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Heating System Costs

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Posted by: from Woodville
12/29/2012 at 9:31:47 AM

Is there a list available that shows the costs in order of expense for heating your home?

ie. Wood (if wood lot owned), Natural Gas, Propane, etc.

Showing which types of heating are more economical than the others.

Thank you

REPLIES (3)
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Date/Time12/29/2012 at 11:21:19 AM

Sure there are lists on line. But like everything else you have to compare apples with apples.

If you already own a wood lot and have a heating system to suit, and have four strong young sons who will work all day for free to collect wood, you're golden.

Is natural gas available in your area? If not, you're SOL.

And to have propane trucked to your site then stored in a tank, is not cheap, and there may be new regulations to storing propane this way. Look into it.

All thinks equal, I'm pretty sure you can't beat natural gas. But if you own a wood lot and free labour, that is probably your next best belt. But then you have to keep feeding the fire.

Good luck.

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Date/Time12/30/2012 at 9:57:35 AM

If you are looking for an order of cheapest to most expensive you have to look at many different factors like the ones stated below and your area will determine other factors such as what can be supplied and at what cost I will give you a quick summery of each.

1) if you have free or relativity inexpensive access to wood it will always be the least expensive unless you are buying it by the cord at a premium, but it is the most labor intensive and you have to account for your time.

2) the next would be natural gas if heating with a high efficiency condensing unit.

3) then propane again high efficiency but you also have to deal with tank rentals.

4) oil plus you have to factor in annual cleanings and insurance premiums.

5) then electric heat it doesn't matter if it is forced air or baseboard, also you are now dealing with peak times of usage and for this reason electric heat is the most expensive.

Now we look at supplemental systems like heat pumps ground or Air Source Heat Pumps now you have to look at life cycle and installation cost I wont even get into geo thermal as it can range from $18,000 to $42,000 to install. Air source is next to natural gas for amount of heat out put per dollar spent but it only operates cost effectively down to -10 Celsius so you need a main source of heat i.e. gas.

This information may help. I am an Energy Systems Engineering Specialist I no longer live in the city where i had a high efficiency natural gas unit. I live out in the country and I now heat my home with Waste wood from a saw mill $125 for a cord of hard wood in an air tight wood insert that will cover 80% of my heat requirements the rest is done with a high efficiency propane furnace supplemented buy an Air Source Heat Pump.

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Date/Time12/30/2012 at 10:56:38 AM

Hello Tom,

Natural Gas is cheaper than propane in our area. If you do have a wood lot available to you-that would probably be cheaper than anything- it is a lot of work though. I use a high efficiency propane furnace in combination with a large wood stove on the lower floor of our house. As much as i primarily heat with wood, furnace is needed when we are away.

If you looking to purchase a new system and you have natural gas available where you live i would say purchase a new high efficiency natural gas furnace. propane being the next best.

Check your insurance and building codes where you live also-most municipalities wont allow you install wood heat as your primary heat source. To pass building code for new construction you need a furnace or electric base boards installed.

If you have an insurance policy-make sure you fill out the form needed - get your inspections and signatures in place-have a wet certified person to do the work.

Hope you stay warm Tom. :)

Bruce Tiffin

Granite Wood Construction

Georgian Bay, Parry Sound, Muskoka

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