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

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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,

Ben

All Comments (21)
  • 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!
  • T W
    Ben, I've got a question. Awesome videos btw...Im putting in two receptacles for a customer that are going to be on posts that ill be cementing down in their yard. Im coming off of a receptacle on their house and jumping to the receps that are going to be on the posts and the plan is to run 1/2 in pvc...Do you think I need expansion fittings before going in and coming out of the receps? Do they even make expansion fittings in 1/2in?
  • Bob H
    Make sure you check for discounted electrical rates for heating which are available in some areas.
    To get the total picture you would also need to include installation and maintenance costs, but this is a good start.
    If you generate your own electricity?
  • Victory First
    The best and first thing is to have an truly insulated home.
  • Son of Liberty
    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.
  • bnasty267
    Fuel oil is still pretty popular in the Northeast and North Midatlantic area (Philly), especially outside of the cities (which tend to have NG.) For whatever reason, propane prices around this area aren't as cheap as in the Midwest, and because these areas are older, the NG infrastructure didn't exist 200 years ago when these areas were established. Many hones still use hydronic heat (oil fired boilers), often with no AC, so there's no drop-in heat pump system that could be used without running ducts or using minisplit heads everywhere. Check out Steve Lav's youtube channel for servicing these old and crusty oil systems.
  • Glenn Campbell
    Very Interesting. My house was also built in the 1800's, 1868. It is about 1200 sq ft area. I had it insulated by a local firm that specializes in old homes and they did a super job! What a difference. Any way The up stairs is only used maybe 20% of the time and is usually shut off, so I am not heating nearly the whole 1200 sq ft. I use a very efficient thermostatically controlled Harmon pellet stove. It is placed in the living room in a corner so it blows the heated air out to the other rooms naturally. I supplement with some in wall electric heaters hard wired in each room. They are digitally controlled Cadet heaters . They are 1600 watt, 240 volt and 5200 btu heaters. They can sense the room temp and only put out enough to keep the temp stable. They seem to be very efficient and do not use a lot of electricity. If the outside temp goes above about 45 I just use the electric. When it is colder the pellet stove easily heats the house. If it gets very cold I may have to turn on one of the electric heaters for a bit. The closest I can figure is that It cost me about $800 to heat my home for a 6 month season. I live in southern Indiana. Really, a super insulating job is the key. Plus, I manage my heat sources .
  • Kevin Lyda
    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.
  • AL M
    Great comparison. 2 years ago we got a 2000 sq ft house built, r28 walls, r55 ceiling and triple pane windows. Basement is wood insulated to r28 with concrete floor with 2" foam insulation under it. we installed a 27kwh electric furnace as a backup because we have a coal fired stoker outside. Electricity here is about .14 per kwh. Heater fuel likely about $5.13 per US gallon. To put in natural gas the utility company wanted $35,000.00 as the nearest gas is 1 mile away. We use about 20 tonnes (2200 lbs per tonne )of coal to heat the house and a 2000 sq ft shop. Coal is about $110 per tonne trucking is a 600 mile round trip. We can heat for way less than we could with the old 1100 sq ft house burning heater fuel. We start the coal burner in early November and shut it off in April. It's warmer now (mid Jan, -15c ) but for the last 21 days it never got much above -25c and went to -38c a lot of nights.
  • Jonah Hatt
    This was a very informative video. I like how you broke down the average prices and made it easy to compare
  • James4wd
    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.
  • We live in central MN. Our house is about 7 years old, 1800 sq ft, literally tons (18T to be exact) of insulation, 12" thick walls, 22' thick ceiling, triple pane windows, Passive solar, we use an off peak brick heater, and wood for our main sources of heat (and of course the sun). We do have 2 air source heat pumps, we have never needed them for heat, but we could as they are rated to produce heat even with ambient temps get to -19ºF. We use them in the summer for AC though. Our goal was not to use any fossil fuels in the heating or cooling of the house. We have a solar array which, over the course of the year, produces more energy than we need for all house functions, plus our electric utility pays us for our excess generation. Bottom line is we pay nothing for heating our house, in MN, in the winter! You made an excellent video, Ben. Cheers!
