What's The Best Heat Source in 2022? Top 5 Home Heating Methods - LP Electric NG Geothermal Fuel Oil

Published 2022-01-07
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In this video I explain the differences between the most common fuel types and break down the cost associated with electric resistance heat, propane or LP, home heating oil or fuel oil, electric heat pumps, and finally natural gas.

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Blessings from Minnesota,


All Comments (21)
  • One thing to consider is supplemental heating systems; these can be used multiple ways, 1) to alleviate loads during power outages, 2) to help with extreme weather. 3) assist under certain conditions. Some combinations are hard to beat. For example, having an electric heat pump with back up wood stove is a great combination. A natural gas or propane fireplace that can run without power is great. If you currently have natural gas or oil heat installing a mini-split heat pump to supplement the heating (and for cooling) is a good option. Some of the DIY heat pumps can be self installed saving expensive installation bills. If you are primarily dependent on electric for heat, stand alone Kerosene heaters are a great backup for power outages. They can put out a lot of heat, no electric needed and use very little fuel. Electric resistance heaters are great for when other furnaces fail. There are other systems that can also help. Solar hot air heaters can bring very cheap heating into the house when the sun shines. Other tips that can save a lot of money include having a large propane tank and only filling it in the Summer when prices are cheap. (need more propane, get two tanks...).
  • 100% wood heat from the same old woodstove for the last 40 years. No natural gas where I live, and no furnace in the house. Moving air with fans costs some electricity, but it is pretty amazing how well you can heat your house, moving warm air around with simple fan technology.
  • @trustme7731
    To make real cost comparisons you need to use the number of degree heating days for the period in question. It removes weather fluctuations as a factor. My utility used to put this figure on each statement.
  • @hamperjay
    Hey Ben. I am a plumbing and heating technician in Northwest Montana. Very good / helpful video. I own a 1,300 st ft condo (2 bed 2 bath), open floor plan for the living area. I'm running 45k BTU NG fireplace off of a nest thermostat. Every other room has its own electric wall heater. I spend an average of $1000 a year on my total energy bill. 900KWH max and 40 Therm (gas unit) in February last year. Mind you that $1,000 includes my lights refrigerator all the electricity. I am a happy camper.
  • @KevinLyda
    I've switched from fuel oil (that's kerosene in Ireland) to a heat pump. At the same time I installed a 6.5 kW solar array. Last year my heat pump used 4.7 MWhs which happens to be what my PV panels generated. Obviously they generate most in the summer so I have a battery and an EV to soak up that juice then, but was amused how the HP and PV panels lined up in terms of usage and generation.

