Cost of gas for heating - a perspective

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Old 07-06-18, 04:56 PM
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Cost of gas for heating - a perspective

For a relatively large, older house, I spend about $1,000 per year for natural gas. About 95% is for space heating, with a 65-year-old, oversized, hot water boiler. (The other 5% is for domestic water heating, clothes drying, BBQ grilling, and cooking.) So, call it $950 per year for space heating. That's the first thing that gets attention on this forum and many others, right?

Well, here are my various annual costs, ranked in order from high to low:

Lawn care - mowing, fertilizer, pruning, etc.
Electric
Water and sewer
Space heating (natural gas)
Snow removal

So why should we tend to want to spend big money chasing more efficient heating? My answer: because there is major profit in selling new boilers and furnaces, mistakenly justified on expected fuel savings.
 
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Old 07-06-18, 05:08 PM
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P.S. - "Water an Sewer" incudes garbage pickup, all on one bill.
 
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Old 07-07-18, 02:42 AM
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So, Mike Speed 30, what is the question I am supposed to help answer? I am retired and have lots of free time to ponder and dream. Give me something!
 
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Old 07-07-18, 03:34 AM
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Guess it all depends on location and priorities? $950 a year might not seem like a lot...but is it 3 months? 4? 5? (uhgggg 5 months of winter). If it's basically only 3 months...then that seems pretty high to me. If a new boiler would cut it in half (I have no clue if thats possible) and would last 30-40 yrs...then that's a heck of a savings over time. Lets say $320 to $160= $160 saved x 3 months=$480 per year x 35 yrs (I imagine that's conservative?)= $16,800 saved. Longer service life = even more savings. How much would a new boiler run?

Regular furnaces probably wouldn't last that long and unless you have a REAL old one on it's last legs...you're probably at 80% already? So new won't save you much...but I imagine the equipment wouldn't cost as much either.

As is often pointed out here and other sources....correcting what used to be acceptable construction standards can generate as much (maybe more) in savings than new equipment will. Air sealing, crawl encapsulation, sealing ducts, insulating pipes, venting attics, adding insulation, etc etc. All very effective and if DIY, can be relatively cheap.

I also think perhaps you have costs broken down to help make your point. I consider gas and electric as "utilities". In my area...as one goes down drastically...the other goes up just as drastically. No, my gas is never as high as my electric...but that's due to location. 200 miles East in Flagstaff at 6500 ft...it's a different story. Also...some electric things get the same amount of use no matter the season...but my cooking outside goes up a lot in summer...so my gas is almost exclusively for HW (and my incoming water temp is 90-95 degrees...so that helps too...lol).

Lawn care is by choice, not required. Minimum maintenance would probably be 1/4 that? Your water and sewer must be outrageous to be more than $950 a year...or you have a larger household. Not much you can do there except move or sell off a few family members. Hah...another source of savings...less people, less fuels usage, less food, less water, less sewage...win win win all around.
 
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