Looking for ways to save money on your home heating expenses? Are your energy bills and energy costs eating up your expenses? Let’s look at different heating methods and find the most suitable and cheapest way to heat a home.
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects a 28% increase in home heating costs this winter because of slightly colder weather and rising fuel costs. Wearing layers of clothing or putting up with huge gas or electricity bills aside, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself and your home toasty during chilly months.
This article will show you the cheapest and most cost-efficient ways to heat your home regardless of location.
20 Cheapest Ways To Heat A Home
Here are the 20 cheapest and most efficient ways to heat your home.
Insulating your home is one of the key elements of keeping your home warm in winter. Most heat from a heater escapes through the attic, making it the first place you should properly insulate. It would save a lot of money at the end of the month and increase your heater’s efficiency.
The main reason for heat escaping from the attic is its rising properties. Cold air remains on the ground while hot air rises, escaping easily through an uninsulated attic. The best way of insulating is by using the fiberglass insulation method.
There are many other cheap ways to insulate a home. Some of the most common ones include:
- Spray foam insulation
- Loose-fill insulation
- Batts and roll insulation
- Foam board insulation
2. Energy-Efficient Space Heater
Energy-efficient space heaters usually heat a small portion of the house. These can help you heat only the rooms that you most often use. One major benefit of using space heaters is that you can carry them almost anywhere.
A small personal heater can cost you only $20, which is far less expensive than a conventional full-house heater. However, if you want more efficient heating, you can go for a full-room space heater costing as much as $300.
We highly recommend infrared heaters as they are inexpensive and efficient.
3. Smart Thermostat
A programmable thermostat controls the temperature efficiently while preserving as much energy as possible. The special feature of this device is that it changes the temperature by sensing your presence. The temperature automatically decreases when you are not around.
Another advantage of using such smart devices is that you can turn them up automatically before reaching home from your office. Ecobee reports suggest that a programmable thermostat can save up to 23% cost on your monthly bills. You can grab one for your home for around $200 to $400.
You can recover the cost in a year or 2 as these devices can save around $150 per year in an average American household.
4. Add a Carpet
Adding a carpet to your room will help. You can increase the overall warmth of your house by not allowing cold air to freeze the floor and trap it in itself, making the overall temperature much warmer.
One benefit of using this method is that it’s cheap and easy to install. Cold feet are the worst feeling while walking in winter, so carpet solves that problem, too.
A good carpet costs around $3 to $6 per square foot. The total cost depends upon the area you want to insulate.
5. Solar Panels
Solar panels are a great alternative to other conventional electricity sources now. The initial cost may be higher than other options available, but the savings here are better than ever.
Using a solar panel, you generate most of the electricity through the sun, which makes heating your home through electric heaters and air conditioners much cheaper.
We recommend monocrystalline solar panels that usually cost between $1 to $1.50 per watt. Installing a solar panel can cost between $10,000 to $20,000. You can reach break-even in only 8 years with tremendous savings each year.
6. Gas Heaters
Gas heaters are one of the most popular ways of heating a home. However, the downside of using these is the availability of LPG systems. As the name suggests, these heaters require gas, the only expense you’d have to bear.
On the other hand, their efficiency is the biggest advantage of using these heaters. Your whole house will be heated in only a few minutes.
Most gas heaters in the market cost around $2,000 to $5,000. Many cheaper models are also available, but the efficiency is affected as you go down in price.
7. Wood Stove
A wood stove is a great option to heat your home if you want to avoid getting into a lot of running expenses. It takes much less time and effort than other heating methods.
The best part about these stoves is that you can easily place them outside. Sitting around the fire in warm clothes and enjoying the atmosphere with your family is an experience of a lifetime. The crackling noise of fire with warm, relaxing smoke coming out of the woods is also an amazing feeling to have.
You can buy a wood stove from the market for as low as $100.
8. Black Window Curtains
Black window curtains are a good way to keep your room warm.
The color of the curtains also makes a difference. The darker the color, the more light is trapped inside, thus, producing more heat. Black is the darkest choice that you can go for. However, ensure you put them near the window that receives the most sunlight.
For a method that technically doesn’t cost you anything, it produces enough heat for you to keep your room warm.
9. Oil Furnace and Boiler
If your area has a shortage of gas or electricity, oil-fired furnaces and boilers can be a lifesaver. They use oil instead of gas or electricity.
An oil furnace can cost around $2,000 to $5,000. The price is high, but the overall efficiency justifies it.
According to tevisenergy.com, new oil heating systems are 98% efficient, consuming less fuel and saving more money. Once you install a furnace at home, you won’t require any other heating device for the next 20 to 25 years.
10. Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning
Reverse cycle air conditioning is one of the cheapest ways of warming your house. It is the most cost-friendly and efficient heating method in the market.
If you don’t own an air conditioner, the upfront cost would be slightly higher than other methods. However, if you have one at home, heating with it won’t cost you anything except your monthly air conditioning bills.
An additional benefit of using an air-conditioner is that it will help you in the long term. You won’t only benefit from it in the winter but also in summer.
The only downside is the installation process which can be quite time-consuming considering the lengthy process involved.
