How to calculate home heating costs

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The price of heating a home is one of the most significant utility costs that homeowners face. Because there are so many options when it comes to heating your home, it is useful to be able to compare the different costs. Calculating the cost of home heating can also be beneficial if you're choosing a new home. Over the long run, moving into a place that has lower heating costs can considerably reduce your cost of living.

The cost of heating your home per 1 million Btu

Determine the type of fuel your residence uses. The two most common are natural gas and electricity.

Determine the cost of this fuel type per unit. The unit of measurement is going to vary depending on what the specific fuel is. For example, if the residence uses natural gas, it will be measured in British thermal units (Btu); if the residence uses electricity, it will be measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The cost of fuel per unit can be found by referring to your heating bill or phoning your local energy supplier.

Go to the home heating cost calculator found in the Resources section below.

Enter the price you pay per unit beside your fuel type in field A.

Press "Calculate." The number provided is the cost of heating your home per 1 million Btu.

Determine the climate zone in which your residence is located. To do this, return to the home heating calculator found in the Resources section and scroll down the page to the blue text that says "What's my climate zone?" Click on this hyperlink and you will be provided with a map detailing the different climate zones. Locate the region of your residence on the map and use the map's key to determine which zone your home is part of.

Determine the size of your residence in square feet. If you are researching for a future residence, you can get this information from the current homeowner or sales agent. If you want to know the square footage of your own home, you can simply add up the square footage of each room to get a good estimate. You do not need an exact measurement; for our purposes it is sufficient to know whether the size of your residence is closer to 1,500 square feet or 2,500 square feet.

Refer to the table provided in field D of the home heating calculator. Applying the information gathered regarding your residence's climate zone and square footage, use the chart to determine the average Btu that your home requires per month.

Return to field A in the home heating cost calculator and make sure that the information you entered regarding your fuel type is still there. If it is, move on to the next step; if it isn't, re-enter the information and press "Calculate" again.

Scroll down to field E of the cost calculator and select your current heating source again from the drop-down list provided.

Enter the average number of Btu required to heat your home beside your selected fuel type. The average number of Btu is the number that was obtained in Section 2, Step 3 of this article.

Click "Calculate." The box beside the equals sign in field E will automatically display the average cost of heating your home per month.

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