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sycamore barn and garage
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Propane or electric heat

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  • Propane or electric heat

    Which is cheaper? Propane heat or electric heat?

    If propane, are you fine with a contract rate lock service or would you prefer a will call service?

    How much propane do you use on average a winter?

  • #2
    Propane is definitely cheaper.

    I use a will call service but I can't say that's out of some masterful shopping on my part. I do usually try to fill the tank in August.

    How much is going to vary a ton by your square footage, your chill load, etc. I go thru maybe 3-4 tanks a year for heat and hot water?
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


    • #3
      It depends. I have a deal where I get the electricity for less than half price. In return, they get to shut me off during peak demand (which rarely happens). If I get shut off, the heat automatically switches to propane. So even though the propane might be cheaper than the electric at market rates, I get electric cheaper. have the same deal for water heater so we have 150 gallon heater, so we can get by in times of peak demand. Hasn't been an issue yet....
      Turn off the computer and go ride!


      • #4
        my son just bought a farm in PA, we had this conversation last week and he will be using propane because he can use it to also power the whole house generator

        His concern was to have heat in times of a weather event that took down the power lines


        • #5
          It also depends on what kind of heating system you are using. We have an under floor radiant system that is powered by a propane water tank. The propane water tank is more efficient than an electric water tank.
          A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.


          • #6
            I have never lived where electric was cheaper, plus it does not give off the warmth a forced air system does.

            our local propane dealer always offers an end-of-summer pre-buy at a big discount. rarely has that pre-buy been a loss in terms of mo ey BUT one has to pay the entire pre-buy amount up front --- no payments permitted

            They also own the 500 gallon tank, which is fine by me, albeit we do pay a sort of deposit up front. If it goes bad to where it is not safe to hold propane, the local company brings us another one free of charge. They also come out and paint it free of charge if it start looking too trashy.


            • #7
              In Indiana I'd bet propane, even in the far south.

              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


              • #8
                Natural gas is cheapest by far, but not everyone has access to that.

                Propane is second cheapest, but pricey and all electric the most expensive.

                To promote electric, the company here will give discounts for those that choose all electric for their house.
                We are in that program and those discounts make it almost as cheap as propane.
                The furnaces, no matter what, still run on electric controls, so be aware that if your electricity goes out, having propane heating systems may not keep them functioning.

                Our generator is on propane, but that doesn't count for the house and barns being all on electric, to qualify for discounts.
                This summer we had some fierce storms, if not much rain out of them, but the lighting show was epic.
                We had our main highline hit several times, twice it blew a pole into little pieces and blew up the transformers on one pole all over the place.
                Our generator came on for several hours over a dozen times this summer.
                For us, a generator is a necessity because of running the wells to water all the livestock.
                We have natural gas pipeline about a mile from the main well, but the cost of laying that line would be more than could be recovered in decades.

                In the towns they use mostly natural gas for heating.
                If someone is building, they should check to see if there is any natural gas lines nearby, it is really the cheapest.


                • #9
                  We have propane for our house and for the barn. The propane at the house is used to cook on the stove top, heat the house (forced air and radiant heating in the floor) and to heat our water. Both the radiant flooring system and the water are tankless/on demand units.
                  The propane for the barn is for heating with forced air and to heat the water (tankless/on demand system).

                  We own the tank at both locations. We shop for who has the best deal, but also look for quality service. We, generally, fill the tank at home 2 times a year. We keep an eye on how much is left and try to order around the 25% mark. I'm not sure how often we may need to fill the barn tank, as it's our first year. I'm thinking it will only be every 18 months or so.