If your property does not have a natural gas line from the local utility run to it, you have limited options available to heat your home this winter. I was surprised to learn about what people do when they have expensive or inefficient heating in their homes. They employ some survival tactics.
Tell us through commenting on this blog what you do to keep your home warm and energy costs down.
Do you weatherize and shut off specific rooms from being heated?
To do this some people weatherize all outside windows, shut off their heating registers and close off a room or even a whole section of their home. It's a shame that you can't even stay comfortable in your own home. The bank still expects the entire mortgage payment not just for the section that is being used, it doesn't seem quite fair.
Since some home heating methods are expensive you try to increase your comfort and reduce your costs by making the size of the area to be heated smaller and conserve. I understand that you sometimes combine this with wearing additional clothes in your home. No, the furnace is not broken, you have propane heating Los Gatos or perhaps you heat with wood in Santa Cruz Mountains.
I've been in some of your neighbors' homes, but it was summer and I just didn't realize what happens in the winter. Occasionally it even snows where you live, imagine how nice it would be to use your whole home this winter toasty warm.
You know that in portions of Saratoga Hills, Los Gatos Mountains, Ben Lomond, Felton, Boulder Creek, Bear Creek, Scotts Valley, Morgan Hill, Woodside, small coastal towns and other rural locations like you are on propane. The high propane costs are driving you to seek alternatives to propane or ideas on how you can make it more efficient. You are reading the right article.
Luckily you have options. There are some interesting products out there to help in your situation.
Good old insulation, let's start with the basics but know that even though this method has been used for a very long time it has evolved over time. The insulation in your home is important in keeping heat in the winter and out in the summer. It helps you save money and be more comfortable. The standard level of insulation has increased over the years too. Maybe it's time to take another look at insulation, not just batting or blown in but other options like a reflective heat barrier.
Efficient Propane Furnace:
Propane efficiency is especially critical when you do not have a natural gas option. There is a new furnace that we install that is very focused on energy efficiency. Older furnaces can be 50%, 60%, 70% or even 80% efficient or the initials AFUE after the percentage.
Efficiency or AFUE is easy to explain, the higher the percentage the more efficient it is. AFUE or efficieny percentages just refer to the efficiency of the burned fuel. A 70% efficient furnace utilizes 70 cents out of ever dollar and 30 cents goes up the flue.
The furnace I would install if I lived in a propane area is an ultra efficient furnace - using a well known brand like Lennox that is 98% efficient. It has a way to reburn fuel to get the most out of it. This particular furnace is the SLP98V and frankly a what I have in my own home. It is a signature level product with 98% efficiency and an ultra efficient fan. This fan uses about half the energy that a regular furnace fan does because it is a variable speed fan, it slowly mixes the air in the home and makes it very comfortable - gettin grid of those cold spots in the home and it does it so quietly that you do not need to crank up the TV volume when the heater comes on.
What About Alternatives to Propane?:
If installing more insulation, weather proofing and a new energy efficient propane furnace isn't appealing there is the option of alternative energy or renewable energy. Sure you heard of propane, that is good for the electrical needs to get you saving money. If you want to use solar great, it partners well with another renewable energy source geothermal. This concept is really an old one, like caveman old. Cavemen stayed in caves to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The earth was used to help them stay comfortable.
The basic premise of geothermal is that pipes are placed in the ground and either water or refrigerant circulates in the pipes and depending on what is called for you get heating or air conditioning. This can be done using a geothermal heat pump and a heat pump can either heat or cool depending on the circumstances. It is important to note that the heat pump works with an air handler (or piece of equipment to circulate the air).
The beauty for you is that the installation cost of the geothermal installation carries with it a 30% tax credit, check with your tax professional to see if you qualify. Also you should know that a tax credit is much better than a tax deduction. Your tax professional can explain the difference.
So, yes you can close off parts of your home and wear a lot of layers but you own the entire home - but you know you have options! Why not have a way to stay comfortable in the whole house? Call us for a free estimate to replace that propane hog and get a free insulation consultation too!
Cold Craft, Inc. 408.374.7292
Located in the San Francisco Bay Area
If you need help with temperature, contact Cold Craft, Inc.
408.374.7292 or INFO@COLDCRAFT.COM