How To Compare Cost Of Heating With Different Fuels?

January 30, 2022 Coal Gun, Multi-Fuel, Wood Gun


There are many ways to power your heating systems such as with oil, electricity, or natural gas. If you are wondering which type of fuel would be the best-for-value option for your wallet, we will compare the cost of heating using different types of fuels.

Using Heating Oil

Heating oil is usually used with boilers which can cost around $2500 to $10,000, depending on the efficiency of the unit and the size of the unit. The cost of oil often fluctuates according to the market as well as the currency value. One gallon of oil costs approximately $3.20. Which calculates to $1,200 – $8,400 per year in fuel cost. Oil is readily available and can be found in many regions. As burning oil may produce soot, you will have to maintain it and get it cleaned annually which adds up to the total cost. Burning cleaner blends of oil will also improve the air quality.

Alternatively, you can also recycle the oil that you use and use it to fuel your heater to significantly save costs. However, be sure to get a good quality waste oil boiler that can burn oil efficiently and possesses good technology that prevents the excess buildup of soot. This is a great option for car mechanics, lube centers, and truck shops.

Using Anthracite Coal

Using anthracite coal in a coal stoker boiler may cost about $6,000 to $8000 for the unit. In the northeast regions of the USA anthracite coal itself is readily available all year long and is usually sold at about $250 per ton which calculates to $500-$3,500 per year in fuel cost. However, the price can be much higher if you buy in smaller quantities. On average, residential owners burn about two to four tons of coal per year. Burning coal produces ash, hence you will have to empty the ash every week. The air quality when burning coal is good as it produces no smoke or creosote. This is the most cost-effective option especially when you also heat your domestic water with a coal boiler.

Using Natural Gas

Natural gas is another common fuel that is used to heat homes. When it is used in a boiler where the unit can cost about $3,000 to $8,000, depending on the efficiency level of the unit. The cost of natural gas varies according to your region. It usually costs about $0.5 to $0.8 ccf which calculates to $1,500 – $10,780 per year in fuel cost. However, you should also take into consideration the cost of transportation and taxes. Natural gas is available in many regions but not all, as not all places may have utility companies that supply it or the proper.

Using Electricity

Electric baseboard heaters are inexpensive to install but may be costly in the long run. Baseboard heaters heat a room by converting electric currents into heat to warm up the space. The cost of operating baseboard heaters depends on the price of electricity in the region and the wattage of your electric heater. For example, if your electricity costs $0.13 per kWh, then using an electric heater will cost you $1,980 – $13,860 per year in heating bills. Electricity is the most efficient however it is costly to use and the heat can be very dry.

Using Heat Pumps or Minisplit

Electric heat pumps use an electric condenser and a blower combined with freon to heat and even cool your home. The system cost can be $1,500 – $7,500, depending on the efficiency and whether or not it’s a mini-split or heat pump. The system consists of an outside freon condenser and inside has a blower that blows air across a coil and then the air blows throughout the house. If you are using a heat pump or mini-split system your annual bill will be about $660 – $6,930 which is half to two-thirds of what using straight electric would be. A mini-split or heat pump is an efficient and a relatively cost-effective option for smaller well-insulated homes. However, the heat may not feel as warm and it is a dry heat as well.

Now that you know the different costs of heating with different fuels, you can make an informed choice on which fuel to use for your heating needs. As you can see using Anthracite Coal is the most cost-effective fuel!