How Much Should You Pay to Heat Your Minnesota Home?
Although we’re still concentrating on keeping our homes cool, soon we’ll be thinking about heating our
homes, and the costs associated it. There are many factors that play into that equation, but here are some typical things to consider regarding costs to heating a Minnesota home.
The efficiency of delivering heat into the living area of a residential building varies widely depending on the heating equipment, fuel and distribution system design.
What does that mean to you? First and foremost, having an efficient furnace will save you money. Even if you aren’t in the market for a new high-efficiency appliance, have your existing heating system inspected, cleaned, and tuned by a reputable Minnesota heating and cooling technician so that it functions at its highest level.
Some heating fuels are more expensive than others, so if you have an option (when buying a home or replacing a system in a Minnesota home) you may want to consider avoiding some systems with the most expensive costs.
Here is a list of the the highest cost in Minnesota to the most affordable:
- Natural Gas
Remember, some "heating" methods are so inefficient that they are not recommended. For example, attempting to heat an older home with an open fireplace is likely to pull so much air up through the chimney that even though right in front of the fireplace it’s toasty and warm, the house is losing heat.
Naturally other factors play into your home heating bills:
Size of your Home
Costs vary wildly. A small apartment may cost just $50 per month to heat, an average Minnesota home’s heating cost is closer to $200 per month and a large home could be more than $400 per month.
How warm do you like your home? Do you maximize savings by reducing that setting when you’re away and at night? A programmable thermostat can help you save money because it adjusts the changes for you automatically. According to the US Department of Energy, by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5 to 15 percent each year on your heating bill. That saves you as much as 1 percent per degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
Is your home properly insulated and are air leaks properly sealed? Many homes lose a lot of their heat, and money, through inadequate insulation and air leak problems. Double check that your home is in good condition to keep the heated air in your home.
Heating cost calculators are available online. Check out centerpointenergy.com for an energy and emissions calculator, to compare fuels and models of systems.
Maybe this winter will be mild and we’ll all be pleasantly surprised with lower heating costs. But probably not, so be prepared. Do what you can to manage your heating costs upfront, but remember that most utility companies have systems in place to assist you if you run into problems paying your bills.
For home maintenance and comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.