Posted by Sorri on October 24, 2006, 1:57 am
My furnace / ac are 29 years old and it's time to replace them.
Electricity in Illinois is scheduled to increase 50% in Jan 2006 and I
wonder if it's better to go Geothermal with electric assist or would a
93% gas furnace be more economical.
I plan on living here a long time, run air conditioning maybe a month
a year (think fresh air!!!)
Highest gas / electric bill was $30 last winter, 180 this summer and
averages around $5.
Thanks for any help in the decision.
Posted by Solar Flare on October 24, 2006, 2:18 am
Do you want to put all your heat and lights on one energy
The way the electricity market has been going in the NorthEastern
corridor, I would definitely go gas and not even high efficiency. I
would go for a better mid efficiency model that doesn't have all the
complexity to go wrong. I believe mid efficiency goes up to about 89%
and costs much less to begin with.
I have a higher efficiency fireplace (gas) that only changes from 93
down to 91% without a fan and can support my home barely without
electricity at all. If things did change I can plug in baseboard
heaters. I can't plug in portable gas heaters if the electric fails in
My vote for the next twenty years is gas. Easy to change back on a
permanent or temp basis...not the other way though.
Has Illinois got into time of usage electric billing yet? Privatised
the elec industry yet?
Posted by Sorri on October 26, 2006, 2:05 am
On Mon, 23 Oct 2006 22:18:15 -0400, "Solar Flare"
I just keep thinking that for the long run a geothermal would
eventually pay for itself whereas a conventional furnace will continue
to have higher bills each year. Any ideas on payback? The dealers say
I'll save about $200 a year using geothermal over a 90% effecient
furnace, like a used car sales man, don't know if I believe them.
Posted by Solar Flare on October 27, 2006, 12:17 am
In less than 10 years you will probably be replacing the unit also.
Did they tell you the history of installations? Of the 5 people
installing them 15 years ago all of them have replaced the furnace
with gas. But not until replacing control boards and other problems
for $00 per call service calls.
Posted by Jesse Spencer on October 28, 2006, 2:07 pm
I think geothermal is the way to go. With proper installation you get
something close to 300% eff from the costliest fuel.
Your use of AC in summer is important consideration, obviously
underground heat dispersion will be far more eff than above ground in
hot weather, esp when you consider converting waste heat to domestic hot
water. Hot water in winter is an issue, how much you use, it competes
with the heat system.
Other considerations would be reliability of your electric service,
suitability of your property, what backup heat you can use (wood,gas,
non electric pellet?)
Keep in mind hi eff gas also uses some electricity as do oil burners.