11. Electric Heaters
Portable electric heaters are easy to carry, making them quite preferable for saving money in winter. You will only be heating places where you are currently at. Moreover, these heaters do not cost much, as you can grab one for as low as $30.
These heaters are efficient and cheap, considering the initial costs. However, once you install one at your home, you will notice spikes in your electricity bills, a bit higher than a regular air conditioner.
Some reports also suggest that running these costs around 3 times more.
12. Reverse Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans are supposed to provide cold air, but what if you could use the same fan to generate warm air? Doing this is very much possible by simply reversing your ceiling fan. Hot air usually rises to allow cold air to move downwards.
Modern ceiling fans can turn clockwise, pushing more heat from the top toward the floor. A good quality reverse ceiling fan can be bought for around $50 to $200, depending on the brand.
13. Radiant Heating
Radiant heating is a great way of reducing heating costs. This type of heating is done with the help of radiators that sit under the floor or behind the walls.
The radiators are tubes with hot water running through them. The heat emitted from the hot water keeps the walls and floor warm.
The radiant heating system is pretty efficient and cheap; however, the installation can be a bit expensive ($10 to $12 per square foot).
14. Hot Water Storage Tank
Installing a hot water tank on your roof is a great way to heat your home.
This technique is efficient and inexpensive. The tank is installed on the roof where it directly faces the sun. The water gets warm, and the heat generated from it increases the temperature of your house.
A storage tank’s cost depends on your house’s size and heating efficiency. A good quality tank would cost around $2,900 to $3,600, installation included.
15. Electric Blanket
Electric blankets are a perfect product if you want something cheaper than a space heater without losing too much on efficiency. They look similar to regular blankets, but their heating capabilities are much better.
An electric blanket only costs between $50 to $200. Moreover, if you keep it on for about 10 hours at night, it will only cost 15 to 30 cents (2 kilowatt-hour power).
16. Heat Only Rooms in Use
One way of heating the home without spending too much is not heating all the rooms in your home. Instead, just heat the small area you are in. A wood stove or a cheap space heater will amply do the job.
Heating the entire house when you are present in only 1 room will waste 80% of heat energy needlessly.
17. Pay Utility Bills With a Credit Card
Many people don’t realize that there are plenty of benefits and cashback bonuses if you pay your utility bills with your credit card.
Since gas and electricity are getting more expensive with time, this is the right time to switch to paying with a credit card.
18. Using Hot Water Bottles
If you want to keep yourself warm by only spending 20 cents per night, hot bottles are the way to go.
Boiling 10 water bottles for a night would be enough to keep your bed warm for the whole night. Just fill a water bottle, boil it, and stick it under your blanket. Make sure to keep them in for about 10 minutes before you jump into sleep.
19. Close All the Doors and Windows
Leaving all the doors and windows open allows cold air from the outside to enter your home.
This method seems obvious, yet so many people miss it. Whenever you leave a room or enter a new one, make sure that you close the door and trap the air inside.
Keeping every room warm by closing all doors and windows can save a lot on heating bills at the month’s end.
20. Fill All the Cracks and Holes
If your home hasn’t seen renovation in quite a while, then there is a high probability of empty spaces and holes around its windows and doors. Cracks and holes around the house can be a major reason for heat escaping your room and keeping it cold even after using good heating products.
You can either fill the gaps with caulk or cover the windows with plastic window covers.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Heat a Home?
There are many ways to heat a house; however, the cost of each method varies. The cheapest and most efficient way of heating your home is by using a gas furnace.
A gas furnace would cost you around $500 per month, which is reasonable considering its overall heating efficiency. Depending on your chosen model, the initial installation cost would be around $2,000 to $5,000.
There are cheaper ways to heat a home, but the efficiency-to-price ratio is not as good as a gas furnace. If you do not have a couple of thousand dollars in your bank account, you can use the 20 cheapest ways to heat a home mentioned above.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Cheapest Ways To Heat a Home
Which Type of Heating Is the Cheapest To Run?
The cheapest and the most efficient heating method is using a gas furnace. An efficient gas furnace would cost around $2,000 to $5,000 (Including installation costs).
Removing an older one would cost an extra $1,000.
How Can I Heat My Home for Free?
Here are some free ways to heat your home:
- Insulate your attic.
- Block up your chimney.
- Create your own terracotta heater.
Is It Cheaper to Heat With Gas or Electricity?
Natural gas is cheaper than electricity, which makes gas furnaces a better choice to save on bills in the long term.
Gas heaters are also more efficient in warming up bigger spaces than electricity, which works best in small rooms.
Conclusion – Cheapest Ways To Heat A Home
The coming winter months make effective and cost-efficient home heating a must. Select the most suitable method or 2 for your home and see your heating bills decrease significantly.
Some of the ways mentioned above are simple and may just be practical adjustments to what you already have. Other methods, like installing solar panels, may require an initial cash outlay and maybe even for the long-term; however, it will impact not just your bills but the environment.
Do you want more tips on saving on your electricity and heating bills? Check out these related posts if you’re wondering, “Does Turning Down The Thermostat Save Money?” and if you want to learn “7 Simple Steps To Cut Your Electric Bill In Half.”
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.