If you are thinking about upgrading your heating system, then you might have noticed that there are quite a few options when it comes to energy. You could get an electric heater, but you could also go for oil, natural gas, or even propane. Each is suited to a different purpose, and it can be hard to tell which is best for you. To help you out with that, here are some questions that you should ask yourself about your heating needs:
How much do you value cost efficiency?
For many homeowners, the pure financial value with be the biggest factor in deciding which type of energy is best.
Natural gas often boasts the highest efficiency, giving you a lot of heat at a relatively low price. Electricity (which usually means coal) tends to give some of the worst efficiency, unless you want to bring wood into the equation, in which case wood would give the worst efficiency. Oil and propane lie somewhere in the middle, offering an average value.
Where do you live?
The real key lies in determining the price of these heating methods in your area. Not every city will offer the same prices for gas and electricity, which can heavily influence your decision. Additionally, if it would be very difficult to ship propane or oil to your location, then that could dramatically raise the prices of those items.
This can add some additional complications if you live in an area that has an unreliable utilities grid. If you have a lot of power outages or if your natural gas simply doesn't work half the time, then you could switch to either propane or heating oil, both of which allow you to operate self-sufficiently. With either of those two options, you can stockpile up some reserves and use them as you see fit, without relying on the power grid to keep you warm.
Are you prepared for the cost of a new appliance?
When comparing the relative efficiencies of different types of energy, it's easy to gloss over the fact that you may need to buy an entirely new appliance in order to make use of that more efficient energy. That can easily add up to several thousand dollars, which would be a lot more expensive than sticking with your current energy, at least in the short term.
Therefore, you will want to make sure that you plan on living in your home for quite a while before you decide to switch over to a new type of energy. If you move in the near future, then all of those savings will be passed on to whoever buys your home instead of going to you. Resources like http://www.advancedheatingandcooling.com can help you learn more about your options.