What is the most cost-effective way to heat a home? (2023)

You could save money on your heating bills and reduce your carbon footprint by switching to renewable heating but which option suits you best – a heat pump, wood stove or solar thermal panels?

What is the most cost-effective way to heat a home? (1)Home heating has advanced tremendously that there are many heating options to consider. To help your heating system function at its full capacity one ought to consider using proper insulation, sealing any openings/leaks in the ceiling, on the floor or the walls that could allow cold air into the home from outside, as well as other sealing options for doors and windows. Only once this has been completed can one look for a heating system such as Boilers, Solar Heating, Heat Pumps, Gas Heating, Wood Heating, Under Floor Heating or Renewable Heating Options.

Providing sufficient heating to a home via the use of electrical heating has a high cost as prices tend to rise every year thus we have listed some of the most cost-effective ways to achieve proper heating.

The cheapest heating system might not always be the best solution for your home because several heating systems require more maintenance than others and the fuel consumption is also very high. The decision lies with you to decide whether your family will try to stay warm bundled closely together waiting for warmer weather to settle in or installing a new heating system that will ultimately save you a fortune!

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Boiler Heating Systems

Herewith a few handy tips before we get to the variety of heating systems!

What is the most cost-effective way to heat a home? (2)During winter time it is recommended to hang thicker curtains in front of windows thus aiding in the insulation of a home. Also be sure to open them during the day time, allowing heat to penetrate the home. One may also find that adding curtains to the inside of doors leading out will keep some of the cold air out.

Radiators and boilers are some of the most economical heating systems on the market that can provide cost effective heat in your home. If you are using a radiator, try to keep the area in front of it clear of any furnishings as this will absorb the heat produced by the radiator. There is also the option of adding aluminium foil which repels the heat from your radiator back into a room, if it is placed behind the radiator to keep the heat from escaping through the wall.

Heating with a Boiler System

This is one of the most used systems throughout the UK even though they do not last for very long and should also be replaced within ten years from the installation.The good news though is that there are new boiler systems on the market, which could prove to be 90% more efficient than the ones currently installed in your home. You could have a new boiler system fitted by spending between£2,000 – £2,900 or less moreover this system is a true winner of long term heating. For some advice on tuning you boiler have a closer look here.


Boiler systems can provide your home with central heating by installing radiators in all the rooms of your home. Radiators come in a wide range of shapes and sizes so you can properly heat from the smallest of your rooms to the biggest ones at little extra effort to the boiler. Central heating is the best way of heating a house because it economical and can be installed easily in any property.

Home insulation

For more economical heating when using a boiler system, you should make your home draught proof and invest in double glazing windows that will keep the heat inside and the cold outside. In addition, it is important to have good ventilation in your home but also to try to keep the windows shut while your central heating system is on so that your boiler can run at its full capacity the entire time.

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Heating a home by means of fuel heating systems

What is the most cost-effective way to heat a home? (3)

Herewith a list of some of the most common Fuel Heating Systems available which one could also consider for home heating options. There is a wide range of Fuel Heating Systems and as technology advances so does the heating options we have to our disposal. Heating a house is much easier than it used to be and homes require fewer modifications for newer heating systems to fit.

Electric Heating Systems – Electricity as heating option is not recommended as it will ultimately become extremely costly to pay the bill even for a small home.Electric central heating costs depend on the tariff charged and the electricity company you are with. The most economical tariff is a 7 or 10 that use storage heaters that come on at night for cheaper prices. Electric central heating is cheaper to install as there are no pipes and flues to worry about and there is less servicing needed.Despite the high energy consumption, electrical heating systems are still commonly used in homes.

Oil Heating Systems:Oil fired central heating is used in ‘wet’ heating systems where an oil fired boiler heats water that then provides the central heating through radiators in your home.The major difference between oil central heating and gas central heating is that the oil is delivered by a truck and stored in a tank. The tank can be rented from the oil supplier and is an additional cost that needs to be taken into account. Oil it is not very environmentally friendly and can also be dangerous if you live near gas mains.

