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Cost to Heat Your House
Old 12-19-2016, 06:22 PM   #1
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Cost to Heat Your House

Zone 5b/6a. Previous house had an oil furnace and a few fireplaces with gas inserts. Using current costs, I figure it is about $.36 per square foot on an annual basis including maintenance on furnace.

Current house has a gas furnace and woodstove on main floor, with an electric heat pump upstairs. I run that woodstove a fair amount. Run some space heaters from time to time. Cost is about $.33 a foot on an annual basis. This includes maintenance of woodstove and furnace.

We have a setback thermostat that we keep at 69 during awake/at home periods.

How about you?

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Old 12-19-2016, 07:16 PM   #2
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Zone 4.

Primarily heat with wood. Have a heat pump with oil backup. Only runs in the shoulder seasons and if we are away for over 10 hours and not loading wood stove. We buy oil every 5 years.

2015-2016 season: $460 for wood. $296/5 for oil. $511 total. 1,800 sf. $0.28/sf

Last winter was milder for us. Only burned half the wood normally.

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Old 12-19-2016, 07:53 PM   #3
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We were paying $300/month on a level pay propane plan, was killing us, and we were still cold. I knew retirement was coming and we'd be home more so we invested in geothermal. Initial cost was $15K, got $5K back thru a government program. It's more than paid us back, and is a huge savings on summer air conditioning.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:32 PM   #4
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Climate zone 4.
We only use the heater about 4-5 months a year. It's a forced air natural gas heater. It typically increases our gas usage by about $40/month. (We also cook with gas and have an on demand gas hot water heater... so our gas bill even when the heater is not used is about $11/month.)

2000sf house... so 2cents/sf per month... or 10cents/sf per year (5 months heating).

It helps to live in a mild climate... but it was cold enough last night the heater cycled on and off all night.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:47 PM   #5
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Zone 3
I just installed a ductless heat pump in our 1400sf two story house in the fall.
Total heating cost for Nov. was $34. Previously we burned wood which we
are keeping for backup and when the temps go below freezing.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:57 PM   #6
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No heat or A/C needed where I live. No screens either!
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:22 PM   #7
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Zone 9 with about 4 hard freezes per year. Natural gas heating, for last 12 months the cost was 6.4 cents per square foot, but heat was used for only 5 months. That was about $200 a year.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:26 PM   #8
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I live in a 1500 square foot home on Lake Erie and heat with natural gas. Last year I spent $626 on natural gas -- that includes heating hot water tank and clothes dryer. I keep the house around 68 degrees during the cold months.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:58 PM   #9
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Climate zone 6 here. The propane tank will be delivered on Wednesday. The heating guy will be there so I should have heat in my house in a couple of days! It will only heat the basement at first. When I get the sofit vents sealed up I should be able to heat the upstairs with the wood stove. I am going to put 1 1/2 inches of spray foam followed by blown in fiberglass in the walls and 18 inches of fiberglass in the ceilings. It should be well insulated. With all the wood I have around here my heat costs should be mostly labor. Hopefully, the furnace will just move the air around, but I am ready if I get lazy - I can just turn the furnace up.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:59 PM   #10
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I average 5 cents/sf per year on natural gas for heating.

I only heat my (1500 sf, well insulated) house for 2-4 months/year here in New Orleans.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:13 PM   #11
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I spent $325 on gas last year. I heat water with the gas too and I have a gas heater in the garage for occasional use.

So, gas wise in a 1400 sq-ft house (for everything) 23 cents per sq-ft per year.
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:24 PM   #12
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$0. We use passive solar heating. Temperatures dropped below 40 outside two nights in a row (that's about as cold as it gets here) but the temperature inside never dropped below 68.
45 years old, single, no kids. Exited the job market in 2010 (age 36). Have lived solely off my investments since 2015 (age 41). No pensions.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:50 PM   #13
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Our house is poorly insulated and overly large. It runs $70-80 per month to heat. We usually heat late November into early March, turn it off if we have Santa Anas.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:02 PM   #14
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I am not sure climate zone is the most useful descriptor as it only tells you what the annual low is, not how many heating degree days you have. You can get heating degree days here: Heating & Cooling Degree Days - Free Worldwide Data Calculation#

We have a gas furnace but mostly use gas for heating water. The bulk of our heat is from wood. I scrounge it on craigslist for free, so the cost is chiefly my time and labor (plus it helps greatly to own a pickup).
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:16 PM   #15
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It looks like we're likely in Zone 4C.
We use natural gas for radiant heating (and a gas fireplace we never turn on), hot water tank, and gas stove burners. Not sure how we'd separate the usage of each other than averaging out the months when the radiant heat system is turned off and working out the difference during the months it is on. I haven't really kept track when we turn on the heat but that's probably a good thing to start tracking.
Our gas bills for this year total $850'ish for our 2400sqf detached house.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:36 PM   #16
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We were billed a total of $211 for all of 2016 by the gas company for our 2400 sq ft home, which includes the cost to heat our hot water tank in addition to using our forced air gas heating system.

Our thermostat is generally kept off in the winter, other than for 15 minutes or so in the morning to warm the house up a bit. We live in coastal California, where it never gets terribly cold. Right now, for example, the house has been between 64 and 65 degrees when I come downstairs each morning.

Talk to me in the summer, however, about our electric bill when running our A/C . . . I only wish it were remotely close to our gas bill.
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:09 AM   #17
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We live in north Florida at the beach and have all electric. We also have to contend with some very hot and humid months and need air conditioning as well as a dehumidifier which runs the electric bill up. Our electric bills run an average of about $220/month in our 1600 sq ft house for everything. I have no idea how much is used for heating since there is no way to part out that portion of the bill. However, I can't complain.

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Old 12-20-2016, 06:11 AM   #18
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100% electric here (heat pump), so no way to break out heating/cooling from other electric use.
I thought growing old would take longer.
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:37 AM   #19
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Our Ontario lake house is electric heat and costs about $600-700 per month on average to heat and cool. Toronto condo about $150 per month, mostly cooling. House in Alberta about $100 per month to heat. Arizona house only costs about $60 per month average for heating and water heaters unless I turn the pool heater on and that runs $50-100 per day. Cooling averages about $500 per month. Hope this is useful, but I can't see how?
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:13 AM   #20
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Canadian prairies...climate zone 3. Furnace runs from Oct to April. The total cost to heat for a year with natural gas is about $400 (including fixed charges) for a 1000 sq. ft. house.

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