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Thread: Propane or Fuel oil heat???

  1. #1
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    Default Propane or Fuel oil heat???

    We are in the process of building our cabin. As supplemental heat (for when we aren't there and thus the woodstove is not in use) we are trying to decide between a $1200 Toyo stove that runs on fuel oil, and a $600 Williams direct vent that runs on propane.

    Both heat the same amount of space. Propane is pricier in the long run, but maintenance is cheaper. (We also will have a water heater and stove running on propane, thus would have one tank if we went propane.)

    Fuel oil is a lot cheaper up front, but the maintenance is more (I am told).

    Thoughts?

    P.S. We are on good roads and delivery isn't an issue.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Sounds more like you're building a house, as opposed to a cabin. Regardless, it looks like you have the cost/benefit inputs already figured out. Toyo/Monitor stove type maintenance will run about $350-$400 every two to three years for routine maintenance, depending on your level of care and feeding, and how much it gets used. As you noted, propane is currently more expensive in the long run... Something else to consider, depending on how critical the heat is to you and where you're located: oil still works at -45 and colder; propane, if fed from an exposed above ground bottle or tank, doesn't.
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    When i lived in the mountains as a kid we had both ,propane and oil.
    the tempretures never got below -20 ,so the slow volume of gas used in the cabin stove was not significant ,however the water heater starved a bit on those really cold mornings .
    the great thing about oil, I felt ,was I could transfir it and buy it from my neighbors if I had to ,it is not a preasurized fuel .
    Sence your water heater is alredy propane you've little choice there.
    Personally ,I like several choices for heating ,and energy, in the event things get thin in one area i am prepared in another .
    I don't know where your water heater is but like many modern homes they are on an out side wall , so in the dead of winter and the pilot goes out there are freezing issues to contend with . Be mindful of that .
    As for the oil stove or wood stove for that matter , chimney cleaning is SOP every spring, and pushing a brush through is not all that complicated .
    I use a double L on my wood stove pipe configuration .It provides a dampening of a sort so that more heat is dispenced from the stove and not up the pipe . I add sheet metal screws to secure the pipe together . Servicing is a little trouble but the fuel savings is significant .

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Default Propane or Fuel oil heat???

    If you are off the road, the answer is easy. No one will sell you a propane tank larger than 100 lbs, unless you have an "in" with a propane guy. They will only lease you larger tanks that they have to have access to.

    With oil, you can fill it yourself with a couple of 5 gallon cans each trip, saving the hassle of dealing with a delivery service.

    Of course, since you're talking about two kinds of stoves which require electricity, I'm assuming you're talking a "house" on the road system.
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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    If you are off the road, the answer is easy. No one will sell you a propane tank larger than 100 lbs, unless you have an "in" with a propane guy. They will only lease you larger tanks that they have to have access to.

    With oil, you can fill it yourself with a couple of 5 gallon cans each trip, saving the hassle of dealing with a delivery service.

    Of course, since you're talking about two kinds of stoves which require electricity, I'm assuming you're talking a "house" on the road system.
    I bought a 99 gallon tank at Home Depot. At 4.11 lbs/gallon that works out to a little over 400 pounds of propane. I use it at my place and I'm off the road system.

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    We live on the road system, but off the grid. We used to heat with propane when it was $1.20 a gallon. It is now 4 something to 5 something a gallon delivered. The last winter we heated with propane cost north of 7 grand.
    Since we are off the grid we had to put in batteries, inverter, solar panels etc. to get 24/7 power for a toyo. What a difference though. We are now warmer and this 3rd winter should pay off the project in savings. 30% back from Uncle Sam helped that of course.
    We have a non-electric propane furnace but would hesitate to even give it away knowing the costs.
    Good Luck

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    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    Got a cabin I can drive to. I rent a 1000gal propane tank for 75 a year. Only a seasonal place and we really only use about 200 gals a year if we are lucky(8k propane gen). We are moving to solar power for electical means next year and will keep the propane for the stove. I also have two inline propane heaters as well if needed in deep winter visits..but hardly need them with wood stove. Propane lights and electric lights. I think we will only use about 100 gals if that much on a yearly basis after solar hookup. I would have some sort of propane gas hookup there. Very nice to have on demand if needed.
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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millersreach View Post
    We live on the road system, but off the grid. We used to heat with propane when it was $1.20 a gallon. It is now 4 something to 5 something a gallon delivered. The last winter we heated with propane cost north of 7 grand.
    Since we are off the grid we had to put in batteries, inverter, solar panels etc. to get 24/7 power for a toyo. What a difference though. We are now warmer and this 3rd winter should pay off the project in savings. 30% back from Uncle Sam helped that of course.
    We have a non-electric propane furnace but would hesitate to even give it away knowing the costs.
    Good Luck
    I second that!

    It took me a couple of years to get the power system up to a point I would trust my wife and kids well being on it, (dual inverters w/fall back capabilities, large capacity batteries, auto start generator, 2 kW Solar panels, Wind mill). But now that Iím there the Toyo stove is GREAT! I replaced two non-electric oil stoves with it and itís made a huge difference in fuel usage.

    We use propane for a water heater, cook stove, & clothes dryer. 100 gallons of propane will last us about 6 months. Last time I got it was $3.85 a gallon, (picked up, not delivered). Iím seriously considering replacing the propane water heater with a Toyo OM-148 water heater.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millersreach View Post
    We live on the road system, but off the grid. We used to heat with propane when it was $1.20 a gallon. It is now 4 something to 5 something a gallon delivered. The last winter we heated with propane cost north of 7 grand.
    Since we are off the grid we had to put in batteries, inverter, solar panels etc. to get 24/7 power for a toyo. What a difference though. We are now warmer and this 3rd winter should pay off the project in savings. 30% back from Uncle Sam helped that of course.
    We have a non-electric propane furnace but would hesitate to even give it away knowing the costs.
    Good Luck
    All of that ^^^^ .....is why we still burn 99% wood with a radiant propane heater as an emergency backup. There is no way I would consider heating with propane 100% and everytime I start thinking about a Toyo, I add up the cost of batteries, inverter/charger, the heater itself, fuel tank, the constant smell of deisel fuel around the yard, having to pay someone to come and fill it all the time, etc...ad nauseum....

    Makes all the work involved with burning beetle killed spruce ALOT more palatable (and it's not really THAT much work). It takes me about 4 days of solo hard work to put up the 7 cords we need to heat for the year. Plus I like the dry heat and the idea that I'm using something that would be rotting into the forest floor to heat my families home.

    My wife, on the other hand, is pushing for the Toyo solution...and gets a little more traction every year in September when I have to go start cutting wood again...


    As far as heating the building when your not there.....I always thought that was the definition of a "cabin". If you have to heat it when youre not there, its a HOUSE!!!

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    winterize and use woodstove when there
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    Member akriverunner's Avatar
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    Toyo for sure! Fill your tank once a year and your done with it. Propane puts out too much moisture and it seems to consume more.

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