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Old May 26th, 2020, 01:35 PM   #1
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Default Heating options

I heat my home with wood pellets. I want to add another option as well. Looking into a heat pump or vented/unvented propane heaters. Anyone have some thoughts to share?

The main reason for the secondary option is when I leave town and can not keep the pellet stove going.

There is a propane furnace in the house, maybe I should just use it. Or, buy a newer furnace since mine is over 20 years old. It is a high efficiency model though.

Thanks
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Old May 26th, 2020, 02:39 PM   #2
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I heat me home with wood pellets. I want to add another option as well. Looking into a heat pump or vented/unvented propane heaters. Anyone have some thoughts to share?

The main reason for the secondary option is when I leave town and can not keep the pellet stove going.

There is a propane furnace in the house, maybe I should just use it. Or, buy a newer furnace since mine is over 20 years old. It is a high efficiency model though.

Thanks
I use a biomass furnace to heat. Pellets/corn/etc. My secondary is propane, that said, this year propane was so cheap and it was so warm out it wasn't worth the hassle, I used propane all year.
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Old May 27th, 2020, 05:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SHARPMACHINE View Post
I heat my home with wood pellets. I want to add another option as well. Looking into a heat pump or vented/unvented propane heaters. Anyone have some thoughts to share?

The main reason for the secondary option is when I leave town and can not keep the pellet stove going.

There is a propane furnace in the house, maybe I should just use it. Or, buy a newer furnace since mine is over 20 years old. It is a high efficiency model though.

Thanks
Since you already have a propane furnace in the house, why not use it? Call someone out to go through it and make sure it's working properly and run it...
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Old May 27th, 2020, 08:05 AM   #4
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Since you already have a propane furnace in the house, why not use it? Call someone out to go through it and make sure it's working properly and run it...
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Old May 27th, 2020, 08:51 AM   #5
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Since you already have a propane furnace in the house, why not use it? Call someone out to go through it and make sure it's working properly and run it...
One of the main benefits of a heat pump would be the ability to use it in the summer for ac.

I also question the efficiency of my old furnace. It has the plastic exhaust coming out of the house instead of a roof exhaust, I suppose I should research how efficient it is....

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Old May 27th, 2020, 09:09 AM   #6
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One of the main benefits of a heat pump would be the ability to use it in the summer for ac.

I also question the efficiency of my old furnace. It has the plastic exhaust coming out of the house instead of a roof exhaust, I suppose I should research how efficient it is....

PVC exhaust means it is at least a 90% efficient model last I knew. The only thing I have found is parts start getting hard to get at the 20 year mark. It isn't like when we were kids and they made the parts for 50+ years. I have one from 1995 or so I can't get a board for anymore in my rental.

Ventless like you mentioned in your first post sucks oxygen out of the air. If you left pets home when you are not it could be a problem, and even if you were home you would have to crack a window.

Heat pumps don't really work well in Michigan is my understanding. They don't work well below 25-30 degrees. For cooling they also seem to be marginal unless you went full geothermal and that is $$. That said, gerothermal is super cheap to run.

My .02 is get someone to look at that existing furnace since it is just a backup anyway. I leave mine set at 60 in the winter in case my biomass furnace goes out while I am gone.
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Old May 27th, 2020, 12:35 PM   #7
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/\ We definitely have similar opinions on all of this stuff. Your response is how or what I was thinking on most of this stuff. I suppose I was fishing, looking for more opinions and maybe input on if the heat pumps or vented/unvented lp heaters had gotten any better..

Thank you for your time.
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Old May 27th, 2020, 01:02 PM   #8
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Old May 27th, 2020, 01:16 PM   #9
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/\ What do you primarily burn in it?

Mine is just a simple cab50 heatilator pellet stove.

Used to have a biomass (baby magnum countryside stove) heater in the house, but did not like where we had it, how it needed cleaning or how it had to be lit.
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Old May 27th, 2020, 01:19 PM   #10
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/\ What do you primarily burn in it?

Mine is just a simple cab50 heatilator pellet stove.

Used to have a biomass (baby magnum countryside stove) heater in the house, but did not like where we had it, how it needed cleaning or how it had to be lit.
Primarily corn, the neighbor sells it to me at market price. About 150 bushel gets me through the winter, I buy it by the wagon. I'll use pellets too sometimes, but I have also ran cherry pits.

Cleaning it is a pain in the butt, I never seem to get it really good.
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Old May 27th, 2020, 02:16 PM   #11
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Primarily corn, the neighbor sells it to me at market price. About 150 bushel gets me through the winter, I buy it by the wagon. I'll use pellets too sometimes, but I have also ran cherry pits.

Cleaning it is a pain in the butt, I never seem to get it really good.
Wow, you have a good deal lined up on corn. I bought it from farmers also, payed around $90 a ton in 05 when I first got it. Then when ethanol kicked in the price went as high as $255 a ton (around 2011) and I said to heck with it....
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Old May 27th, 2020, 02:27 PM   #12
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Wow, you have a good deal lined up on corn. I bought it from farmers also, payed around $90 a ton in 05 when I first got it. Then when ethanol kicked in the price went as high as $255 a ton (around 2011) and I said to heck with it....
I think I was paying about 3.40-3.60/bushel. I didn't buy this year though, I just ran my propane because it was 1.40/gallon.

Right now is 3.18/bushel
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Old Yesterday, 06:02 AM   #13
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Like what was already said, you have a perfect solution. Your furnace should be about 95% efficient. So if you have a furnace, and a high efficiency one at that, and you want AC, why not put AC on the Furnace? Just need to make sure duct work is sized right and the furnace has the right size blower for the AC size you need.

I'd help you out but your kinda far from me.
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Old Yesterday, 08:44 AM   #14
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/\ Thanks Shawn!!
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Old Yesterday, 01:12 PM   #15
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You could also use a heatpump with a coil on that furnace, get AC and a 3rd source of back up heat.
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