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Author Topic: Which one is more economical?  (Read 804 times)


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Which one is more economical?
« on: October 16, 2017, 10:16:22 PM »
This might be a dumb question but since I never had a heat pump before I need to ask.  Which one is more economical running the heat pump or the furnace.  I would need to pay for either electricity or LP where I am staying, which one would be cheaper?
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
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Laura & Charles

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Re: Which one is more economical?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 01:20:12 AM »
I personally opt for spending on electric only due to inconvenience of filling the propane.  No real idea about which is more economical--and imagine it can be a toss up, depending on current cost of each at your location--but, assuming temps are warm enough for the heat pumps to be effective enough, the convenience factor makes my call.
Currently in Santa Cruz, CA on 30 amp service and need heat from about 0200 to about noon... Have ducted and am running front on electric set to 67 and rear on gas set on 64... turn rear off when we get out of bed and staying very comfy and sipping on propane. (Have an eiectric space heater that does a dandy job, but definitely need 50 amps to pull that thing out.)
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 01:25:47 AM by LauraCharles »
Living and working full-time out of a:
2011 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 38P; W24 chassis; 8.1 Vortec
and dinghy towing a 2014 Honda CR V.


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Re: Which one is more economical?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 06:47:38 AM »
A catalytic heater such as:


I have installed these using a 6' flexible hose and a leg kit for the heater. 

It is very important with these heater so provide proper ventilation so the carbon dioxide (CO2) doesn't build up.  They also put out quite a bit of water vapor, another reason for ventilation. 

They turn about 98% of the propane into heat. Extremely efficient. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4



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Re: Which one is more economical?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 07:01:45 AM »
Which one is more economical depends on the electric and propane costs where you are, as well as how much of each is used. Keep in mind as well, a heat pump is will only supply usable heat down to around 35℉.
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Which one is more economical?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 08:21:27 AM »
Probably not enough difference to bother calculating. We could compute the energy in a gallon of LP @ $x.xx/gal vs electric @ 0.xx/kwh, but the thermal efficiency of your furnace vs your heat pump probably makes those theoretical numbers useless. Plus, the effectiveness of a heat pump depends on the outside air temperature.

My advice is to use whichever is convenient and don't worry about it.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John From Detroit

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Re: Which one is more economical?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 10:19:37 AM »
I use electric only when in RV parks  because it is included in the "Rent" so the calculation is

Electricity $0.00 v/s Propane $x.xx

As you can see, free wins every time

My Mini-fireplace is 750 watts and runs fine on a standard RV "Quick box" outlet  (six amps)

My 3 1500 watt space heaters though.. Well on Quick Box power they scare me, I've had one connection melt. others have had the same thing happen.. So I installed special outlets

1 (Bedroom) 15/20 amp. fed by 12ga wrapped around properly tightened screws... 20 amp breaker all to itself

1: 15/20 amp... Great room (Living, dining, kitchen) rear  12ga wrepped as above 15 amp breaker (NOTE: I had open breakers after an inverter upgrade)

1: 15 amp quad box. 1 GFCI feeding a 2nd standard outlet (GFCI Protected of course) 12 ga as above and a 15 amp breaker (All out of open breakers now)

I also use the washer/dryer circuit which is 20 amp rated in my Rig or rather I used to before I put in that last circuit above

No hot wire smell
No melting connections
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My Home is where I park it.


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Re: Which one is more economical?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 11:51:11 AM »
I use electric only when in RV parks  because it is included in the "Rent" so the calculation is

When staying at a park for a month or more often the Electric is billed extra so in that case you pay for what you use.
But if on a daily or weekly rate then electric is usually included.

When comparing the 2 sources you should also consider if you have to move to go get more propane as not all campgrounds carry it.
If there is a delivery service available that may or may not be an extra fee or it may change the price compared to you going to their place.   

I carry an oil heater that radiates and has no fan.  What's nice about that, is it's basically silent whereas my heat pumps or furnace
are loud enough that I have to turn up the TV to over come the noise from the fans.  Different strokes for different folks applies here I guess.
And yes my hearing is fine - therefore I don't keep it too loud most of the time and then do need to turn it up when the fans kick on.

I doubt that if you have any MH that there would be enough of a difference in cost to say I have to use one or the other all the time
because it's cheaper.  IMO life is too short to worry about a few pennies difference, and I like to be frugal most of the time when I can.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp
West MI Summer   Central FL Winter

Mile High

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Re: Which one is more economical?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 03:54:31 PM »
We have a hybrid system at home and it used to be economical to run heat pump while we could because natural gas was high, but now electricity costs makes it far less effective so we shut it off. 

On the road, I would think the hassle of electric would be less than propane.  Our RV heat pumps are kind of noisy so I favor the LP furnace, but with two furnaces it can suck down 28 gal pretty fast so I typically run the heat pumps, providing its above ~30 degrees or so.  Less than that and they don't work at all.  They will shut down and the furnaces will start.
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238