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How Cost Efficient are Different Home Heating Systems?

With a bit of research and help from some great Conserve Nova Scotia and Natural Resources Canada publications we are able to offer some interesting and eye opening statistics regarding various home heating options common on the market today.

When you read this table below you will see that there are some clear winners, and some obvious dogs too. If you are thinking about buying an existing or new home, you may be wise to calculate the financial impact of the home's heating system - it may affect which home you choose. Petroleum based heating option costs continue to spiral vertically... analysts are now calling for $1.50 per litre gas in our very near future. The obvious is that heating oil and natural gas will rise too. Our numbers were calculated at the $/litre numbers shown.

Home Heating Fuel Cost Comparison Cost    
       
Option Efficiency Cost w/HST  Cost per MMBtu* 
Propane (condensing) 60% $1.04 Litre $80.89
Oil (old space heaters) 70% $1.10 Litre $45.21
Oil (new) 83% $1.10 Litre $38.12
Electricity 100% $10.67/kwh $32.92
Wood (pellets) 70% $250 per ton $24.16†
Heat Pump (air) COP 1.9 $10.67/kwh $17.33
Wood (EPA stove) 70% $200 per cord  $12.34†
       
*Million British Thermal Units - common measure for home heating systems
       
† Wood Burning - good option if a low cost source of dry wood is available; must use EPA approved stoves/furnaces; one cord of good wood will equal output of $500 litres of oil. You should however factor in your labour as additional cost to the true cost of heating. 

Bottom line is that a Heat Pump is your most cost efficient choice and certainly the most environmentally sound option, especially if your utility supplies electricity that is hydro generated; meaning it is renewable, and has a much lower carbon footprint than coal fired or other petro & gas fired options.

It would also be a good idea to check out some of the other newer technologies and programs being offered by various power utilities across the country. New heating systems approved for time of day metering can offer further new savings.

Check out https://www.nspower.ca/documents/heatingbrochures/621610AHeatingSolutions.pdf for information on how Time of Use programs and Thermal Storage Units can drive huge savings. the types of heating solutions are now available across the country; check them out! Or email me at hugh.bray@century21.ca for links to further information.

Finally, don't forget "the least expensive energy is the energy we do not use"; so don't forget to start your own home energy program. It will save you bucks and give you a lot of satisfaction too! Stay tuned for home energy strategies!

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