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Old 12-02-2011, 06:11 AM
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I want to move back to MA in the future, and sooner or later have a family at least. about how much does it cost you per month to heat a home? such as a 1700 sf 3-4 bedroom home, about 50 yrs old.

Also, is it cheaper using electric or fuel? i'm in seattle now and I dont really turn on the A/C at all in the summer, maybe 1 day out of the year. and for the winter, i use a electric heater, but i dont crank it that high since its not that cold, it doesnt get below 32 degrees at all so it doesnt snow much here.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:58 AM
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Electricity I believe is the cheapest, then gas, then oil. But you may not have a choice in the matter, unless you go out of the way to buy a house with the heating type you prefer, or are willing to pay the money up front to convert.

Heating is pretty damn pricy, at least for oil. Summer months I forget about it completely. Mt hot water uses about half a tank for the entire time span. Then October rolls around and I get hit with around 550 to 600 to refill, and the rest of the winter is equally ugly, usually about 4-500 each time around, which can be every 1-2 months depending on the temps. This year has been thankfully mild so far. These prices are with a very modern and efficient new furnace (if it hadn't been brand new I would have converted to gas when I moved in), in a house around 1450 square feet, with nice new replacement windows and decent insulation.

I suppose the bright side is that I have never heard of anyone's oil tank blowing up their house, but I know my friends with gas heat pay far less.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:57 AM
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I have a 60 year old 1,400 sqaure foot house with newer windows but not great insulation. I have an oil furnace that is about 3 years old, with a steam heating system.

I'll fill up in April, and go until December on about a half a tank of oil. So hot water (I have a tankless system) hardly uses any oil at all. Once the winter comes around, keeping the house at about 65 degrees, i'll use about 160 gallons a month to heat the house. At the price I just paid for oil yesterday, that is about $600/month. Averaged out over the whole year, it runs about $200/month if you go on a budget plan. Heating with oil is miserable with prices as they have been the last few years.

Up here, gas is going to be your cheapest bet. If gas were available on my street I would pay the money to convert ASAP. It would only take me a few years to recoup the cost of the conversion.

Actually, heating with a pellet stove or a wood stove would be even cheaper, but that is not an option for many people, namely renters.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:04 AM
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1900 sq. ft. 3 bedroom home that is about 70 years old with old windows and not well insulated. Gas furnace that is 30+ years old. Typically see bills of $350 or so in the coldest months. We also use gas for the clothes dryer and hot water, so that contributes to the bill. The bills used to top $400 until we became more aggressive with the programmable thermostat.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:41 AM
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wow in seattle.. some of my friends with 2000 sf houses pay about 400 a month on electricity, and that includes heating, and they household electric for tv, lighting, etc. seems like a bargin here since its not nearly as cold.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:12 AM
Location: New England
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If you can find a house that heats with gas I think that is really the most economical choice as a previous poster mention.

My last house was an 125 year old 2000 sq ft Victorian with new windows but of course no insulation in the walls. In the summer it was great from April-late October I never had to purchase oil. However November - March I would have to fill the tank monthly and the bill averages $600-$700 each time! I kept the temp low most of the day around 60 and only turned it up at night when we were home around 65 and I had a programmable thermostat installed.

I now rent a smaller 1940's Cape which is about 1100 sq feet and we have gas heating. Last year was a really cold winter and I paid at most $300 a month for the gas and that includes the dryer, stove and keeping the temp around 68-70.

Gas is definitely the way to go! Never minder the fact that you don't have to call and order it, you never have to worry about running out like oil. I'm hopefully buying a place next year and having a gas heating system is a must on my list.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:03 PM
Location: Boston Suburb
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OP, glad you ask that question. I rent an apt that includes heat, but I'm looking to buy my own. So I'd also like to know what to budget for. If there is a house or apt that you're thinking about moving to, I've found that you can call up the gas company (NStar or Nat'l Grid) and ask how much gas that house used. They give you highest and lowest for the year. Some customer reps diverge more info (like avg of the coldest months, etc.) but most just stick with Hi/Lo.

You can gauge how much heating will cost as well as get a sense of the insulation properties of the building. Of course, how hot/cold the people who're living there maintain the house and whether it has been vacant for awhile, whether they stay home all day, if they cook a lot, etc. will influenece the usage but it's a good place to start.

What I've heard is that electric is the MOST expensive...Unless you have a super big house and you keep the whole house really cold while you use a space heater just for the room you're in, leaving the rest just warm enough to keep pipes from bursting.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:12 PM
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Gas heat. 1550 sq foot. 3 large bedrooms. We pay about 115-130/mth and I leave the house around 73 degrees or I get cold. House is old, I just dont know how old
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:13 PM
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400 gallon propane tank @ $3.25 per gallon equals $1,300.00. You will need between two and three tankfulls per winter.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:58 AM
Location: North of Boston
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I have a 55-year old, 2300 square foot cape with the original oil boiler, new windows but poor insulation. We burn about 1200 gallons of oil per year. At today's price of about $3.49 per gallon, that's about $350 per month on a 12-month budget plan.
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