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Heating Your Home -- Gas or Electric

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by coderitr, Jan 30, 2005.

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  1. coderitr

    coderitr Thread Starter

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    I awoke to a temperature of 62 degrees in my bedroom this morning because my gas heating unit had failed. Again. This time it was merely a frozen regulator which a pot of warm water poured over it solved. Last time it wasn't. Last time, the stupid thing just stopped working. The motor would come on but no gas was getting to the system. A repairman was dispatched and found nothing wrong with the system. I can't remember at this point how he fixed it but I wish it hadn't cost me $130 for him to tell me that there was nothing wrong. The time before that, in addition to the regulator being frozen, it was faulty. I was extremely fortunate to have a spare on hand (connected to my grill sold to me by the gas company) so the repair cost $200 instead of $500. Mind you, this house and that unit are not yet four years old. The A/C unit also failed a couple of summers ago.

    At this point, and admittedly this is a knee-jerk reaction, I'm considering replacing the gas unit with an electric one. Mind you, this is not something that I can afford to do right this minute but if this trend continues it seems to me that I'll be better off in the long run. Opinions, please. Has anyone else been here?

    By the way, I live in North Carolina. The winters aren't as cold as they are in some of the other regions of this country. If was merely uncomfortable at 62 degrees in my bedroom. I just feel a minimum expectation of a few years' problem free service from this heating unit is not unreasonable.

    Thanks
     
  2. coderitr

    coderitr Thread Starter

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    Now I remember the problem last time this unit failed. The motor would not come on. A relay had overheated and tripped a circuit breaker in the system. The repairman reset that breaker and voila. Heat. One hundred thirty dollars please. Oh, and you might consider our maintenance plan. It's only $160 per year and you get a discount on repairs. :rolleyes:
     
  3. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    Take it from someone that has worked heat and air most of his life. They ALL break and they are ALL expensive to repair. Think a gas valve is expensive, try getting a tech to be at your heatpump for 4 hours welding in a new compressor on a 20 degree day. In this area a compressor can cost $1200.

    Whatever you get, make sure it is a good brand. I recommend Trane. Yes they break also. Keep away from Goodman and Comfortmaker and other elcheapo brands.

    Carrier has too many unneeded controls. I think it is so they have more to break.

    York is backasswards to work on, Lennox is good.

    To answer your question, stay with gas. It is better heat.
     
  4. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    cold 62º :confused: my thermostats are all set for 60...

    sorry it just struck me funny...

    I have hydronic heat I put under my floors with an oil fired furnace so I have no first hand experience but in New England where I am electric is prohibitively expensive... Most everything here is either gas or oil fired...

    Is the regulator something the gas company is responsible for

    I have plenty of friend and neighbors that have gas with no. trouble. Maybe you need to invest in some better equipment than was provided with the home rather than change to electric

    stay warm... :)

    buck
     
  5. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    Don't call Sears. ;) LOL
     
  6. coderitr

    coderitr Thread Starter

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    Guess what brand this unit is.

    Not on my side of the meter.
     
  7. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    Builders for the most part use the cheapest. Not all of them do but most are out for themselves. One year of warranty and poof, no heat.:(
     
  8. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    LOL, ComfortCrap and ComfortJunk are a few of the nicer names we call them.:D
     
  9. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    I hear you...been in and around the construction industry most of my life
     
  10. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    Me too. I hate to see what happens to some people. Sometimes the attitude they give the repairman makes me think they got what they deserved.

    I am only the fixer, not the builder that screwed them.:(
     
  11. coderitr

    coderitr Thread Starter

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    In fairness, 2 out of 3 times the heat has failed the problem has been the gas regulator -- not the system itself. Is there any precedent to insulating these things?
     
  12. coderitr

    coderitr Thread Starter

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    This builder certainly was. I have a house that I can never sell except maybe to a company that will use it as a rental property. Substandard construction at it's finest.
     
  13. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    You could try an electric heat tape like they use on water pipes. Don't worry, they don't get hot they just keep things warm.
     
  14. MSM Hobbes

    MSM Hobbes

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    We bought our house, which is only ~4 years old, 1.5 years ago. Previous owner & friends had built it. So, somethings are quite good, yet others, well, not so good. Since day one, we have had many probs w/ the HVAC system - w/ two floors and a full basement, there is a two split-system all-electric heat pumps: 2.5 ton for the upstairs and bonus room [above the garage], and a 3 ton for the basement and downstairs. Both Amana [which, are a division of Goodman]. Have had excellent service from the local HVAC guys who had installed it orginally - even honoring the warranty on all of their calls, both parts and labour, while we are not the original owners. The belief was that since the house sat unoccupied for some time [~16 months], the heat pumps and related parts in the attic, for example, had issues due to condensation, etc. Anyway, after the compressor failed on the 3 ton unit, had to make a choice: replace it w/ a new compressor [~$500] or change out the entire air handler + new heat pump unit with gas heat system [~$3500]. Choose the latter; new system, heat w/ gas = more efficient and much warmer than electric coils, esp. when temp outside drops below 35°F, and the wind is blowing over the hills here [we live ontop the ridge]. FWIW, I much prefer the gas heat, had it in NE Indiana - except, the cost there killed my wallet - due to its a warmer heat than electric. As soon as the ground dries out, will be installing an underground tank for the gas. So, next winter, will be much more warmer here... well, of course not considering the rise in temp due to global warming... ;)

    Anyhow, the above is just another person's experience for ya to consider... good luck! :)

    BTW: here are a few links that may have some helpful info:
    http://www.energyright.com/heatpump/dare2compare.htm [really, they are not biased... :rolleyes:]
    http://www.ecn.ab.ca/sesci/LIBRARY/ARTICLE1.PDF
    and
    http://www.terrylove.com/wwwboard/messages/12737.html
     
  15. tdi_veedub

    tdi_veedub

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    The problem is these new high-efficiency type furnaces that are electronically controlled...I have a Bryant and the thing has left me cold about 5 times. At first it would just blow cold air (the gas wouldn't turn on), but a reset fixed it.

    Then one day, the reset wouldn't work. Of course, it was -30C outside. I had to use my gas stove to heat the place(1 month later ...a $300 gas bill :eek: ) Turns out it was a thermocouple that would open when the air temp in the furnace got to a certain temp. well, it broke, and thus caused the circuit to remain open and the furnace thought -30 was to warm. Of course I didn't find this out until the gas guy came 9 hours later and charged me 200$ for the part and his 10 mins of labour.

    This year the saga continued...Again, the coldest day of the year, my furnace won't start. Another call to the gas guy (he was quicker this time) and after another 10 minutes, $200 and a lecture about replacing air filters he told me he replaced the coil thingy that gets red hot and ignites the gas because broke, thus indicating another open circuit.

    Growing up I remember we had an old school gas furnace with a pilot light that never, ever stopped working. Still though, I prefer gas, hydro is just way too costly.
     
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