Wood Heating Systems: This option although not commonly used, is environmentally friendly as well as providing a great cost saving way of generating heat for a home. Modern wood boilers/ furnaces and woodstoves has become efficient in heating homes with very little air pollution if installed correctly in addition trees are abundant thus fuel for this system is most likely to be cheap and easily accessible.

Gas and electrical heating systems are the most cost effective heating methods because the cost of oil is incredibly high due to oils scarcity. Wood heating systems are also costly in the long run because you require a lot of wood to keep your boiler warm, it pollutes the air and requires constant maintenance to feed the flames.

Alternative Heating Methods

Following are several additional heating methods. Several might have a high cost initially but will save you money in the long run, whereas others might also be eligible for a grant as they produce free energy through the air, sun, water or even the ground.

Solar thermal heating: Solar thermal heating produces hot water for your home by using either evacuated tubes or plate collectors to capture the sun’s radiation. Many people think the UK isn’t hot enough for solar panels, but according to the Solar Trade Association (STA), the UK receives 60% of the solar energy received on the equator. What’s more, panels can operate on clear days with no sun too.

Air Source Heat Pumps:They produce hot water and heating for your home by utilising free, natural heat found in the ground, air or water. A pump cycles refrigerant round pipe work, which collects heat to transfer into the home through radiators, ducts or underfloor heating. In the summer pumps can be reversed to cool your home. They are environmentally-friendly, require little maintenance and can increase the retail value of your home.

Wood Stoves:Wood burners run at around 70-80% efficiency and produce less carbon than any fossil fuel when heating your home. Whatever CO2 they do produce is offset by the amount of CO2 the plant has absorbed during its lifetime. If you replant the trees you cut down, wood burners are completely carbon neutral. You can choose between a standalone stove or a central wood boiler connected to the main heating system.

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Underfloor heating

Another cost-effective home heating option, which has proven to be highly effective in all homes but in particular in smaller houses, is underfloor heating. They way underfloor heating works is that the floor is heated by hot water runningthrough piping under the floor or electric circuits. And as the flooring becomes warmer, so does the entire room including furniture, objects and people.

Central Heating Power Flushing

At some point it’s likely that your central heating system will need some repairs or maintenance work carried out. One of the most common central heating problems is caused by a build-up of sludge in pipes and radiators; this can stop the heating system from working properly. To deal with this problem, it’s best tohire a heating engineerto carry out a central heating power flush, which will clear the system.

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Renewable Heat Incentives UK – RHI

During 2012 the first stage of RHI was introduced to the Non-Domestic sector in UK to encourage Businesses as well as Communities to commit to using heat sources other than electric by providing financial incentives to those who do. As of April 2014 the Domestic sector of RHI has been introduced to the citizens of the UK. For more details contact the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in regards to provisions for Domestic RHI.

Heating System Conclusions

Depending on the area within the UK your home is as well as the money you have available for heating systems will ultimately determines the Heating System installed. Gas and electrical boilers are the most commonly used heating systems used in the UK. They are preferred above other heating systems because the modern designs are compact and sleek in design. They fit into just about any home and have huge cost effective heating benefits to homes.

Between gas and electrical components, gas boilers are the cheapest of heating systems because they have lower fuel consumption costs. Gas boilers do however require a lot more maintenance to ensure the boiler is functioning well and to ensure the gas canisters don’t run empty.

The main advantage of electrical boilers is the fact that it requires hardly any maintenance for effective heating and can provide your home with heat on a more stable level.




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What is the most cost-effective way to heat a home? ›

Natural gas is likely to prove the cheapest way to heat a home if you have this heating option available to you where you live. Although prices have risen, natural gas is the least costly form of space heating. This is followed by electricity, propane, and heating oil, from the next cheapest to the most expensive.

What is the cheapest way to run your heating? ›

According to experts at the Energy Saving Trust, the idea it's cheaper to leave the heating on low all day is a myth. They're clear that having the heating on only when you need it is, in the long run, the best way to save energy, and therefore money.

