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[#] Fri Feb 06 2009 22:09:10 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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As for the bleeding thing ... I've got it pretty good over here, because we've got a two-pipe system and the burner is several feet below the level of the tank, so gravity usually takes care of things pretty well. Mrs. IG just pushed the reset button a couple of times and it fired right up.

[#] Sat Feb 07 2009 01:55:17 EST from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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Wow - hearing all your problems makes me glad we run our heating up here on Natural Gas - no delivery problems, and

they get people out pronto if there is a leak, since it can blow up a few houses or more - but seriously, we've never

had any problems like that - sheesh!

I just wonder - if there is say, problems with the roads, and the delivery truck can'tget to you for a few days,

you guys are without heat then for x number of days until the delivery truck gets there?!? That's brutal.

 

Now, I admit naturalgas is not without its flaws as well - if solar could work without costing an

 arm and a leg, I'd covert our house to that, and get off the heating grid.

 

There's one house, it cost them $50,000, but they did solar, geothermal, and wind power,

and now are totally off the grid for everything. They now sell power back to the power company.

The only thing they pay for is their wireless internet.



[#] Sat Feb 07 2009 01:56:27 EST from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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IG & Ford - neither ofyou have a fireplace?



[#] Sat Feb 07 2009 09:44:34 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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Feb 7 2009 1:56am from flynnfx @uncnsrd
IG & Ford - neither ofyou have a fireplace?


That only makes the area around the fireplace warmer. It actually makes the whole house colder.

I remember a story about Yale University in the 1700's.... It was an incredibly cold winter, and the students were building huge fires in the dormitories...
The fires were making huge drafts throughout the buildings, and they were building bigger and bigger fires, nearly buring the dorms to the ground.

[#] Sat Feb 07 2009 11:54:10 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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flynn: we've got quite a lot of gas heat here too, but it's generally used in places where there are gas pipes in the ground. Ford does have gas (in fact, his stove runs on it) so if he wanted to, he could replace his oil furnace with a gas-fired unit without replumbing the entire house. I live in a more remote neighborhood, and the only pipes we have in the ground here are water pipes (why they didn't also run gas and sewer pipes when they brought in municipal water -- I think it was in the 1970's -- remains a mystery).

One good thing about oil heat is that you can shop around. With gas you're stuck with your local utility monopoly. When I look at my electric bill every month I'm convinced that this is a good thing.

Oil delivery companies keep track of your typical consumption rate and use a "degree/day" calculation to make a guess as to how much oil is left in your tank. Problems arise when they cut it too close.

Of course, since I have a maintenance contract in place with them, if I run out of oil, it is THEIR problem, regardless of what time of day or night it is. I pay them to keep the tank from running dry and they'd better show up with a truck if it does. (And I neglected to mention that they did show up.)

In the middle of winter, though, they're obviously very busy so it can take a couple of hours or more when you call in for emergency service. When the outdoor temperature is above 40F, I just run my air conditioner in reverse cycle to generate indoor heat. I also happen to own an electric space heater -- the kind that's filled with oil on the inside, so it keeps giving off heat for a while after you shut it off -- and that's what we used yesterday (and a couple of weeks ago when the furnace broke down).

Hey, it's an old house, shit happens.

[#] Sun Feb 08 2009 09:51:12 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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The only thing they pay for is their wireless internet.

And the loan for all the money they spent on setting that up.
People seem to forget that things aren't free sometimes, and if the cost of setup is more than you'll save over your lifetime, it's not financially worth it.
But if you think it is, by all means, throw all the extra money at me while you're at it.

[#] Sun Feb 08 2009 09:55:59 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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One of the things I looked into last year was finding some way to heat my house with gas without replacing my oil furnace, so I could use whichever one was cheaper at the time, because at any given momeny, one of them costs more.
But it turns out there's quite a racket for gas sourced heating systems as well.
They want $5000+ to install a gas fireplace insert, and I had a hard time finding anybody who'd sell me the part and let me install it myself, the one place that would it was about $3000, and I can't get our out of the $1000 plumber I'd need to run a gas supply to the gizmo. It's all a big stupid racket.

And I have to say again and again, it's not that hard to make a more efficnent heating system, but nobody does. Most of the energy from all these fossil fuels everybody's worrying about is exhausted out the chimney.
They want to make electric cars and all sorts of other stupidness that's far more complex, but nobody wants to put a single fucking heat exchanger on the boiler exhaust.
More proof that people are stupid and I hate hate hate stupid people.

