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One choice is to add insulation to your home and install better insulated windows and doors. This can be an expensive option but there are tax incentives to offset the initial cost. This strategy is good for the long-term and should be used with other options. Short term, there is a small reduction of heating costs that might be overcome by increasing fuel costs.
Another option might be to change heat systems. Go from fuel oil or gas to heat pumps. There again, the cost up front might be excessive but there are also tax incentives to offset the installation cost. This is a long-term program and should be used with better insulation. The short-term is that there will be a reduced heating cost and a warmer house. However, electricity continues to increase in cost and may dampen your savings.
The real truth in heating is that the cost will continue to rise faster than income, especially for those on fixed incomes.
A soda cost 5 cents in the 1940's and now costs over a buck. However, the hourly wage in the 1940's was 1 or 2 dollars per hour and now is averaging over 15 or 20 dollars per hour. Things are about the same proportion in cost to income. The main factor today is that oil is getting scarcer and thus costing more to supply. There is a large pollution cost to pay for all oil products.
Wind generation is coming of age and soon the cost of the generators may come in line with fuel costs allowing more wind farms to be constructed look for a heating and cooling company
Solar heat has begun to creep into existence for the big and smaller users. The cost ratio for solar heat will continue to more realistic as costs drop for its production and oil prices continue to rise.
There will always be a continuous supply and it does not create pollution. There are tax incentives already available for the installation of solar heat.
Solar panels can be installed most places that are not shaded. You should have full sunshine between 9AM and 3 PM when the sun is brightest. The size and array of panels depends on the load requirements for your home. Calculate the power requirements by listing each electrical appliance in your home. The internet provides help in determining the totals.
The solar panels should provide more power than the house requires. There many options available to improve the output of panels. A close examination of products for solar heat must precede any purchases. Remember, you still have to install the panels and integrate them into your house electrical system.
All of these heat options should be carefully planned out. Get quotes from several different contractors and suppliers. Decide the cost you are willing to work with, how long you plan to live in this house, the heating conditions you need, and how long it will take to break even. Just remember, heating costs have only one way to go--up!
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