Which type of heater is cheapest to run? ›

Conclusion. So, after looking at the different types of electric heaters available, due to its lower power-output, halogen heaters are the cheapest electric heaters to run.

What is the most efficient form of heating a house? ›

Gas and Oil. Electric heaters that are powered by the main electricity supply are very efficient in terms of how they convert energy into heat. In fact, electric heaters are 100% efficient. Gas central heating system are less efficient than this, with most operating in and around 90% efficiency which is pretty good.

What should I set my heat to for cheap bill in winter? ›

Close curtains, shades and blinds at night and during unoccupied periods of the day to help prevent warm air from escaping. Set your furnace thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (68 F) or lower, health permitting. Three to five percent more energy is used for each degree you set your furnace above 68 F.

What is the cheapest temperature to keep your house in fall? ›

What temperature should you keep your house at? Or better yet, “What is the most energy saving temperature to set my thermostat at?” According to ENERGYSTAR.gov, the ideal home temperature should be between 70 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is it cheaper to heat with gas or electric? ›

So, is electric or gas heat cheaper? Using off-peak electricity, conventional electric heating may cost about twice as much as gas heating to run. And here's why: electric heaters are essentially 100% efficient. In other words, all the electricity they use is turned into heat.

Is it cheaper to leave your thermostat at one temperature? ›

The startup process for a furnace consumes more energy than simply running the entire time at one set temperature, costing you additional money. To maximize efficiency, it's best to keep your furnace (or AC) at the same consistent temperature for long periods of time.

Does turning the heat on and off raise the bill? ›

A viewer asked us to verify whether turning your heat on and off is more cost effective than leaving it running steady. Our researchers asked AC and Heating experts. They agree you should not turn your system off completely—then it'll have to work extra hard to reheat the house and it'll end up costing you.

What is the best heater that doesn t use a lot of electricity? ›

Infrared quartz model space heaters will be the most energy efficient. Other types of space heaters that are less efficient include ceramic models, oil-filled radiators, and convection models.

What is the best heater to save electricity? ›

What are the most efficient heaters? If you're looking for a heater that won't use much power and helps cut costs on energy bills, your best bet is a halogen heater, a convection heater or an oil-filled radiator, particularly if they have effective thermostat controls.

What is cheaper than electric heat? ›

Propane is cheaper than electric.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating a home in the U.S. with a propane heating system costs far less than heating with an electric system.

What is the smartest way to heat your house? ›

In general, furnaces are the most efficient of the heating systems, especially if you have natural gas. They work by heating air with a component called a heat exchanger and pushing it into the home through a duct system, using a fan (often referred to as a blower).

What is the most efficient home heating system for cold climates? ›

Based on our research, the best cold climate heat pump is Mitsubishi's Hyper-Heating, or H2i. Listed as Mitsubishi's M-Series or P-Series for home installation, these heat pumps maintain their full heating capacity down to 5F, and can produce useful heat down to -13F.

Is there a cheap way to heat a house? ›

Gas boiler

It's not as cost-effective without solar panels, but a gas boiler is still the cheapest way to heat your home – though that's set to change soon, with the cost of gas rising more than twice as quickly as electricity.

What temperature should I put heat on but not raise my bill? ›

Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree lower than 78 can raise your bill as much as 3%.

What is a good temperature for heat to save money? ›

According to ENERGY STAR, setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) when you're home is the ideal balance of comfort and energy efficiency.

What makes your heat bill high? ›

There are a few factors behind why home heating costs are rising, but primarily these increases are influenced by the rising cost of fossil fuels and a high heating demand. Even if you don't use fossil fuels to heat your home, their price increases affect the cost of electricity.

What is the coldest your house should be in the winter? ›

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends setting your thermostat no lower than 64 degrees (F) in the Winter months while people are in the home. If there are infants or elderly individuals, they recommend keeping the temperature at 70 degrees at a minimum.

