The cost of heating your home in Michigan should be an integral part of your budget. Because some parts of Michigan experience severe weather, finding yourself without adequate heating can be uncomfortable at best, and detrimental at worst. Your estimated cost to heat your house is dependent upon what type of fuel you are using, such as natural gas vs. electricity, and how large of a home you need to heat. However, there are some ways you can determine how much you can expect to pay for heating your home in Michigan.
You can determine the average cost of heating your home by identifying the specific fuel source you are using and the size of the property you need to heat. With this information, you can begin to create an accurate prediction of your heating needs.
How to Determine Average Cost
According to the Michigan State University Energy Cost Comparison Chart, a 2000 square-foot home in Michigan uses approximately 85.3 million BTU of heat (MBtu) per winter. Using the formula H = 85.3A/BC where H is heating cost, A is the price of fuel, B is the heat derived from fuel and C is the efficiency in which the heat is obtained, the average cost can be determined for several different fuels. Keep in mind, if your home is larger, you will need more energy to heat it.
Electricity is the most efficient form of home heating, but that doesn't necessarily mean it translates into the cheapest. The exact amount of your energy costs vary by year and other determining factors, and the heat derived from electricity is a mere 0.00341 MBtu/kWh (kilowatt hour). Say that the average cost per kWh is $0.1345, the cost to heat a home of 2000 square feet is $3,364.47. If you do use electricity, the use of space heaters should be done sparingly. Space heaters are tremendously energy inefficient and will cost way more in energy costs, to heat the same amount of space, than other methods such as natural gas.
Although natural gas may not be the most efficient way to heat your home in the winter, it is one of the most popular home heating fuel sources in the United States. The cost of natural gas, on the surface is a lot more than the cost of electricity. However, many homes already rely on it, and the cost involved with completely retrofitting a home to convert to electric heating may be cost prohibitive to some homeowners. However, keep in mind, that there are ways to make natural gas heating systems more efficient. If the cost is $15.87/kcf (thousand cubic feet), and it has a heat derived value of 1.0275/kcf and an efficiency rating of .85, the cost to heat a 2000 square-foot home with natural gas is $1,549.98.
Sue Williams is a freelance writer specializing in the strange and unusual. She began writing professionally in 1990 and has been published in "The Offbeat," "The Dewitt Chronicle" and the "Haslett Gazette." She holds a master's degree in communication from State University of New York, Albany.