    My electric bill has gone up (€1,000), but I no longer pay for petrol (€2,500) or fuel oil (€2,500). I spent a lot on getting all this done so the payback period will be around a decade, but there are benefits beyond money. The heat pump (air to water) is so much quieter than my boiler was. The exhaust was near my back door so that being gone is great. It came with a 200l hot water tank which is always hot - not a normal thing in Irish homes. And the heating is more consistent - with the boiler it would fluctuate between too hot and too cold.
  • Other things to consider is safety, convenience, and space requirements. People rarely consider the time, machinery, and fuel involved with harvesting fire wood, storing it, and stoking a fire day and night. I am happy I chose to go with a mini split to heat the garage in the winter months than to deal with propane.
  • Love your videos. Switched from electric to natural gas two months after we moved in. Payed for itself in 4 years. Made sure we had a humidifier installed too.
  • @tedebayer1
    Knew a family that would heat both levels with electric fireplace (one each level). Turns out, the first $60 of Electricity (in Ontario anyways) is your delivery costs, and then usage. Despite having a gas furnace, they cut off the gas (no delivery or surtaxes anymore on gas) and found it cheaper monthly on average. So lights and heat all in was about $350 winter months, ($120 the rest) which for bungalow in Ontario Canada is pretty good.
  • Hi Ben, Im using forced air natural gas primarily, but augment that with a wood stove. The house is 120 years old with little insualtion. Fascinating that Propane has become the second highest cost over fuel oil. Wow ! Propane is just as abundant as natural gas. I retired from a gas company and few producers bother to strip the propane out of natural gas.
  • A pretty good show, thank you! Nice to have all the basic stuff to pick from if you have the options! However there are quite a bit of things to add in comparison to your story. These ways of heating will be gone in some years or too expensive, so it might be a good idea to also include other options for more long term? Like infloor heat? Very efficient! The different kinds of heat are exchangeable as well, you can combine heat sources.
    I really liked the idea of having an older house sprayfoamed but there is so much more you can do, or even have to do as older houses are build different then now when more insulation is put in. A MUST HAVE is and air exchanger to avoid moisture or worse.
    Keep up the good work!
  • @danbentch9602
    Great video! Good info! Here in the Kansas City area the first hvac upgrade we went from Heat pump/gas back up to gas heat, because 1, the heat pump never made the house comfortable, so we ran on "emergency mode" all the time and 2, the compressor finally died. Went to conv. a/c with gas furnace. 80%. After a missing flue cap let rain run into the furnace, and never happy with the cooling capacity we replaced it all last summer with a larger 95% furnace and 2 stage condensing unit. Electric vs Nat Gas here still makes gas a better choice. I have that very same heater, maybe a year or 2 newer (or older) in the back bedroom (over unheated garage) to take the morning chill off. While it is not terribly efficient, that resistive heat with a reflective back is turning every watt into heat for the 5 or 10 minutes I need it
  • Great video! I live in Minnesota. We’ve had several days of -15 degrees Fahrenheit and lower here. We just moved into a 1917 craftsman style home around 3500 sf. The upstairs and basement were currently electric baseboard heat and my main floor is forced air natural gas. My December electric bill was $373 and my natural gas bill is $263. I was shocked and went around turning everything to low heat. Freezing to death now but at least we are saving money! :)
    I’m looking into mini splits for the house, but still can’t heat with those probably 3 1/2-4 months out of the year. I’m in the process of expanding forced air to the basement to help but still don’t have a clear way to bring it all the way upstairs. Anyway, it is what it is. Thanks a lot Biden!😡
  • @MrJramirex
    Ground source heat pumps are extremely efficient but also outrageously expensive because you need plenty of land, wells drilled, or a massive pond. I'm installing a water to water ground source heat pump in my house but I was really close to just go with mini splits. Those are cheap, super efficient for their cost and super easy to install.
  • @cheapswede
    I was impressed with the electric ceiling mounted radiant heat panels my in-laws have. Very efficient as they heat the people and objects in the room, and not the air.
  • @james4wd236
    I use natural gas where I live and it doubled over last year. It's hard being a single income home owner and seeing a bill double from one year to the next. I'm buying a wood stove in the spring and going to get prepared for next year. It doesn't have to provide 100% of the heat, but helping keep this gas bill down is definitely needed considering I don't see the markets coming down anytime soon.
  • I was just having a conversation about this the other day. This is a great breakdown of the costs and efficiencies associated. Pretty much what I've always believed the breakdown would be, other than heat pumps I thought would be more cost-effective.
  • In my situation I feel blessed for our property to be situated in an oak forest. Even though I have a heat pump along with 2 mini-splits, I primarily (nearly 90%+ of the time) heat my home with a wood burning stove. I've switched out my 40 gal electric water tank for a tankless water system using propane. For 2 people- a 30lb propane tank lasts us 45+ days for bathing and washing dishes. The other thing we have done is installed an off grid solar system that primarily runs our refrigerators, other small appliances and lights in the home. About the only thing we use grid electricity is for the larger items like the clothes dryer and well pump. Our monthly utility bills are very low. For me, I have the time and resources to cut/split/stack/age wood and that is the cheapest by far for our home heating...
  • @davidca96
    I use natural gas where I live, its a lot cheaper than propane here, but as stated it costs a lot more than it used to. I just got a 96% efficient furance put in, my old one was made in 1976 and was very inefficient but made tons of heat and was as reiable as it gets. Ive always noticed about $100 less per month in gas use compared to the old one, so due to price increases my bills have remained roughly the same (but would have been that much more every month had I not). If I was able to burn wood, thatd be my preferred way but I have no fireplace, no access to enough wood consistantly, so unless I move that wont happen.
  • Great video. We are in a major renovation project right now. We use a new Mitsubishi mini split that’s good to -11. It works very well. Unfortunately in our basement space we still need to use resistance electric baseboard, but that will be addressed by next winter. I did imbed pex tubing in our basement slab and we’re figuring out how best to heat the water to get that online. A heat pump water heater looks like the contender.
    So thanks for the video. I will add this: DO NOT PUT HOME HEATING FUEL IN YOUR MODERN ROAD GOING DIESEL TRUCK OR CAR (unless you’re burning ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in your home heating system). Modern vehicles operate on ultra low sulfur diesel only and you will be in a world of hurt if you try it.
    In closing. Insulate insulate insulate.
  • @pdxbuckeye
    This video was very informative. I live in the foothills of the
    coast range in western Oregon. My home is well insulated as
    it was built in 1998.I replaced the 22-year-old heat pump with
    a top-of-the-line Lennox variable speed compressor and blower unit.
    My electric bill (there is no natural gas service on my road) went from
    a high of 275.00/month to 120/month during the peak winter months.
    My next upgrade will be a hybrid electric water heater to reduce the
    electric bill even more in the years to come. Thanks for posting!