[#] Sun Feb 08 2009 13:59:09 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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There's a *little* more to it than that, but generally that's about the sum of it.

If you were to buy a brand new high speed oil burner, it would in fact be more than 90% efficient, but depending on how efficient your existing burner is, it could be 10 to 20 years before you recoup that expense. You also might need to replace or reline your flue to handle the lower temperature exhaust -- if you have a metal flue then there could be a problem with condensation and therefore corrosion.

(I have a clay flue, so I figure I'll probably have to replace that sometime in the future anyway.)

Of course, in 10-20 years, who knows if oil will still be an economical fuel at all? Energy haters are in charge now, soit's possible that they'll start adding hundreds of percent in carbon taxes.

Ground source heat pumps are a big win. You can use them all year and they cost very little to operate. The downside is of course that they cost a lot to install. I could see them becoming more commonplace, though, if oil and gas become permanently expensive. Ground source heat pumps and cheap electricity from nuclear plants seem like the sensible way forward.

[#] Sun Feb 08 2009 14:33:45 EST from triLcat @ Uncensored

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Our A/C has a heat setting.

Then again, it never actually gets cold here.



[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 12:17:01 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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If it never gets colder than 40°F/4.5°C then a conventional air-source heat pump is the perfect price/performance solution for your area.



[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 13:10:29 EST from triLcat @ Uncensored

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it rarely hits freezing. we only use heat maybe 10-15 days per year

 



[#] Wed Feb 11 2009 09:01:27 EST from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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Well, Ford, it cost them $50,000 - think about how much you spend on heat and electricity each month,

and figure, how long would that take to equal that?

Sun Feb 08 2009 09:51:12 EST from Ford II <>
The only thing they pay for is their wireless internet.

And the loan for all the money they spent on setting that up.
People seem to forget that things aren't free sometimes, and if the cost of setup is more than you'll save over your lifetime, it's not financially worth it.
But if you think it is, by all means, throw all the extra money at me while you're at it.

 



[#] Wed Feb 11 2009 09:07:12 EST from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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And just from my perspective - our heating (natural gas) monthly costs average out to $150 a month (less in summer, more in winter).

Electricity is about $200 a month - so, IF we could get a loan something like that, it'd be about 10-15 years before it was profitable.



[#] Wed Feb 11 2009 10:18:37 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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Solar may be the single worst investment you can make... Why? Because the payback is so long that the solar cells themselves start degrading in that time, putting out less electricity.

I checked on solar about 4 years ago. The system I looked at was between a 16 and 20 year payback. Not worth it at all.

[#] Wed Feb 11 2009 12:18:58 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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That's the problem with photovoltaic cells in general, and one which we may never overcome.

The obvious scientific breakthrough would be the invention of a man-made photosynthesis plant. H2O + CO2 + sunlight in, liquid hydrocarbon fuel out.

[#] Wed Feb 11 2009 15:33:57 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Well, Ford, it cost them $50,000 - think about how much you spend on heat
and
electricity each month,

Well, I just put together a little spreadsheet, and if your 50K number is correct (which probably is way low for westchester county, NY) That system wouldn't break even for me until 2013.
That's assuming the worst case scenario of my heating bill based on the worst year I ever had (last year) and that the bleeding edge stuff never broke down or required any maintenance.

[#] Wed Feb 11 2009 18:13:32 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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Well, I just put together a little spreadsheet, and if your 50K
number is correct (which probably is way low for westchester county,
NY) That system wouldn't break even for me until 2013.

Are you sure you did the math right? A 4 year payback seems like a worthwhile investment.

[#] Wed Feb 11 2009 20:36:33 EST from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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Either that or Ford pays $50,000 for heat and electrical in 4 years....



[#] Wed Feb 11 2009 20:43:44 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Are you sure you did the math right? A 4 year payback seems like a
worthwhile investment.

Whoops, no, it was 2023. :-)

[#] Thu Feb 12 2009 15:19:53 EST from dothebart @ Uncensored

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as long as oslacells are made from the verry same silicium as intel does their cpus,  (clean with many nines behind the colon) they most probably never going to produce the amount of energy their manfucturing did take.

But, theres a new kid in town... they use old iron melting ovens to get silicon with just two 9's behind tho dot cleannes, thats far enough for solarcells, and does cost a fraction of the energy than the other way does.

so... Efficiency and cost of solarcells probably soon is going to change.



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