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  #1  
Old 02/18/11, 11:56 AM
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Propane Usage

Hi, I am trying to get an idea of reasonable propane usage.
Normally we heat the house mostly with wood from our property, but we ran out of wood a little early this year and have been using the central heat more. Otherwise the propane is used for the stove/oven and hot water heater. The house is apx 3500 sq feet.

Being a little short on cash and propane prices being high in the cold months, I got a delivery of 100 gallons of propane thinking that would last about 8 weeks.

That was three weeks ago and our propane tank is now empty! I was shocked! Granted, I have never used the propane much for heating like I have been, but 100 gallons in three weeks!?!?! My husband thinks we have a leak, I suspect we may really be using that much to heat the house but I wanted to see what others are using?

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Old 02/18/11, 12:10 PM
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That sounds like normal usage to me. We cut our own wood to use wood as our primary source of heat but for us it is cheaper to buy more wood if we were to run out rather than pay for propane. My in-laws use over 300 gallons a month here in Illinois in an older farmhouse.

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Old 02/18/11, 12:11 PM
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We have a gas stove and central heat running our 14x70, 30 year old trailer house. We use about 100 gallons a month.

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  #4  
Old 02/18/11, 12:29 PM
 
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I didn't order any propane this year as last year I ordered 100 lbs

It was out in 3 weeks. This year I used wood heat and kerosene.

BTW - my house is around 3,000 sq ft

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Old 02/18/11, 12:37 PM
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100 pounds?
Or 100 gallons?

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  #6  
Old 02/18/11, 12:46 PM
 
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That sounds about what we use every month in the past. I did get a new high efficiancy dual fuel heat pump put in in Dec, and so far it seems as though we have been using 40% less though. It really depends on your unit.

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Old 02/18/11, 12:46 PM
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Can someone expand this to give me an idea of how much propone is needed, in gallons, per month for an infrared heater. I beleive it is 20,000 btu, which is the med to large heater. Also an idea for a stove when it is used for two meals a day. I know the heater question is hard to answer. Say it is one 8 hours a day during the cold months. I know a family who just moved into a 1,000 sq foot trailer, well insulated, I am told, and need to budget thier propone costs. Thanks

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Old 02/18/11, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BothFeet View Post
Being a little short on cash and propane prices being high in the cold months, I got a delivery of 100 gallons of propane thinking that would last about 8 weeks.

That was three weeks ago and our propane tank is now empty!
100 gallons of propane would be on the order of $300 worth. $100/week to heat your home is a lot of money, but you've got a big home. It's certainly believable. Is there any way you can live in only part of your home and not heat the rest?
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  #9  
Old 02/18/11, 12:53 PM
 
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For just cooking, 100 gallons will do us for about a year. Using propane for primary heat just doesn't make sense for us, since 90% of the time the heat pump is far cheaper to use, so we use a little on the colder days when a fire is not practical, and use another 50 gallons or so.

Heating water, especially if the incoming water is cold, as it often is in late winter, can use a lot of energy. Leaving a faucet to drip to prevent freezing can use a lot of energy.

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Old 02/18/11, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Nevada View Post
100 gallons of propane would be on the order of $300 worth. $100/week to heat your home is a lot of money, but you've got a big home.
Ouch! That's $3 a gallon.
I thought propane was running high here at $1.85 a gallon!
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  #11  
Old 02/18/11, 01:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perry b View Post
Can someone expand this to give me an idea of how much propone is needed, in gallons, per month for an infrared heater. I beleive it is 20,000 btu, which is the med to large heater. Also an idea for a stove when it is used for two meals a day. I know the heater question is hard to answer. Say it is one 8 hours a day during the cold months. I know a family who just moved into a 1,000 sq foot trailer, well insulated, I am told, and need to budget thier propone costs. Thanks
The heater would be roughly $5 or $6 per day according to your estimate and a price of around $3/gal. However...

Using an unvented heater as the major source of heat in a trailer will reduce oxygen levels, increase CO levels, and create a BOATLOAD of water vapor which will condense on cold surfaces. An electric resistance space heater might end up being less expensive. With propane at $3, the break-even point for electric is somewhere between 11 and 12 cents per KWH. Even if it was a couple pennies higher than that, the ability to place heat where needed might make it end up cheaper. Also, 8 hours per day of heat may be on the low side. The way stuff like this is figured is by heating degree days. A call to the propane dealer should get the info you need to get a better estimate of costs.
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Old 02/18/11, 01:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinP View Post
Ouch! That's $3 a gallon.
I thought propane was running high here at $1.85 a gallon!
1.85! WOW!

