How to Reduce Heating Costs Even When Energy Prices Skyrocket
If you’re the budget hawk in your house, you know that one of the most difficult costs to predict is energy costs. Since energy prices fluctuate so rapidly, and variables like weather, foreign wars and the state of the economy all play a role in those fluctuations, it’s nearly impossible to come up with solid numbers when budgeting for these types of costs.
Home heating costs can be especially difficult to predict, both due to volatility in energy prices and because how much you use depends so much on the harshness of the winter. Spikes in home energy costs can also be especially hard to swallow because it’s perhaps one of the most fixed costs that you have. You can drive less when gas prices are high, but you can’t turn off the heat when it gets cold.
All you need to do is take a look at this graph of residential natural gas prices over the past few decades to see how volatile the market is for these types of fossil fuels. The vast majority of American homeowners use either natural gas or electric heat, which also relies heavily on fossil fuels, for their heat source, and therefore are subject to unexpected spikes in costs due to market forces.
There may be a few little things you can do around your house to reduce heating costs such as weatherproofing your windows and doors, and making sure your home is properly insulated. But another way to lower heating bills in the long run is to convert your heating system to draw from a more sustainable and less volatile source.
Pellet stoves and pellet heat
Wood pellets already compare favorably to natural gas and electric heat. With fossil fuels becoming more and more scarce as time goes on, it’s trend that’s likely to continue.
As this guidebook from the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources details, most buildings that convert to pellet heat can expect to see considerable savings during the life cycle of their systems. And this guidebook was designed for larger buildings, meaning the up-front cost of installing these commercial systems are much greater than installing a pellet stove or pellet furnace in your home.
If you’ve ever thought of installing one if these systems in your home, take a look at the pellet furnaces and pellet stoves offered by American Energy Systems. You may find that these systems aren’t as expensive as you thought, and that it might be time to get off the roller coaster caused by spikes in fossil-fuel energy prices.
Even if you decide to install a pellet stove or high-efficiency wood fireplace in one room of your house, you can start to realize savings early on. By either reducing the amount of money you put toward your heating bill, or eliminating it entirely by moving your home to alternative heat, you can add a little more stability to your home energy expenditures now and for years to come.