Mythbusted: All Home Heating Costs are the Same, No Matter the Fuel Source
January 02, 2020
Myth: All home heating fuel sources are the same. And no matter the fuel source, you use you’ll pay about the same amount to heat and operate your home.
Busted: In Saskatchewan, we need a lot of energy to heat our homes. And we use many different energy sources. The difference is in the cost of those sources. The most common home heating fuel in our province is natural gas. Where it’s available it’s almost always the most cost-effective option.
The cost to heat a typical 1200 square foot home for one year is:
- Natural gas: $769
- Firewood: $950-$1227
- Propane: $1966
- Furnace fuel oil: $2812
- Electric: $3028
For many of our Northern customers, electric heat is their primary energy source and it’s the most expensive option. Heating costs can be reduced by supplementing your electricity with a lower cost source like firewood. Regardless of the fuel you use to heat your home, there are additional ways to lower your heating costs.
How efficient is your home?
Try lowering your home's energy demand. This means making your home as weather-proof as possible. And operating it as efficiently as it can be. What you can do:
- check windows and doors for drafts and repair as necessary
- upgrade your home's attic insulation (to R40 or even R60)
- when renovating — add exterior wall insulation
- ensure heating systems and thermostats are functioning properly
- reduce temperature by a couple of degrees at night or when your home is empty
You'll see savings over time, have a more comfortable home and reduce your carbon footprint.
Other ways to save
- Heating water is the next most energy intensive function in your home. Try to use less of it! This includes:
- taking shorter showers
- installing aerators on kitchen and bathroom taps
- using good quality, low-flow shower heads
- turning water off while brushing teeth, washing hands
- fixing leaky faucets
- washing clothes in cold water
- ensuring the load's full when washing clothes and using a dishwasher
- dry clothes outside when you can
The bottom line to managing energy, is:
- Select the lowest cost fuel available
- Improve air sealing and insulation
- Reduce the amount of hot water you use