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Thread: Electrify Everything

  1. #31
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    As we've discussed elsewhere we had our 45 year old gas furnace replaced this spring with a heat pump both because it was 45 years old and because a new heat pump will be cheaper to operate and also because it meant getting central a/c as part of the deal, essentially for free. It also meant that we could move the air handler to our attic, freeing up space so we can expand our kitchen by renovating to make refrigerator space where the old furnace was and putting a big pantry cabinet where the fridge used to be. (that part will be done this fall once our contractor has time) A/C season seems to have ended with a whimper this year after a fairly cool summer. According to the nest thermostat, which shares the data, we used the a/c about 40 hours this entire summer. Going with a baseline of 300 kwh/month without a/c we used about 80 extra kwh running it. It will be interesting to see if using the heat pump proves to be as much more economical as my rough calculations were. Last winter we spent upwards of $200/month for gas, mostly for heat since the only other gas appliance we have is the hot water heater, which runs about $20/month for usage in the summer.

    We had to spend $1300 replacing a section of our gas main when we dug out the koi pond to put in the front patio. I would have loved to put that money towards a heat pump water heater so we could cancel the natural gas service which has a $15/month connection fee plus usage but the plumber convinced us to wait a few years because heat pump water heaters are still in the early stages and supposedly newer, better models come out every year. Also, though, we got a $3,000 tax credit for switching to the heat pump for space heating, and can get another $3,000 credit when we switch the hot water heater, you can't get two credits in one year, so I suppose we'll still come out ahead assuming that the credit still exists in 2-3 years when we convert the hot water heater to a heat pump system.

  2. #32
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    jp, I appreciate your analysis of the heat pump, because, as you probably recall, we had one installed to replace the OLD baseboard electric heating in our living room, and to give us the extra benefit of air conditioning.

    We are really happy with our heat pump, as it has saved us $60/mo--including the cost of the AC, which we never had prior to September 2022.

    But I have one big complaint--we have never had a rodent problem all the time we have been here. Suddenly, we have had 3 intrusions--all since we have installed the heat pump. Please let me know if you experience the same thing. I can't think of any other reason these critters have found their way in, other than maybe through the ductwork in the heat pump.

    It is very annoying.
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  3. #33
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Woah. That would be super annoying. My understanding is that mice can squeeze through an opening not much bigger than a quarter coin. We have signs of rodents in our attic but there are in umerable ways they can get in.

    We probably won’t have a similar problem because they ran the refrigerant pipes through our downstairs ceiling which had already been wide open to a vent in the downstairs soffit which previously provided combustion air to the old furnace. There are easier ways for rodents to get in so I doubt this will have any effect.

  4. #34
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    I'm going back a little to the beginning of this conversation, so sorry. "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" was the original catch phrase. We decided to ignore the "reduce," but it's the most important of the three. "Alternative Energy" is really a movement to sustain the status quo, meaning continuing our current levels of consumption, resource use, and population growth. It will itself eventually lead to its own crisis, probably much sooner, because solar panels and wind turbines have limited lifespans and, at least now, they require fossil fuels to replace (but maybe this is changing?). We just need to slow down. As the theme of this board suggests, we need simpler, more livable lives. We're on an insane roller coaster that can't end well. I hope we come to our senses.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewomack View Post
    I'm going back a little to the beginning of this conversation, so sorry. "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" was the original catch phrase. We decided to ignore the "reduce," but it's the most important of the three. "Alternative Energy" is really a movement to sustain the status quo, meaning continuing our current levels of consumption, resource use, and population growth. It will itself eventually lead to its own crisis, probably much sooner, because solar panels and wind turbines have limited lifespans and, at least now, they require fossil fuels to replace (but maybe this is changing?). We just need to slow down. As the theme of this board suggests, we need simpler, more livable lives. We're on an insane roller coaster that can't end well. I hope we come to our senses.
    I am totally on board with all of that. It seems that people expect the government somehow to legislate or fund all the climate remedial measures with out taking some significant level of personal responsibility. It's like some famous person once said, driving a Prius, taking shorter showers, and recycling Styrofoam isn't going to save the planet. Climate change isn't the only environment issue out there. Loss of habitat is a big one. Given enough time, most of the material items we consume will end up in a landfill or another disposal stream and even recycling has an energy cost and some degree of material loss. Possibly singing to the choir here.
    "what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver

  6. #36
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    My stove and clothes dryer are electric. Heat and hot water are natural gas. Here in the Midwest in cities/suburbs, this seems to be pretty common. My has bill is higher than it could be because I love long hot baths. I wish I could switch to an on-demand water heater, but that’s not going to happen. I rent and when the water heater goes, it’s much less expensive to replace the current tank water heater with the same. Plus, I’m not even sure if the incoming gas pipe is even big enough to supply an on-demand water heater. Furnace was just installed last October. It replaced the broken one that was original to the early 80s building.

    I don’t mind cooking on an electric stove. The electric dryer doesn’t bother me either. With it being just me, I do maybe three loads of laundry a week. I do have a folding drying rack set up in a corner of my kitchen, but it’s been so humid, I don’t air dry much of anything, unless the items require it,.

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