a hands on HVAC guy who spend an hr on the phone with me, who said he saw a lot of house like mine. Since mine home was open concept, he recommended direct vent gas fireplaces.

Within a few days I had bought 2. a 35,000 BTU for the basement and a monster 55,000 BTU for the upper floor. House is 3500 or so sq/ft so I thought should more than do it. the 2 fireplaces, with some home brew modifications worked well and we wound up spending a total of 1450 or so in gas for the entire yr as opposed to 1400/month.

I have a wife who complains it's always too cold in house in winter and too hot in summer. Our bedroom was furtherest from upper fireplace so when the fireplace was set to 22C in living room, that room would reach 24-25 degrees while bedroom was 18-19. The basement was also somewhat cold approx. 19 on cold days, which she couldn't stand.

For AC we have 2 ductless Mitsubishi AC 1 ton units, so I decided to replace one of them with a dual Mitsubishi 21 Seer Heat Pump and strategically place 1 wall mount unit upstairs by bedrooms and another downstairs. When the next winter arrived, we utilized the heat pumps. They worked great and somewhat cost effective, but as long as it wasn't say colder than -5 C outside and they were operated during low peak times. All in all it was a total waste of money. So i was almost reserved to the fact that my wife would freeze in this house during cold winter months, but then I had an epiphany. I realized where I could install a gas furnace and an easy way to invisibily run the duct work. I installed the 96% efficient furnace for $5800, duct work and all. No rebates, because I didn't qualify because I never had 1 to begin with.

This year we are cooking in this house and our total gas bill is 1/3 of what it was last year at this time. Mind you it hasn't been as cold, but i'm sure we'd be consuming more gas. we know have effectively 4 heating source in this house and my wife is content that she will never go cold.

Moral of this long winded story is everyone's house is different and their heating solution will be unique to their house. In my research for a suitable solution for my house, I considered outdoor, pellet and wood furnaces, dual fuel boiler- radiator heating, ventless wall mount units and the list goes on. There are many heating alternatives to expensive electricity, just have to find one that fits your house.

P.S. I would agree with the one posters remark that the electric heating strips are the cause of the high consumption, but also add refrigerant levels be also checked, we had simular problem with heat pump unit, so electric strips were compensation for what heat pump could not do because of leak.
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Old 2012-02-06, 02:32 PM   #36
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Thanks for sharing all of that. I got a little confused with your story. You did not want to install a gas furnace originally because running the ducts would be too difficult? You did install one but the price was only $5800, what did you wind up doing with the ducts?

I installed ductwork in an all electric home from the same era (1967) back in 1995. At that time I got a gas furnace, electronic air cleaner, AC, and ducting for $9500 and I had to do my own closing up of bulkheads to cover or repair what the ducting guys did. You got a very low price indeed.
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Old 2012-02-06, 05:40 PM   #37
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Is the house insulated? Those numbers are crazy.
My parents' house has forced air electric and the coldest of years has never broken 900 bimonthly.
I'd say 2500 sq ft or so.
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Old 2012-02-06, 08:27 PM   #38
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Default heating costs-hydro vs propane

GrandmaJ,... glad it worked out for you.

Can you post the (LRA) load running amps and the (RLA) running load amps?
What is the tonage (size) of your compressor?
The nameplate on the compressor shows both. Thanks.
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Old 2012-02-07, 12:22 AM   #39
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Quote:
For AC we have 2 ductless Mitsubishi AC 1 ton units, so I decided to replace one of them with a dual Mitsubishi 21 Seer Heat Pump and strategically place 1 wall mount unit upstairs by bedrooms and another downstairs. When the next winter arrived, we utilized the heat pumps. They worked great and somewhat cost effective, but as long as it wasn't say colder than -5 C outside
1 ton is 12 000 btus - I can see 2 tons not heating a large, possibly poorly insulated house.
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Old 2012-02-07, 12:50 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BJM-Maxx View Post
Thanks for sharing all of that. I got a little confused with your story. You did not want to install a gas furnace originally because running the ducts would be too difficult? You did install one but the price was only $5800, what did you wind up doing with the ducts?

