Not only is it the time of year to be concerned about heating, but with the recent Ellwood Electric situation many home owners are left wondering if their heating sources are saving them money -or costing them more.
There are four main heat sources most commonly used by Pennsylvanians, these include oil, natural gas, electric, and propane.
With information gathered from the Energy Information Administration today, heating oil is about .40 cents cheaper per gallon than propane in the North East regions of America.
As of recent, propane is the most expensive heating source with oil following closely behind. Consequently, due to the ever changing oil prices it’s safe to say this information may become inaccurate at any given time; for example, in 2012, a homeowner could expect to pay an average of $2,600 to heat their house with oil as opposed to propane which averaged around $2,300.
Despite the fluctuating prices for both propane and oil, a plus side to having oil heat is that it’s deemed one of the safest heating options because of it’s lack of combustibility, and a plus side to having propane is its Eco-friendliness.
Based on studies conducted throughout the North East of America, electric heating is runner up for cheapest heating options; however with the recent adjustment spikes in electric bills, this information may not accurately reflect Ellwoodian residents. In fact, many locals have claimed electric heating is the most expensive heat source in the area since the electric rate increases over the past year.
Although electric may not be the chosen source of heat for many locals at the moment, it does remain perhaps the most versatile heating option, explained by this source, “electric heating doesn’t require a flue or pipe-work, so there are no restrictions on building layout or design and no regulatory or planning issues associated with positioning of flues. Electric heaters can also be installed virtually anywhere in the room, again aiding freedom of design,” making it an appealing heat source for newly constructed homes.
Over all, studies conducted throughout the area conclude that on average, natural gas, one of the oldest and most widely used heat sources -responsible for heating over half of the homes in the US, is the cheapest source of heat.
There is one main reason natural gas is in high demand all across America: natural gas is abundant and doesn’t need imported, meaning it will continue to provide a reliable source of warmth for many years to come, and in turn this keeps the prices low. The biggest downside to natural gas is not only the installation process, but also the potentially fatal leaks and explosions sometimes linked to the heating source -luckily the fatal issues can be avoided with precautionary measures and annual inspections.
Whether you may be looking to switch or install a new heating source, or maybe you’re just casually exploring information in the hopes you’re getting the most out of your money this winter season, it’s handy to keep in mind that when compared to the other most commonly used heat sources in the area, it’s no doubt that natural gas reigns cheapest-heating-source champion.
Side Note: these studies and claims are taken from reliable sources based on averages studied across America and specifically the North East States, and does not reflect other costs such as unforeseen problems, installation fees, and maintenance required for the heating sources. The only way to know what heat source is right for you is to talk to a professional.