I'm in the process of trying to buy a house. Right now I don't even know if they've selected my bid out of 12 others on a REO but I'm already approved by the bank for the purchase price, not just pre-approved.
One thing that concerned me was that the house has propane heat through central air. There is no tank there currently but it has a 96% efficient furnace. It is 1700 sq ft including partially finished basement and first floor. Upstairs is 1000 sq ft with a fairly open floor plan, downstairs 700 sq ft also open. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are all open with a hallway to a bathroom and three bedrooms.
Although the insulation looks good and it has newer windows I still don't want to pay the propane man my lifeblood if I win the house.
I've looked at a few different scenarios, all involve keeping the current furnace just in case (buy a used 500 gallon tank and fill it half way).
Location: Eaton County, MI
Electricity - $0.084/kWh
wood pellets - $189 per 2000lb at Menards
coal - ??? I've seen some of you post in previous years topics $285-375
This puts to fuel comparison calculator per million BTU
If using HP @ 35 degrees-< $8.21 (Goodman listed at 333% efficiency at 35 degrees 46.9MBh, calculator can only go to 300%, efficiency and MBh goes up at higher temps)
Propane - $31.07
Wood Pellets - $16.36
Coal - $14.84-$19.53
Replacing air conditioner with heat pump after the worst of winter seems like a no brainer but I'm thinking to install one by the time I close and get moved in wont do much good. They're ~$1000 and I'm guessing $500 to install.
So then for main source of heat will it be wood pellets or coal with propane for backup/emergency?
I can't pick up tons of anything myself, it would have to be delivered because I only have a coupe and a small hatchback.
I have storage space in garage and basement for either. Coal I could also store in an outside shed, but wood pellets I would think can't due to moisture unless they're bagged. Most people use 2-3 tons of wood pellets a year so I'd imagine 2 tons of coal would be sufficient. It would be a chore to store 3 tons of wood pellets at a time.
If I went with coal I would go with a leisureline lil heater or independence.
I've seen them new for ~$2500. I would put it in my basement up against the furnace room wall and vent to chimney and output heat to central air. About the same deal for wood pellets just not sure which stove would be good. I like to be able to see the fire and don't want to go over $2500. A battery with inverter would provide backup power and a float charger to make sure it's not dead when I need it.
as I understand it coal will keep the house feeling much nicer. The biggest problem with coal is finding a supplier with consistent economical pricing. The second problem is what to do with the ashes? They've got heavy metals and other stuff in them so I don't want them on the property with well and septic system. Does Granger pick it up?
In the event there is no cheap coal, anyone recommend a pellet stove brand/model? I like the ability to be thermostat controlled if possible, must be able to hook up to central air, I'd like to be able to leave it unattended for 24 hours if I leave for a day.