Different Cost Examples of Heating a Typical House

Energy costs rise year after year! Cost of a barrel of Oil is expected to rise by 30 to 40% this year. Actual cost for Propane, Natural Gas, Electricity and Pellets are all going up too! So - you get the picture.

What does this mean for you?
Less money in your pocket and more in, well, you know where.

What can you do about this?
Get a high efficient heat source now!

First, let's look at the heating costs for a house with a heat loss of 65,000 Btu for a recent full heating season with several different heat sources.
Cost of Propane $1.75 and Electricity of .12 per kilowatt.
(Actual Propane Usaged was 1,250 gallons.)


Heat Source Gallons / Kilowatts Annual Cost Savings (Notes)
Electric Storage Tank 36,425 kilowatts $4,038 You would spend more than $2,091 to heat your house with an electric tank than our most efficient boiler!
Gas Storage Tank - Gravity Vent 1,700 gallons $2,975 You would spend more than $1,028 to heat your house with an gas tank than our highest efficient boiler!
Gas Storage Tank - Power Vent 1,525 gallons $2,668 You would spend more than $725 to heat your house with an gas tank than our most efficient boiler! Also, Can cost about $50 per month - read below *
Cast Iron Boiler - Older Hi Mass 1,675 gallons $2,931 You would spend more than $985 to heat your house with an older Cast Iron Boiler than our most efficient boiler!
Cast Iron Boiler - New Med Mass Gravity Vent 1,412 gallons $2,471 You would spend more than $524 to heat your house with an new Cast Iron Gravity Vent Boiler than our most efficient boiler!
Low Mass Boiler - New Hi Efficiency Direct Vent 1,112 gallons $1,946 The best way to heat any house with a btu Heat Loss of Greater than 30,000 to 40,000 btu. Will save the most money now and more money in the future as energy prices go up.
Pay Now or Pay More Later!



Now let's take a look at some Heat Sources you have to choose from.

Heat Source Burn Efficiency Tank Loss (Daily) Flue Loss (Daily) Combustion Loss Steady State Effective Efficiency
Electric Storage Tank 99.50% 8 to 10% N/A N/A N/A 90.5%
Gas Storage Tank - Gravity Vent 80% 8 to 10% 72% to 80% 15% N/A 37% to 45%
Gas Storage Tank - Power Vent 80% 8 to 10% 0% 15% N/A 55%
Hi Efficiency Gas Storage Tank - Power Vent up to 95% 8 to 10% 0% 0% N/A 86% *
Cast Iron Boiler - Older Hi Mass 75% N/A N/A 15% 20 to 24 min 40 to 47%
Cast Iron Boiler - New Med Mass Gravity Vent 84% 8 to 10% 0% 0% 5 to 6 min 64%
Cast Iron Boiler - New Direct Vent 84% 8 to 10% 0% 0% 5 to 6 min 77%
Low Mass Boiler - New Direct Vent 84% N/A 0% 0% 1 to 2 min 83%
Low Mass Boiler - New Hi Efficiency Direct Vent 95% N/A 0% 0% 1 to 2 min 94%



Burn Efficiency This is the steady state efficiency of the burners - this assumes at least an 8 to 24 minute burn rate for Cast Iron Boilers and 2 to 3 minutes for Stainless Steel Cooper Low Mass Boilers.
Tank Loss This is the actual per day heat loss from the tank into the space where the tank is located. (Note: If the tank heat loss is into a non heated space or an unwanted heated space - this number should be considered. If the tank is in a location that is also heated, then this number should not be considered).
Flue Loss Loss only to gravity vent tanks - 3 to 4% per hour depending on flue size. The bigger the flue size - the higher the heat loss. Also, the higher the btu of the tank - the higher the heat loss.
Combustion Loss This is due to the amount of inside air that is required to furnish the burners with oxygen in an average house with average insulation. This will be higher in tighter houses and lower in looser houses. (Example - an average 80,000 btu gravity vent boiler would require 4 times additional make up air from outside per hour than a similar direct vent heater.)
Steady State Steady State Efficiency measures how efficiently a furnace converts fuel to heat, once the furnace has warmed up and is running steadily.
Actual Efficiency This takes all the above in to consideration. (For Example - if you think that a gas storage tank has an efficiency of 80% - you would be wrong - it is more like 37 to 45%. Terrible! Ugh! And would be 50% less efficient than a low mass direct vent high efficiency boiler.)


* One of the best efficiency tanks that a lot of companies sell - can use up to $50 or $60 per month in electrical. What? The tank needs a lot electric for it's igniter when it is heating. Why? Not sure - but this is what we found out from clients that were using the tank's for solar systems and they could not figure out why there electrical went up in the winter so high. And - the reason - the tank. Then one contacted manafacture of tank and found out it will use between 4.7 to 5.2 amps when heating. In the winter - this can mean from 12 to 16 hours a day. Ugh!