Oil vs electric vs propane water heater


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Old 06-11-08, 08:44 PM
J
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Oil vs electric vs propane water heater

I did a search but still couldn't get a handle on the right answers.
For years we have used an oil fired water heater. Now, however, the price of oil is over $4.00 and we are trying to decide where to go.
Does anyone know, what price fuel oil has to reach to to make electricity or propane the less expensive alternative. As near as I can tell our electricity is averaging about $.15 per kwh. when taken with both night and day rates figured in. Don't know right off what we paid last for propane but I think it was kinda high.
Kids are gone so there is just two of us living here now so maybe we could get away with a 40 gal tank. 50 gal though might still be better.
Anyway how do I cmpare all this.
Thanks
 
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Old 06-14-08, 03:09 PM
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Oil at $4/gal., electric at $.15/kwh, propane is going to follow oil, -- there is no cheap way out.

If you are in an area where solar is feasable, that's an option. Free, AFTER the initial investment!

Tankless would help, regardless of the fuel used, since you are only heating the water as you use it, not paying to keep what you store hot.

The 2 or us have never run out of hot water with a 40 gal. tank, even on those occasions where company is involved. I see no reason for us to have a 50 gal. tank.
 
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Old 06-14-08, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by lefty
Oil at $4/gal., electric at $.15/kwh, propane is going to follow oil, -- there is no cheap way out.
Although there is "no cheap way out" there is in fact, less expensive ways out. Twenty years ago we switched from electric hot water to oil. Back then the savings were such that in about eight months we recouped the cost of the oil heater.
Now, oil (and it's cousin propane) are skyrocketing.
So,at what point does the price of oil hot water overtake electric? My guess is that oil at $4.50 per gallon is pretty close to Electric at $.15 per kwh. I also have a hunch oil is going to go higher than that and probably finally settle higher too. Also my best guess if that for the foreseeable
future electric will be a better deal.
 
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Old 06-16-08, 03:18 PM
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Number 2 fuel oil has approximately 142,000 BTUs per gallon and if you are lucky you can get about 80% of that into your hot water. Electricity has 3,414 BTUs per kilowatt and an electric water heater runs at about 97% efficiency. Propane has about 108,000 BTUs per gallon and like an oil-fired water heater you will be lucky to get 80% of that into your water.

To compare different fuel costs for 100,000 BTUs use this on-line calculator:

http://warmair.com/html/fuel_cost_comparisons.htm
 
 

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