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​How to Calculate Heating Costs for One Room

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The start of fall means that temperatures will continue to steadily drop - and moreover, that your heating bill will gradually rise. As such, you'll likely be looking for ways to cut costs while also making sure that your home remains comfortable, no matter the weather outside. The first step to minimizing your bill is to actually determine the current heating costs - but doing so can be challenging. This calculation is affected by a number of factors, such as the type of heating used, insulation, electricity rates and how often you're using the system. 

If you don't want any surprises on your next heating bill, you may want to do the math ahead of time.

Electric Heating
The online authority on building and renovation, BUILD, suggested this method for estimating how much money you'll be spending to heat one room.

  1. First, you'll need to figure out how much you pay per kilowatt hour for electricity. This information is on most electricity bills, so look at your most recent one for an accurate, up-to-date indication. If the plan you're on offers peak and off-peak rates, you should calculate these figures separately to figure out how they will fluctuate depending on the time of year.
  2. Now you need to determine how many kilowatts of electricity your heating system uses. For example, BUILD noted that a 2000W appliance translates to 2 kilowatts. The rated power consumption for an electric heater can usually be found either in the user's manual or the manufacturer's website.
  3. How often do you use the system over a specific period of time - say, a month? If the room you're calculating costs for is your bedroom, you'll likely only need to heat that room for however many hours you sleep. Keep in mind that you can also keep costs down by taking advantage of heated bedding. For example, heated blankets and heated mattress pads can keep you cozy while allowing you to lower the thermostat a few degrees. A living room or family room, on the other hand, may require heating more often.
  4. Finally, multiply the hours the system is used per month by its rated power of the system, and multiply that figure by the cost per kilowatt hour. The figure you get from that calculation is the total electricity cost per month.

Space Heaters
It can be helpful to implement a space heater into a room, particularly if its one that you don't use often and may therefore only need heat sparingly.

Consumer Reports explained that there's one simple formula for determining how much you'll spend using one.

Assuming its a 1,500-watt device, multiply 1500W by however many hours you plan on using it. Then multiply that figure by your electricity rate per kilowatt hour, and divide the number you get by 1,000.

 
 
 

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