New Heating Options Lower Bills

- Nov 23, 2017-

STATEWIDE (WGME) -- Experts say homeowners should make sure their heat system is working well and know the best option for their home the months before winter.

"We have long, cold winters and the dollars really add up when you have to pay those heating bills," said Michael Stoddard of Efficiency Maine.

According to Efficiency Maine heating a typical Maine home with oil costs about $2,000 a year, but many homeowners are saving money with efficient electric boilers.

"People are regularly saving 20 to 30 percent and if they really get aggressive about it they can reduce their heating bills by 40 or 50 percent," said Stoddard.

They suggest considering an efficient central heating system if you're building a new home, or if your electric boilers or central heating boilers is more than 15 years old.

"It's tempting to try and buy the cheapest electric boilers you can find, but sometimes that's not going to be the lowest cost, because over the next ten years that you're operating it you might be paying a lot more for fuel," said Stoddard.

Efficiency Maine says you can also lower your bill with more efficient heat supplements like heat pumps.

"I would describe it as being similar to an AC but it works in reverse," said Stoddard.

Mandy and Dan Nelson decided to add the heaters to their home in Kennebunk, "It was an opportunity to do something different," said Mandy Nelson.

"We burned a lot of fuel just to keep it at a coolish temperature in the winter," said Dan Nelson. "Now with the heat pump in the barn we keep it a lot more comfortable year round steady temperature for less money."

Efficiency Maine says, in the past 3 years, more than 25,000 heat pumps have been installed in Maine homes.

Wood and pellet stoves also remain popular options.

"We're in a state that's covered in trees so we use a lot of chord wood and pellets," said Stoddard.

Efficiency Maine says pellet stoves are more efficienct but the processed pellets are more expensive than wood.

Above all, experts say the best way to make sure your heat stays in your home is to keep your house well insulated.