Alternative Home Heating
to Save Money

Heating with Wood, Pellets, or Geothermal Energy
Instead of Oil or Gas

Alternative home heating to save money is an attractive option when oil is running over $3.80 a gallon. With the winter season coming up, many people on lower incomes are wondering where the money will come from to keep their children warm in cold weather. Some friends of mine have estimated that their budget payments for oil or gas will be between $400-$600 a month this year. Obviously alternative home heating to save money is not an option, but a necessity. Here are some types of alternative heating to consider: 

1. Pellet Stoves A pellet stove is a stove that burns per-manufactured pellets made from wood (some even burn corn pellets). The maintenance for these stoves involves cleaning them to remove ashes at least weekly, and stoking them daily. 

The initial cost for a pellet stove is between $1500-$4000 for the stove (and $500 or more for installation). However, consider the fact that you may be able to get a used pellet stove on Craigslist.com or through another source. Owners of pellet stoves claim to save at least $100 a month on heating costs over gas or oil heating. 

2. Wood Stoves We had a wood stove when I was a child, and I remember my dad removing the ashes and chopping wood. However, today’s wood stoves are nicer, more efficient, and require less maintenance. A wood stove is possibly the least expensive method of alternative home heating to save money (especially if you have a good, local source of wood). 

Top loading stoves are the model most homeowners choose because they are less messy. A good, quality wood stove runs around $2000+. (Keep in mind, that you can always buy a used stove.) The ideal is to secure the wood/chop the wood in the spring and summer to have ready for the fall and winter. 

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3. Geothermal Heating System Experts say that you can save up to 70% on your home heating bills with a geothermal heating system. These systems work by heating (or cooling) your home by using the cooler temperatures found a few feet below the ground. 

The initial cost of a geothermal system is more expensive than a wood or pellet stove. In fact, you could be looking at a price tag of $3500 per 500 square feet. Though this seems daunting, in many states the government may help you pay for the system to make your home more energy efficient. See link below: 
 

Be sure you calculate how long you will live in your current home, and what the exact savings may be for you before you invest in a geothermal system. However, based on the high cost of heating, it may be an alternative for your family to consider 

In conclusion, do not panic about the high cost of heating. Instead, look carefully at alternative home heating to save money. Whether it is a pellet stove, a corn stove, a wood stove, a geothermal system, or some other method, there are always ways you can save money on heating.

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