Q:

What is the cheapest way to heat your home?

A:

According to Green Choices, heating a home with mains gas paired with an energy-efficient condensing boiler is likely to be the least expensive option, providing mains gas is available in an area. This is also one of the least polluting conventional ways to heat a home. Other popular methods used to reduce heating bills include replacing a gas boiler with a more energy-efficient model and using a programmable thermostat.

If a boiler is more than 15 years old, NBC's Today: Home and Garden recommends replacing it with a high-efficiency model. These newer units use far less gas than older ones, boasting efficiency ratings of at least 94 percent. In addition to replacing a unit, NBC's Today: Home and Garden recommends adding weather stripping around doors and windows as a way to make heating less expensive. This action, they explain, cuts down on draftiness and can increase the energy efficiency of any one opening by up to 70 percent. Also consider installing a programmable thermostat. Costing between $40 and $100; they automatically lower the temperature when residents are out of the home, as not to waste fuel to heat an empty home. Installing a programmable thermostat does not require any special skills, and directions generally come in the package.

If Mains gas are not available in an area, Green Choices recommends an oil-fired boiler. These have increased in efficiency in recent years, though fluctuations in oil prices make them a less optimal choice than gas boilers.

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