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Old 07-19-2013, 09:52 AM  
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Propane furnace - any experience?

We are considering bidding on a house that is just awesome, but it has a propane furnace. Does anyone have a propane furnace or experience with one? I know that insulation, layout, and climate a have a lot to do with it, but have absolutely NO clue on this.

There is an in-ground 500 gallon tank. The range, fireplace, and instant hot water are all propane too, which is great.

I'm really concerned that one little cold snap could eat through $1000 in propane in a month. It doesn't get very cold for very long here in Texas, so I think a heat pump could do the job just fine. The house was build in 2006 and I'm kind of baffled why they put a propane furnace in. Have propane prices jumped up that much recently? Right now it's about $2.20/gallon, but I'm sure they jack up the price in winter.

I WILL be asking for a utility estimate, but I'd like CP's opinion as well.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:00 AM   #2
WilliamTheIrish WilliamTheIrish is offline
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Had a hydronic set up that was propane fired. Loved it. Economical too.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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Propane is very similar to natural gas. Burns cleanly and usually cheap. Most of your equipment is going to be very similar. But a propane aperture is going to be slightly smaller than natural gas.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:11 AM   #4
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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Talk to the propane supplier about past usage.

Many propane dealers will give you a "lock-in" rate price that you pay on a flat rate per month for the year. Just understand that you may pay more if the propane prices drop during the year. Compare pricing among local dealers.

Since the tank is buried (very good idea considering lighting/fire/tornado exposure), find out if the homeowner bought it and if it is fully paid off. Just hope that the previous homeowner bought a new tank made to be buried and didn't cheapen out on the installation.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #6
loochy loochy is online now
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Thanks for the quick responses. We have to move quickly on this place. The guy just got divorced and he is looking to get out quickly. The house is priced well below what we'd expect to pay. We are doing a second visit tomorrow so we'll give everything a more thorough look over.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:39 PM   #7
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I live out in the country and used propane for 22 yrs. I echo what phobia stated.

I have 2 furnances heats 3500 ft sq, newly insulated when I put on the extension (1/2 old farm house 1/2 new). I pre-pay in Aug $1000 to lock in and for the last 5 yrs still have a surplus in the acct at the end each year.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:55 PM   #8
loochy loochy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holladay View Post
I live out in the country and used propane for 22 yrs. I echo what phobia stated.

I have 2 furnances heats 3500 ft sq, newly insulated when I put on the extension (1/2 old farm house 1/2 new). I pre-pay in Aug $1000 to lock in and for the last 5 yrs still have a surplus in the acct at the end each year.
what's your $ rate per gallon that you locked in?
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Last edited by loochy; 07-19-2013 at 01:10 PM.. Reason: clarified the question
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loochy View Post
what's the $ rate per gallon that you lock in?
it's whatever the rate is at the time you deposit. propane goes up during peak usage.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
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it's whatever the rate is at the time you deposit. propane goes up during peak usage.
I know. I meant what is HIS? He said $1000 lasts him through the year, so I want to know how much that bought him.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:12 PM   #11
Ace Gunner Ace Gunner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loochy View Post
I know. I meant what is HIS? He said $1000 lasts him through the year, so I want to know how much that bought him.
well geez, he said he gets through the winter with a surplus after a $1000 dep. in august???
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:15 PM   #12
Ace Gunner Ace Gunner is offline
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here's a link to prices

about $1.60/gal
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:23 PM   #13
Ace Gunner Ace Gunner is offline
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btw- as with all resources nowadays, the unit price varies drastically upon locality. you're in poop country so you will pay an extra poop price. I'd expect $2.30/gal
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:24 PM   #14
loochy loochy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz_TinBalls View Post
here's a link to prices

about $1.60/gal
Ugh. Here in texas, the price is significantly more. It looks like about $2.20

http://checkpropaneprices.com/?field...many_to_one=TX
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:25 PM   #15
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