Wow...what a winter! I've had to plow my driveway every day so far this week from either a big snow storm, a small snow storm, or wind driven snow. The wife crashed her Highlander yesterday into a telephone pole on slippery roads, and I got over 100 miles on my snowmobile...and its not even Christmas yet!!
After adding onto my house I had no idea what my heating costs would be this year, and so far I am not liking the math. Granted my house is double what it was, but it seems like I am using quite a bit of propane.
Currently I use have two propane heating systems. One is a Rennia heater in the old part of my house. It is a 30,000 btu unit that is direct vent and blows heat throughout my home. The new part of my house uses an 80,000 btu Munchkin boiler via radiant slab heat. The entire house is on concrete slab with 2 inches of strofoam insulation. The walls have R-19 and the ceilings, R-38, In short this should be a pretty tight house insulation wise.
For settings we have our new bedrooms set at 60º, and to be honest with you I don't think we can go much lower than that. The way radiant floor heat works, you really can't lower and raise the thermostats like you can with other systems; the delay is just too long (I think). But here is my question...
We set the Rennia on Low Heat at night. This allows the heater to put out a little heat, but not to any temp setting. In 8 hours or so, it will go from our preferred temp of 62º to 52º or so. That is kind of chilly, so when we get up in the morning, we turn it back up to 60º for a few hours, then if we head to work, or go somewhere on the weekends, we drop it back down to low again. (54º-52º). My question is, are we conserving propane or using more? When we do eventually turn the heat up, the heater kicks into overdrive and warms the house up. But does this use more propane to do that (more of a degree rise) then leaving it at say 60º all the time. In that capacity it would run more often, but in shorter bursts.
I'm not sure where the answer is, but I firmly believe that this house is pretty tight insulation wise. Still do you think another layer of insulation would really help? (The wife thinks so...I am undecided). Either way the propane costs are starting to worry me. Propane right now is pretty cheap still ($2.30 a gallon as compared to heating oil which is $3.40 a gallon), but we just went through 35% of a 500 gallon tank in a month. Granted its been down to -6F and -7F below for the last few days, but man I know there are a lot more of those nights ahead of us. Its only December and we typically don't shut down the furnaces off until May.
PS...Anyone know where I can buy some wool sweaters on the cheap
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"