When it comes to traditional methods of home heating, there are still quite a few options to chose from if you are looking and either a new build or an upgrade to an existing home. And some are more affordable than others that is for sure. So it is always a good idea to shop around and look at more features and considerations that just the price tag.
If you are interested in an oil unit, then that can be a good option. Although oil prices do fluctuate, oil burning units are very efficient and still a popular choice. You can look at ways to make them more efficient by installing steel liners in the chimney, or a flame retention head. And with any larger appliance, keeping a regular maintenance schedule is a good idea. You can also purchase decorative oil-fired stoves and fireplaces that can work without electricity – good as a backup in case of an electrical outage. You can also purchase oil-fired hot water tanks which are very efficient and can be used as part of a floor heating unity.
If you are thinking of looking into natural gas or propane, these are also viable options. They are a cleaner burning fuel and have less of a smell than oil. These fuels are not quite as efficient and they can be more costly than oil as well. Propane is often used in more rural areas, and filling propane tanks can be a bit onerous. These are two good options for fireplaces, space heaters and hot water tanks. Propane stoves are very efficient and popular again in more rural areas. You need to have fairly large propane tanks and this can be quite a hassle depending on the area where you live as a truck has to come in to fill up the tanks. And to heat your home, you will still need ductwork.
Electricity is still a popular choice. It is the most efficient way to heat your home as every ounce of power generated is used for heat production with no waste heat going out the chimney or vent. This option can be quite expensive as a monthly heat source, but the initial install can be significantly less expensive – so you need to consider all aspects of cost. And if you are worried about the environmental impacts of all the heating sources, electricity is not without its fair share of environmental concerns. Electricity can be produced by a coal burning power plant, which are very environmentally damaging. And if you live in more northern climates, then an electrical heat source might not be powerful enough to keep you warm.
If you live in a rural area with an abundance of your own wood supply, then burning wood is still an option that many people utilize as a main home heating source. Wood is still the cheapest of all fuels and is a renewable heat source, if managed properly. Wood smoke can be an irritant unless you purchase a very high efficient wood stove. It’s a lot of work hauling and storing wood though – so don’t go this route unless you are prepared for some manual labor.