We just got a delivery and they tried to charge us 5.65/gal because we are low use, under a 100gal a year.

I called around to find out what other companies were charging and they were all in the 3.50 gal ballpark. Called back our company and told them to come get their propane and their tank. We eventually "negotiated" a price of 4.10 gal for this delivery. Every other company was at least three weeks out on installations and all said they probably wouldn't do it until spring in our location so I would have had to jury rig a smaller tank to get us through.

We used 79 gallons in just about exactly one year. We cook, run a clothes dryer and run a 5k btu space heater on only the coldest, single digits and down, days of the year.

I'm swapping out the eletric water heater for an on demand unit but haven't decided on propane or kerosene for that yet. Want to go with kero but don't know enough about them yet.
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Old 02/18/11, 01:32 PM
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Thank you for the replies everyone!
We can shut up parts of the house to reduce usage, but I think I have just learned a very valuable lesson about heating with propane. Here in central California propane is about $3/gallon Lucky for us, the winters are not so cold and we are almost to warmer weather.
As soon as we get a break in this rain we will be out cutting wood like crazy and if we get low next year I will just go buy some instead of turning on that central heat!

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Old 02/18/11, 02:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perry b View Post
Can someone expand this to give me an idea of how much propone is needed, in gallons, per month for an infrared heater. I beleive it is 20,000 btu, which is the med to large heater.
Well, assuming it was set on it's HIGHEST setting, and using the full 20,000 BTU/hr, a gallon of propane ( which has about 91,000 BTU ) would last about 4 1/2 hours. Those unvented heaters are close to 100% efficient. About 2 gallons ( or a shade less ) per 8 hours of burntime.

As Harry said, about 5-6 bucks/day.

Really though, it will harder to figure, because it probably WON'T run on high for 8 hours....it will run on something less than high for 24hrs. IF I were gonna 'guesstimate', I'd figure more like 8-10 bucks/day to be safe...using 3 gallons/day, or 90 gallons/month.
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Old 02/18/11, 02:41 PM
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Ouch! That's $3 a gallon.
I thought propane was running high here at $1.85 a gallon!
I think it's about $2.85 around here.
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Old 02/18/11, 03:17 PM
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Sounds like normal usage to me too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinP
100 pounds?
Or 100 gallons?
Around here our propane deliveries to the permanent propane tank are delivered in gallons. Buying propane in a movable, smaller, temporary tank for things like a gas grill, shop heater, etc is done in pounds. Since the OP is using a central furnace I assume it was probably a permanent tank so gallons would be correct.
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Old 02/18/11, 04:28 PM
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Here too, but if you'll note the reply directly above that one (post #4), crispin said something about using 100 pounds. (which is only around 25 gallons).
Hence my question.
Nothing to do with the OP.

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  #18  
Old 02/18/11, 07:06 PM
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Propane is running over $3 a gallon here and has been since this Fall. I called around and found another company (we own our tank) and they quoted us a "new customer" price of $1.76 so we had them come out and fill our tank...just under 300 gallons (we now have a 20 gallon plus $5.72 credit). Our house is also 3500 sq. ft. (open floor plan) and we only have propane heat...stove and hot water heater is electric. We supplement with wood heat from the fireplace in the den.

Despite having a colder than normal winter (three snowfalls in the past two months is not normal for MS) we still haven't emptied our tank. We keep the thermostat on 67 downstairs, 65 upstairs and put it on 62 at night. However, I have gone through an entire cord of oak firewood already!

What do you keep your thermostat set on? Your hot water heater? How much hot water do you use? How often are you using your stove, especially the oven? How well insulated is your house? Do you heat every room, or do you have rooms you can close off?

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  #19  
Old 02/18/11, 07:24 PM
 
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I prepaid for 1000 gallons of lp last july for $1.52 a gallon.That usually just gets me through an iowa winter.Heat and hot water heater.I also have a heater in the basement.

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  #20  
Old 02/19/11, 08:32 AM
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Propane here. I keep the heat on 68 during the day and 62 at night. I live alone. I heat the whole houe on one floor of 1500 sa ft. In August I had the huge underground tank filled for 1008.00 and needed a top off in November of 368.99. I read the meter 2 weeks ago and was at 42% and they were due so I had them put in another fill.

I figured it out---if I put in a pellet stove next year it would pay for itself and then just pellets---I would be way ahead of the game. I would keep the propane just in case.

My entire months income woul be used to heat a huge house lie yours in just propane.

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