RURAL HEAT SOURCE
When purchasing a rural property one can entertain a few more heating options than their city/town cousins. Choices for both include hydro/electricity, oil, gas, propane, indoor wood/pellet stoves.
All good heat sources with varying related costs.
As far as the country cousins, they have access to the same as above plus outdoor wood or pellet stoves/boilers and corn or grain stoves/boilers.
Hydro - one of the higher costs - is an option as long as you have amp service that can handle it.
Oil - is becoming more of a hassel with insurance regulations.
Gas - in rural areas is not always available where you might live.
Propane - generally accepted as the go to heat for rural living - involves a tank or two placed outdoors in an easy to fill spot. Tanks are usually rented, so no maintenance costs.
Indoor wood stoves are cost effective if you have your own wood source with the added benefit of a physical workout. One down side is you generally have a "mess" to deal with - ashes, dirt and wood chips.
Indoor grain/pellet stoves require the purchase of such, unless you have your own source but less messy than the wood.
Outdoor wood boilers are cost effective for the same reasons as above with the added bonus of the mess being outside and you have the option of heating additional buildings from the same source. One must physically feed the boiler at least twice daily ( sometimes more )
Outdoor corn/grain boilers are a good alternative for the individual that likes to heat multiple buildings but doesn't like the constant "hands on" of wood. You can set up a gravity fed corn/grain bin that does the chore for you by automatically feeding the boiler. You do however have to fill bin 2 - 3 times per heating season - depending on size of bin. Requiring a tractor, grain buggy and auger.
Your initial costs of the outdoor alternatives is significantly higher but if you are lucky enough to have woods or grow your own corn/grain on your rural property than it can be a cost saving in the long haul.
With some of the above heat sources insurance companies may require a secondary or back up heat source to be in place. One should always check with their own insurance company.
Here at the farm we put in a corn boiler 2 years ago and have been very please with its performance.
Whatever you choose - may you stay warm!