Does turning down the heat at night save money? ›

Yes, homeowners can save money on their energy and heating bills by turning the thermostat down. You can save almost 15 percent of your total heating bill by lowering your heat by seven degrees overnight (or for any other eight hour period).

What is the best heating schedule for winter? ›

You should set the central heating programme to come on around half an hour before you get up, and go off around half an hour before you go to bed. And if the house is empty during the day, or you can manage without heating during the day, make sure you've set the programmer to go off for this period too.

Is it more expensive to heat the house with electricity? ›

While electric heating systems have historically produced more expensive monthly heating bills, that may not always be the case. There are other financial advantages electric heating systems have over gas heating systems. First, they're less expensive to purchase and install.

Are electric blankets expensive to run? ›

Electric blankets and throws are actually very economical – costing from as little as 5p per hour to run, especially when you compare them with the cost of keeping your central heating on for hours or heating rooms you're not actually using.

Is it cheaper to heat or cool a house with electricity? ›

Heating your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home -- typically making up about 29% of your utility bill.

Is 72 a good temperature for heat in the winter? ›

Day Time Temperature Setting

The lower the temperature is inside of the home, the slower the rate of thermal energy loss. To achieve optimal comfort, it is recommended for homeowners to set their thermostats between 68 to 72 degrees while there are people inside of the home.

What is the lowest to keep your thermostat? ›

How Low is Too Low to Set My Thermostat? If you're going to be leaving your home or traveling for the winter, it's best to keep your thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees. If you don't, you could risk having your pipes freeze over.

Does changing your thermostat 2 degrees save money? ›

Raising the thermostat just two to three degrees in the summer can help your wallet. "You can save two to three percent on your overall cooling costs," Donahoe said. And at APS, a spokesperson says raising your thermostat by one degree saves two to three percent on energy cooling costs.

How can I save on my heating bill? ›

11 Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill
  1. Seal up air leaks. Let's do some detective work here. ...
  2. Program the thermostat. ...
  3. Let the light in. ...
  4. Shut doors in unused rooms. ...
  5. Wear warm clothing. ...
  6. Get cooking. ...
  7. Buy curtains and shades. ...
  8. Replace the filters.
Feb 1, 2023

What temp should your house be? ›

Between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit should be the perfect temperature range for a home. While you're gone from home, adjust the thermostat by 8 degrees to enhance energy efficiency and cut your heating and cooling expenses.

What should you put your heat on at night? ›

Sleep scientists suggest that for optimal sleeping conditions, room temperature should be between 60 and 67°F. That figure is considerably lower than the daytime recommendation, furthering your heating bill savings while also reaping improved sleep. It's a true win-win.

What is the cheapest and most efficient heater? ›

Infrared heaters are likely the most energy-efficient electric heaters, giving off all their heat through infrared, making them efficient for home heating. Each watt of energy is made into usable heat, with none lost due to air escaping the room.

Do oil filled heaters use a lot of electricity? ›

Because their energy requirements are so much lower than the average furnace (400W - 1500W on average) they provide you a low-cost way of raising the temperature without significantly affecting your energy costs. Oil filled space heaters are also over 99 percent energy efficient.

Is there an alternative to electric heaters? ›

Opt for a Propane Heater

Propane heaters provide an effective way to heat a room without electricity; newer models even boast efficiency up to 99%. In addition, they are an affordable and convenient backup heating option. These heaters can quickly heat a medium to large space using liquid propane as fuel.

Is it cheaper to run space heaters or central heat? ›

Space heaters cost about 20 cents per hour to operate, give or take, which is a whole lot cheaper than central heat for a home of almost any size. Bigger homes and those in colder climates cost even more to heat, and the net savings you'll see using a space heater is even greater.

What is the best type of heating system? ›

Overall, furnace systems are the most efficient for heating the home and especially natural gas designs. Heating air with a heat exchanger, they force warmed air through wall ducts into all rooms for a whole-house cosy feel during all weathers.

