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Home Heating Options

Now that it’s nearing winter and your heating costs are probably on the rise, we thought it might be beneficial if we covered some of the heating options you may be using in your home. It’s important to understand what type of heat your home uses because it can impact the way you prepare for winter and could potentially help you save money on your heating bill.

Natural Gas:

According to the American Gas Association, “natural gas serves more than 65 million homes; 5 million businesses like hotels, restaurants, hospitals, schools, and supermarkets; 190,000 factories; and 1,900 electric generating units.” Depending on where you live, natural gas is a popular option for heating homes. One of the reasons why many homes use natural gas as their heating fuel type is because it can be more cost efficient than other heating options such as oil or propane gas. In fact, “natural gas is considered the cleanest fossil fuel because it produces much lower emissions than those of other fossil fuels like coal or oil.”

A variety of appliances can be used to deliver natural gas in your home.

  • Space or Wall-Mounted Heaters
  • Whole-Home Furnaces with Ducting
  • Fireplaces

The range of uses for natural gas within your home other than heating is limitless.

  • Fuel a Cooking Range
  • Run a Dryer
  • Heat Hot Water
  • Fuel Your Outdoor Barbeque

Here are some other interesting facts about natural gas:

  • “Currently generates approximately 25 percent of total U.S. electricity.”
  • “Primarily a domestic energy source.”
    • “In 2011, 91 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States was produced in the U.S.”
  • “Comprises almost one-fourth of all primary energy used in the U.S. and is directly linked to jobs and economic health.”
  • “Does not spill.”
    • “If an event occurs causing its release, it dissipates into the atmosphere and safely disperses.”

Facts from the American Gas Association.

Check out AccuWeather.com to learn more about natural gas costs for this winter.

Heating Oil:

Heating oil is typically found in the Northeast and is used by many Americans to heat their homes. It’s actually one of the most historically common fuels for heating homes. The cost of heating oil fluctuates according to the season. Heating oil is typically more expensive during October through March. According to the Energy Communications Council, “some customers try to beat rising winter prices by filling their storage tanks in the summer or early fall when the prices are likely to be lower.”

Heating oil can be delivered to your home through the following heating appliances:

  • Room Space Heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Large Furnaces

Here are some interesting facts about heating oil:

  • “It takes an advanced high-tech burner to ignite heating oil. If you drop a match into heating oil it will go out as if dropped into water.”
  • “The heating oil industry’s commitment to renewable fuels means there will be thousands of good-paying jobs available for highly trained technicians, engineers, researchers, oil field workers and others.”
  • “Each year, the heating oil industry accounts for $20 billion in sales and $1.9 billion in payroll for 49,000 Americans.”

Facts from the Energy Communications Council.

Electric Resistance Heating:

According to Energy.Gov, this type of heating “converts nearly 100% of the energy in the electricity to heat.” The main drawback of electric resistance heating is since “most electricity is produced from coal, gas, or oil generators … only about 30 percent of fuel’s energy” is converted into electricity.

There are a wide variety of electric resistance heaters. Electric heat typically consists of the following options:

  • Electric Radiant Heaters
  • Electric Baseboard Heaters
  • Electric Wall Heaters
  • Electric Space Heaters
  • Electric Furnaces
  • Heat Pumps

If you have one of the electric heating options mentioned above, check out AccuWeather.com to see how your heating costs may be affected by this year’s colder than normal winter.

Propane:

Even if you don’t use propane to heat your home, it’s probably likely you’ve used it on camping trips to cook your food or light a lantern. Propane is usually a bit more expensive if used to heat your home, but in some areas it may be the only heating option available to you.

Propane is used by more than 14 million families to fuel some of the following items:

  • Water Heaters
  • Fire Places
  • Air Conditioners
  • Outdoor Grills
  • Dryers
  • Furnaces
  • Ranges

Here are some interesting facts about propane:

  • It’s “nontoxic, so it’s not harmful to soil and water.”
  • “If liquid propane leaks, it doesn’t puddle but instead vaporizes and dissipates into the air.”
  • “Because propane is virtually odorless and colorless in its natural state, a commercial odorant is added so propane can be detected if it leaks from its container.”
  • “Easy to transport and can be used in areas beyond the natural gas mains.”

Facts gathered from PropaneCouncil.org.

Wood & Pellet Heating:

The inefficient wood burning stoves of the past can now be replaced with appliances certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These newer appliances “are cleaner burning, more efficient, and powerful enough to heat many average-sized, modern homes.”

There are multiple types of wood and pellet burning appliances.

  • Advanced Combustion Woodstoves
  • Catalytic Wood Stoves
  • High-Efficiency Fireplace Inserts
  • Centralized Wood-Burning Boilers
  • Pellet Fuel Appliances
  • High-Efficiency Fireplaces
  • Masonry Heaters

Learn more about wood and pellet heating at Energy.Gov.

Some other forms of home heating are:

Heat Distribution Systems
Furnaces & Boilers
Hot Water (Baseboard) Heating

What type of heating does your home use? Let us know on Facebook & Twitter!

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