Reply by Charlie

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Posted on Small shop heating question

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1100 posts in 2284 days

#1 posted 11-08-2012 06:02 PM

Propane today here is $2.68 a gallon. There is 91,500 BTU in a gallon of propane.
My electricity is .135 per KWHr. There is 3414 BTU in a kilowatt of electricity. That’s TOTAL including all taxes, fees, charges, and extraneous crap they tack on to the price per KWHr.

Anyways… I used an energy calculator to tell me how much 100,000 BTU would cost using propane vs electric.

It came out to $3.43 for propane and $4.16 for electric.

I might just be screwed either way. I sure can’t afford to spend $150 a month to heat the shop for 5 or 6 months of the year. Not without coming up with a way to generate and additional $150 a month from something I make or build or DO in the shop. That $150 is based on NOT needing to run a 3000 watt heating system 100% of the time. It’s about 50% of capacity. I may be able to get that number down by turning the heat down to 40 or 50 at night and when I’m not out there. Using the same kind of energy use (about 5100 BTU per hour) the propane cost would be more like $125 a month. That’s using current price per gallon only. I don’t know if I’d get charged a tank rental or other fees, but if so, then it would be around the same or more than electric.

That means I’m looking at packing up all my freezable stuff and bringing it in the house for the winter (again). And only heating the shop when I’m in it, and waiting for the tools to get warm as well as the shop ‘cause otherwise your hands just get too cold to work safely.

This isn’t real easy to figure out. You get to a point where you don’t want to do ANYTHING because it gets kinda hard to project what your actual operating costs will be.

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