I installed ductwork in an all electric home from the same era (1967) back in 1995. At that time I got a gas furnace, electronic air cleaner, AC, and ducting for $9500 and I had to do my own closing up of bulkheads to cover or repair what the ducting guys did. You got a very low price indeed.
Yes originally all the heating gurus and experts were telling me I had to install duct work on finished ceiling and have to build boxes which i could drywall and finsh later, but it would have totally ruined the esthetics of the house, let alone been a huge undertakening and added a lot of cost. The epiphany came when I tore out the living room, dining room and main hallway flooring to put in new hardwoods. I look at what direction the joists were and thought all I had to do was make a small 16 square hole in ceiling in utility room where main trunk would run and smaller 10-12 inches holes at other end were ducts would run. I had to do some small patching of ceiling in some areas and now all ducts were in between joists under already finished ceiling.Because of house lay-out, I was also able to make a lot of connections into bedrooms from garage. Hope that's somewhat understandable. Point I was making was, after 2 years of thought and countless companies coming in and out of door, (some companies didn't even want to touch the project) i found a simple solution when after begin told there was not simple way... think outside the box
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Old 2012-02-07, 01:03 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txv View Post
1 ton is 12 000 btus - I can see 2 tons not heating a large, possibly poorly insulated house.
That is correct. The dual ductless Mistubushi's put out max 24,000 BTU.House has R 12 in some and not all basement walls. Main Floor has R12, and attic was told has r40 after doing audit. I did replace double main entrance doors with fiberglass insulated ones as well as all basement windows with Gentec Brick to brick vinyls but the main floor has retro-fit windows and you can feel the cold come in around old frames. The energy audit came back with a rate of 59 out of 100, so definitely not air tight by any means. I don't mind we have fresh air exchange in house without as I am doing some radon testing and thats another topic..
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Old 2012-02-07, 01:13 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recneps77 View Post
Is the house insulated? Those numbers are crazy.
My parents' house has forced air electric and the coldest of years has never broken 900 bimonthly.
I'd say 2500 sq ft or so.
Yes the numbers were insane and hard to believe and real. Have to remember water heater was electric and water wasn't as cold as it could be in the dead of winter to heat up. House is around 30% bigger and probably not as well insulated either.
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Old 2012-02-07, 06:08 PM   #43
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"House has R 12 in some and not all basement walls. Main Floor has R12, and attic was told has r40 after doing audit."

Those r-values aren't too bad but air movement due to leakage greatly reduces performance of fiberglass.

I read that they test batts with absolutely no air movement in a lab setting; maybe r12 is < R9 in the real world.
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Old 2012-02-10, 12:50 AM   #44
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This house had some retro-fit vinyl windows installed and not brick to brick before we got it, so the air coming in around the old 40+ yr old window frames in considerable. I renoed a basement room last year and was expected no see no insulation around window frames because you could feel the cold air draft coming in. To my surprise the old window frame did have fiberglass insulation around it, so I would agree with the <R9 rating.
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Old 2012-02-23, 12:50 AM   #45
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I too am having to make a decision about a new heating system: oil, propane, or electric furnace are my options. I live in Ontario, and every opinion I get, people say it's stupid expensive to heat with electricity. But:

oil produces 140,000 BTUs per gallon, let's say 80% efficiency, at a $1.10/litre, that means that for $5 I get about 90,000 BTUs.

propane produces 90,000 BTUs per gallon, let's say 90% efficienty, at $.75/litre, that means that for $5 I get about 130,000 BTUs.

electricty produces 3,400 BTUs per KwH, 100% efficiency, at $.10/KwH, that means that for $5 I get 170,000 BTUs.

Which means heating with electricity is LEAST expensive.

Where/Am I going wrong??
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