Houses and Home Ownership


#102

My wood stove is actually a flexible solid fuel stove. Wood or coal. I have been tempted to try firing coal just for the experience, but I think my inner hippie won’t allow it.

@GeorgePatches I would LOVE natural gas. LOVE LOVE LOVE. However, the nearest connection point is like 3 miles away, and National Grid won’t run that far for anything even remotely reasonable.

Hence, the air-source heat pump and solar.

The good thing is that New York has fantastic solar incentives - a 25% state tax credit (max $5k) and the NY Sun program (rebate of $0.40/watt currently) - which along with the 30% federal credit cut the cost of a system by more than 50%.

Just got a quote for a 9 kW system for ~$13k after incentives and tax credits. $1.50 per installed watt is cheap as hell, and once we make a few efficiency upgrades (stupid sill joists), I’m betting it’ll completely remove our electric usage (or come damn close).

We’ll see how the air-source heat pump stacks up as an alternative heat source. Geothermal is really just too far out of my price range to be viable, but an air heat pump at 1/4 the price might still be worth it.

It’s either that or back to the propane co-op.


#103

Do not put coal in there. Trust me on this. The house I grew up in also had a coal/wood stove. There were sacks of coal in a shed out back. We burned coal maybe once when I was very young. The exhaust fan in the den was not enough. Never again. That shed with its sacks of coal out back was ignored and allowed to collapse and fade away over the years. Wood only.


#104

Gas was a make or break for me when I bought both my houses.


#105

I believe the Northeast is the only place in America where natural gas heating is on the rise. It’s falling everywhere else as most new developments just run electric, telecom, and sewer. Gas infrastructure tends to only exist where it already existed historically.

Electric is the default in much of America.


#106

Then what the fuck are all these pipelines they want to build for?


#107

When I was a kid in the Midwest, it was only old houses in old towns that had gas in my area: all the new suburbs were 100% electric with no gas infrastructure.

Also, notice how electricity is on the rise everywhere. The sole place where natural gas is expanding - the Northeast - is doing so at the expense of OIL, not electric.

Some further reading indicates that almost all of that growth is New York converting oil boilers to gas boilers. New construction seems to be largely electric.


#108

Damn. Even homes that HAVE gas tend to not have all-gas appliances. You’ll have gas heat, but electric stove/dryer.

“Nationally, only 20% of clothes dryers use natural gas, but in homes with natural gas as their main space heating fuel, that percentage increases to 34%.”

Also, the New York increase in natural gas at the expense of oil is almost entirely because of New York City. The city has required buildings to convert away from oil.


#109

I understand an electric dryer, but choosing electric ovens must be because fewer people are cooking.


#110

Natural gas is economically efficient and is a fuel with excellent energy density. Also, many places can convert from oil to natural gas with little change in heating infrastructure and save a shitfuckton of money, so there’s a major economic incentive.

Electric heat has only really become economically viable in the northeast in the last 4 years or so, and it’s because of a combination of improvements in efficient electric heating, declining electric prices, volatile fossil fuel prices, and massive massive incentives to offset your electrical cost via solar.

I see it becoming more and more the norm. Fossil fuel heat is a dying industry.

EDIT: Electric appliances are common because running them off of propane is crazy fucking expensive. It only makes sense where you have natural gas, and even then, the amount of electricity you’ll use is comparatively minimal, so why bother running more gas lines? That’s something else that can leak and make your house go boom.


#111

If a day comes when the gas is turned off, I will find some sort of fuel so that I can always have my food heated by actual flames. If I have to start a fusion reaction and create a miniature star in my oven, so be it.


#112

I can teach you how to build a wood-fired oven.

Here’s a hint: you don’t actually want one.


#113

Many people prefer gas ranges, but actually electric ovens. The latter are much more controllable. That’s why frankenstein monstrosities like those dual-fuel ranges exist.

Also, if you live outside of traditionally gas-fed places, most people are used to electric rangetops. They’re often afraid of gas ranges (because of the danger of fire/explosion/leak).


#114

I don’t need wood for fuel. I’ll use the corpses of my enemies.


#115

So a greasefire.


#116

My enemy is not grease.


#117

A lot of North Carolina and Virginia houses have gas lines for heat and electric for everything else, including mine. I really prefer gas ranges but there’s no way I’m going to replace ours. It’s basically a 1950’s kitchen of tomorrow appliance, here’s an ad for a nearly identical model.


#118

I cook in cast iron so the heat source really doesn’t matter. When my house was renovated, the previous owners converted from a gas stove to an electric one. I will convert from burning things to rubbing electrons for heat. Electric water heaters are far better than they used to be, but I’m not happy about converting to electric heat. All my ducts are in the ceiling so my rooms would all warm at the top while we froze below.


#119

Ducts in the ceiling? Is this a retrofitted duct system? Usually you only see what when ducted central AC is added to a house that used to only have baseboard heating.


#120

The house was built in 1920, yeah it was retrofitted.


#121

I vowed as a kid to never buy a house or apartment without original build central ducted HVAC.

You should really try to invest in some ceiling fans. Have them draw UP in the winter. If you can’t install them, then put a couple of these on the floor pointing up.