What is the best way to heat house without electricity? ›

Follow these tips for how to heat your house without power.
  1. Light the fireplace. If your home has a gas or wood fireplace, start a fire to keep your home warm. ...
  2. Add some layers. ...
  3. Gather the family. ...
  4. Make the most of sunshine. ...
  5. Seal off cracks. ...
  6. Exercise. ...
  7. Enjoy hot drinks. ...
  8. Use a generator.
Jan 26, 2023

What is the cheapest way to heat your house in the winter? ›

As a general rule, heating your home with a natural gas furnace is the cheapest way to keep warm through the winter months. Electricity is usually significantly more expensive than gas, so even the most efficient heaters will be a bigger drain on your pocketbook than a traditional furnace.

What is the least expensive way to heat and cool a house? ›

11 cheapest ways to heat a house
  • Take advantage of your fireplace. ...
  • Use a space heater effectively. ...
  • Check the vents. ...
  • Lower the water heater temperature. ...
  • Get a smart thermostat. ...
  • Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows. ...
  • Add insulation to your home. ...
  • Reverse your ceiling fan direction.
Nov 10, 2022

What type of heater uses the least electricity? ›

Conclusion. So, after looking at the different types of electric heaters available, due to its lower power-output, halogen heaters are the cheapest electric heaters to run.

What heater is cheapest to run? ›

What is the cheapest electric heater to run?
  • Oil-filled heater.
  • Fan heater. Fan heaters are typically a lot lighter and easily portable. ...
  • Convector heater. ...
  • Halogen heater. ...
  • Radiator bar-style heater.
Dec 16, 2022

What is the downside to a heat pump? ›

Air source heat pumps can experience issues such as icing in cold temperatures, which can ultimately damage the system. Although modern heat pumps do often have automatic defrosting. Their efficiency will also be lower at very cold temperatures, and use more electricity during those cold days.

What is the safest and cheapest way to heat your home? ›

As a general rule, heating your home with a natural gas furnace is the cheapest way to keep warm through the winter months.

What is cheaper electric heat or propane heat? ›

Propane is cheaper than electric.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating a home in the U.S. with a propane heating system costs far less than heating with an electric system.

Do water heaters use a lot of electricity? ›

Water heaters are among the highest energy-consuming appliances in your home. Energy star predicts that households spend between $400 and $600 on heating water every year for things like laundry, showers, and washing dishes, making water heaters the second most energy-consuming appliance in your home.

How can I save money on my heating bill? ›

11 Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill
  1. Seal up air leaks. Let's do some detective work here. ...
  2. Program the thermostat. ...
  3. Let the light in. ...
  4. Shut doors in unused rooms. ...
  5. Wear warm clothing. ...
  6. Get cooking. ...
  7. Buy curtains and shades. ...
  8. Replace the filters.
Feb 1, 2023

Do space heaters make your electric bill go up? ›

If you use a space heater in your home, please be aware that using a space heater can cause a significant increase in your monthly bill. A 1,000-watt space heater operating 12 hours a day will add about $40 to your monthly bill. If the cost does not deter you, remember how important it is to use space heaters safely.

Is it OK to leave space heaters on overnight? ›

Are space heaters safe to leave on all night? In general, it's not recommended that you use a space heater while sleeping.

Is it worth switching from electric to propane? ›

Because propane is a more efficient fuel, it costs less to operate. Propane appliances also generally have a longer lifespan than their electric counterparts, saving you both money and peace of mind in the long run.

What are the disadvantages of propane? ›

Propane heating cons
  • Propane produces fewer BTUs per gallon than oil heating.
  • Propane-burning equipment often costs more to purchase than heating oil-based systems.
  • Propane is combustible in air, so precautions are needed to operate the equipment safely.
Sep 28, 2020

Is it more expensive to heat a house with propane or natural gas? ›

And, overall, propane is the more efficient fuel. One cubic foot of propane equals 2,516 BTUs, while one cubic foot of natural gas equals 1,030 BTUs. That means, propane is more than twice the energy of natural gas. While the cost per gallon is less for natural gas, you'll use more of it to heat the same appliances.


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