heating options

With today’s prices to consider, what would you recommend most economical for a heating system in a home with, gas, propane, oil, or electric based on an average home in PA.

Please don’t consider these as an option for now solar, wood, coal, geothermo heatpump, etc

Depends on the home. How old is it, how well is it insulated ETC

These are my local prices. I’m not too far away from you, so I suspect we’re pretty close in price. I’ll break the prices down in terms of therms, which is 100,000 BTU’s. (prices in my chart include distribution and taxes)

Natural gas - $0.0145 / ft², 1ft[size=4]²[size=2] of natural gas is 1,031 BTU, that makes natural gas $1.40 per therm.[/size][/size]

[size=4][size=2]LP gas - $1.45 / gal, 1 gal of LP gas is 91,500 BTU, that makes LP gas $1.59 per therm[/size][/size]

[size=4][size=2]Heating oil - $2.30 / gal, 1 gal of heating oil is 138, 690 BTU, that makes heating oil $1.69 per therm[/size][/size]

[size=4][size=2]Electric - $0.09 / Kw/h, 1 Kw/h is 3,412 BTU, that makes electric $2.64 per therm[/size][/size]

[size=4][size=2]Plug into that some common efficiencies for heating equipment, and you’ll get your net price per them.[/size][/size]

[size=4][size=2]Consider a modern Natural Gas or LP gas furnace to be around 90%, an oil furnace 85%, and electric is 100%. That gives you typical net operating prices, per therm, as follows:[/size][/size]

[size=4][size=2]Natural gas, $1.55/therm[/size][/size]
[size=4][size=2]LP Gas, $1.76/therm[/size][/size]
[size=4][size=2]Oil, $1.99/therm[/size][/size]
[size=4][size=2]Electric, $2.64/therm

[/size][/size]The type of insulation or the construction type of the home will only increase or lessen the BTU’s required to heat that home. The amount of fuel per BTU ratio for each fuel type isn’t effected by the insulation of the home[size=4]. [/size]

Natural gas has a cost even when not using it. I think UGI has a 7 dollar a month fee, and PA tacks on like a buck in tax. So that’s $100/year without even burning anything, other than your money. :wink:


Brian, I just ran the current numbers for PA hard coal and several of the more popular central PA fuel wood species, if you care for that data as well.

Marc you are full of information. I’m for certain staying with NACHI because of members like yourself. Also like Jeffery, R.R., Paul, and so on. You members make my job and life so much easier. Don’t tell Nick, but the $295 for membership here is well worth it. thanks

I should note that there is a mistake in my chart. I show natural gas units as being square feet, when it should be cubic feet (ft³) The numbers are all the same. It was just a typeographical error on my part in selecting the wrong superscript numeral. I also failed to note that “electric” on the chart is straight resistance heating, such as baseboard electric, electric radiant, or a straight electric furnace. I didn’t want anyone to think that it might be heat pump numbers, because they aren’t.

Consequently, I’m not a member. I just cruise in and type something every once in a while. I might come to the central PA meeting later on this month, if I’m permitted to.

I plan on attending 1 of the meetings also, just not the one coming up that is the dinner. See you there. Are you not a member because your not a Home Inspector?

That is correct. Plus, I’m poor. I’m a member of some other neat stuff, though. NRA, Rotary Club, etc. :mrgreen: