Cost Comparison: Cheapest Way to Heat a Home

Keeping your home snug and warm can often be a game of fiscal tug-of-war, a balancing act between bearing the biting cold to save money and dealing with skyrocketing energy bills.

For this reason, we’ve created this article to explore cost-effective heating methods. By going over their advantages and highlighting their benefits, you can better find a solution that keeps you and your family warm during the winter months—without breaking the bank.

Types of energy sources

Before picking out a heating system to install for your home, it’s important to understand the different energy sources used for these systems, their impact on the environment, and any available incentives.


While the upfront cost of electric heating systems can be affordable, operational costs can climb quickly, particularly in areas with higher electricity rates. 

Numerous incentives like federal tax credits for energy-efficient electrical systems, however, can offset some of the costs.

Electricity has a moderate environmental footprint.

Natural gas

Gas provides high heat efficiency at reduced operational costs, making it one of the more cost-effective options. 

Unfortunately, its environmental impact is significant, as it contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions.


Oil heating systems deliver ample heat but fall short in efficiency compared to natural gas. Unpredictable fuel prices can also lead to fluctuating heating costs, but some regions offer incentives for upgrading to more efficient oil systems.

Oil burning, however, contributes to carbon emissions.


Solar is the most environmentally friendly option, drawing power from the sun. Although the initial cost can be high, lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint make it worthwhile. 

Government incentives, such as tax credits for solar panel installation, can ease the financial burden.

Cost comparisons for heating methods

Now that you know what each type encompasses, it’s time to delve into the heart of the matter—cost. Note that average costs can vary depending on factors like region, usage, system efficiency, and fluctuations in energy prices.

  • Electricity: For an electric heating system, the average annual cost can range between $1,000 and $2,000. This is largely dependent on the electricity rates in your area and the efficiency of your system
  • Natural gas: A natural gas furnace is generally a more cost-effective option, with the average annual cost ranging from $600 to $1,200. However, this can vary depending on the efficiency of your system and the price of natural gas
  • Oil: The annual cost of an oil heating system can vary greatly due to the fluctuating price of oil. However, the average cost generally ranges from $1,500 to $2,500
  • Solar heating: The cost of solar heating can be a lot of money due to the substantial installation cost. Once installed, though, annual operating costs are minimal, typically less than $200. However, it’s crucial to consider the significant initial investment, which can range from $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the size and specifications of your system

It’s important to factor in these costs when selecting a suitable heating method for your home. Not only should you consider the immediate installation cost, but also the long-term operational costs to make a financially wise decision.

Additional energy-saving tips for efficient heating

Energy efficiency plays a critical role in keeping your house warm while cutting costs and decreasing environmental impact. Here are some additional tips to help you do just that.

  • Reduce expenses wherever possible: This could include sealing air leaks around windows, between your floor and doors (especially any door that leads outside), and other openings to prevent heat from escaping or investing in thermal insulation. Appliances like a space heater can also help you regulate costs. Make sure to conduct routine maintenance on your heating system for optimal performance
  • Have a fireplace installed: A fireplace can provide an additional heating option on colder days, allowing you to reduce your reliance on central heating systems
  • Consider installing a programmable thermostat: Consider investing in a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust temperatures according to your schedule, thus cutting energy consumption and bills
  • Zoning: If possible, install separate thermostats for different areas of your home, allowing you to customize the temperature for each zone or room. This can provide significant energy savings
  • Smart home technology: Smart and remote-controlled heating systems can help manage and lower energy consumption for heating

For more tips, consider consulting a professional. They’ll have the expertise to give advice (such as whether a heat pump or furnace is better for your home) to help you make an informed decision.

Need heating advice? Contact Hurliman today!

There are a variety of heating methods available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The choice ultimately depends on your specific needs, your available budget, and environmental considerations.

Remember, an energy-efficient home is not just an initiative to save money; it’s a step towards a sustainable future.

For tailored advice and professional heating solutions, reach out to Hurliman Heating and Air Conditioning. We’re dedicated to providing you with the best service that meets your needs. 

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