  • Pevely Homeowner
    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.
  • Roger Carroll
    Thank you. Very well done. The numbers speak for themselves.
  • Chris N
    I cringe at this but I know a family that almost exclusively uses electric space heaters during winter here in cny. They like the house cold so it actually works very well for them to only space heat the room they are in. I understand these calculations are simplified to the example house uses X number of btus a season but in my opinion resistance space heating can definitely cost less than propane if your living space is zoned. And virtually no upfront or maintenance costs required.
  • morpher44
    One thought about this. Instead of heating the entire house during the winter. Using low-power resistance heating to just one room that you are in might provide significant savings w/o fear of fumes, explosions, fire, etc. There are 700-watt space heaters that heat oil, and the oil retains the heat pretty good. The thermostat draws power with some duty cycle just to keep the oil @ the desired temp. Then the problem becomes one of storing electricity enough to run the small space heater (EcoFlow delta pro, etc). and efficiently charging up your battery using solar, wind, or small propane (or gasoline) generator when solar & wind don't work. The small heater can be moved to your office, when you are there, and your bedroom when you are there, etc.
  • Thanks for the great video. I live in PA. We have a very modern heat pump that has never gone into emergency heat mode. Our old heat pump would use the back up coil system at 25 degrees and struggle below 18. Our new heat pump works well down to 15 degrees, that's the coldest temp we have seen since owning it. I started using the fan circulation mode and our home is WAY more consistent temp wise. My wife loves it. Take care!
  • Keith Hults
    The new split units are allot more efficient. I installed one with a friend on his house. They come pre charged. Any skilled contractor could install one. I have 98yr old 1500sqft home with cast iron hot water oil heat. My peerless 190k btu boiler calls for a 1.25gph SS nozzle. I ran a solid 80 degree .85gph for 20yrs. my season went down to 500 gallons for the season. The trade off was the boiler run time lasted over an hour before it would limit out in 20 degree temps. I'm older and colder so I switched up to a 1.1gph hollow on my oil guys advise. I'm on track for a 600 gallon season. The hollow nozzle heats more efficiently than a semi solid or solid for some reason. Average run time is 40min to limit out while calling for heat. I'm debating heating my radiator circuit with a heat exchanger fed by a hot water solar collector I'll install on my sun all day porch roof. Or an electric heat exchanger fed by a battery bank, and power inverter from electric solar panels. 48 volts DC supply exponentially increases discharge capacity
  • Smart Home
    I like that you started by telling us about your insulation. When I bought my home it had zero insulation, Since insulating my home I use 6 times less energy to heat my home than the 1st year without. The 4 months it took and $2,000 was well worth it to insulate. I had to blow in insulation (New Wool)thru 365 - 3" holes inside in plaster walls. Then rewire the second floor so I could insulate the attic and be done up there.

    I use natural gas in a 96+ furnace. I have 2200 square feet to heat. I save 20% by placing panels inside my 5 south facing windows thus capturing the solar heat these panels radiate. These panels are easy to make out of hardboard / Masonite and aluminum foil painted flat black with high temp paint. I use foil tape at the seams before painting them. I measured the heat in the center of a panel when the outside temperature was 20 below. The panel surface temp was 130 degrees on a sunny day. My home is 5 bedrooms and is 87 years old but it only cost me $960.00 to heat my home and make hot water last year. I keep my heat at 72 degrees. Although I can't see out of any south facing window, I have 3 cameras that see south. So the $30.00 investment in these panels saves me $240.00.

    My home is fully smart integrated so I save on electricity as well.
  • RANDOMNATION
    SUBBED!!! This is just the kind of info I need. I live in Alaska but, where I live the weather is similar to Northern Minnesota. I'm doing research to build my retirement home. It will be a two bedroom ranch style, about 890 sq.ft., the real challenge will be heating a large-ish 24'x48' shop. I think I'm going to be watching a lot of your videos in the near future.