There are three main fuels used for home heating. Energy consumption will vary greatly depending on the type of fuel, size of the house, insulation, location, and temperature the thermostat is set at, but I’ll try to put this into perspective. They are, in order of consumption, natural gas, electricity and heating oil. Gas furnaces from the 70’s and 80’s are about 60% efficient, while newer ones can transform up to 98% of the energy of the natural gas into heat. So, depending on what type of furnace the same size house could use up to 38% more or less gas if it is less or more efficient.
For electricity, energy consumption is much greater for air conditioning, rather than heating and improvements have been made in furnace technology which allow electric furnaces to be about 50% more efficient. Again, energy costs will depend on the size of the house.
Lastly, heating oil. In 1973, the average home used 1,294 gallons of oil for heating while in 2009 the average dropped 35% to 833 gallons.
These reductions are due to advances in efficiency as well as the advent of solar technologies that can be installed on homes.
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