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Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

It’s no secret that there are several ways to heat a home. From natural gas to oil furnaces, electrical heating, wood stoves and fireplaces, choosing the best heating method can seem confusing. Numerous factors come into play when making a decision, such as installation costs, energy prices, type of building, location and more – it’s no wonder there are so many online articles on the topic.

One thing is for sure: we’re all concerned about energy efficiency and saving on heating costs. The good news? We’re here to help clarify the issue.

Oil Heating

Oil furnaces have been a proven heating method for a very long time. They’re one of the most widely used heating devices in North America. An oil furnace burns oil, which produces heat that is delivered throughout the home by the HVAC System.

Although it is a popular heating option among households, it isn’t necessarily the most efficient. An old furnace is only 60% efficient, while a more recent model can potentially be 95% efficient. What does this mean? Quite simply, between 15% and 40% of energy is lost, which is huge in terms of costs. This is especially true since oil costs tend to fluctuate.

Furnaces also have to go through a regular maintenance check to ensure everything is running smoothly – not to mention safely. Maintenance costs can be high, especially when cleaning and filter changes are involved.

Natural Gas Heating

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that seems to be gaining popularity for heating homes. We’ve all heard that “gas stoves are the best for cooking”, but this combustible fuel can also be used for heating homes, water and generate electricity.

Many people prefer natural gas over other heating methods such as wood burning since it is odourless and cost-effective. Although natural gas costs less than oil, furnaces are more expensive (and quieter). Should someone choose to convert their home to natural gas heating, the initial investment would be higher than an oil furnace, but the costs would be lower in the long term.

Installation costs also depend where you’re located. If your home is an area where natural gas is easily accessible, switching to that type of heating shouldn’t be a problem. Although the natural gas industry insists on its safety and energy efficiency, there are some safety risks associated to odourless leaks, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. That’s why equipping your home with a carbon monoxide detector is of utmost importance to avoid accidents.

Wood Heating

Burning wood to provide heat is one of the most ancient heating methods. Many people enjoy the warmth and coziness of a burning fireplace or wood stove – however it is not the most energy-efficient option for heating homes.

Fireplaces and wood stoves require yearly inspections and maintenance. They need to be thoroughly cleaned by a professional, then inspected to ensure they are running efficiently and most of all, safely.

This heating method also has health risks involved, since smoke inhalation, fire and harmful particles can be released in the air and cause pollution, respiratory problems and more.

Although it may seem pleasant, traditional wood burning isn’t the safest, most efficient and most cost-effective solution available.

Electrical Heating

Many people turn to electrical heating because it is a hassle-free, comfortable and affordable solution. Electrical heating a safe process that involves an electrical current running through a heating element and converting into heat. There are several benefits to using this type of heating method, especially with new and improved technologies offered by electrical heater manufacturers.

Easy to Install

Electrical heaters are easier to install than other heating systems such as natural gas or oil furnaces. They’re also less expensive to install since the heaters and installation materials are usually lower than other systems.

Maintenance-Free

Electrical heaters rarely break. They require next to no maintenance. The most effort you will put into maintenance will probably be dusting them off from time to time. The lack of maintenance fees means lest costs for you.

Works Instantaneously

What’s great about electrical heating is that they work immediately. When you adjust the thermostat, a signal is sent to the heater and the heat automatically rises or lowers to the desired temperature. For example, fan-forced heaters are a highly performant option that allow you to quickly produce enough heat to warm up a room.

Silent and Odourless

Electrical heaters are silent and odourless in comparison to other heating methods. Thanks to innovative design, newer models are virtually unnoticeable and fit beautifully with your home’s interior d├ęcor. Some devices even go as far as become aesthetic statements themselves by offering different materials and colours.

Safe

Safety is such an important factor when choosing a heater for your home. Heaters don’t emit harmful air particles or pose a risk of smoke or carbon monoxide poisoning. Quality heaters are also designed in such a way to prevent small children from inserting their fingers and injuring themselves. Some thermostats are even lockable, making it impossible for children to change the temperature without notice.

Energy-Efficient

Compared to previously mentioned heating methods, 100% of the energy is converted into heat Thanks to ground-breaking technologies, thermostats have flexible programming options that allow you to enjoy stable, comfortable warmth throughout the day.

They can also be programmed to heat less during the day while you’re away at work, and gradually start increasing the temperature as your arrival time approaches. Thermostats are very precise and can be paired with smart technology such as motion detectors to increase the electrical heaters’ efficiency.

If you’re looking for ways to save energy and cut costs on your energy bill, consider switching to an electrical heater. It is a safe, reliable and most of all energy-efficient heating solution that is simple to use.