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ARTICLES - General - Fuel Cost Comparison Calculator
Enter the cost of each fuel below or use the defaults provided.
OIL
Cost per gallon of oil in dollars
Efficiency %
HARDWOOD
Cost per cord of in dollars
*Stove Efficiency %
SOFTWOOD
Cost per cord of in dollars
*Stove Efficiency %
ELECTRIC
Cost per KWH of in cents
Efficiency %
WOOD PELLETS or Corn
Cost per ton of in dollars
Stove Efficiency
%
NATURAL GAS
Cost per therm in dollars

Efficiency %
LP GAS
Cost per gallon in dollars
Efficiency %
COAL
Cost per ton in dollars

Efficiency %

Cost of Fuels - Please enter the cost in US Dollars, using a decimal point where needed. Do not use the $ sign. Use a decimal point if needed - for instance, if you pay 1.50 cents a therm for gas, enter 1.50. Please notice that the electric calc asks for cost per KWH in cents, so no decimal point is needed except for fractions of a penny. (i.e. you pay 9.5 cents per KWH, enter 9.5)

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Efficiency of Appliance - Common values are already entered. These are expressed as a percentage. Efficiency is defined as the percentage of available heat in the fuel that is actually delivered into the room. Some common efficiency ranges are given below.

Oil and Gas Furnaces

Older Models - 50% to 70%
Newer Models - 70% to 85%

Wood Hearth Products

Open Wood Fireplace - 5% to 25%
Older Non-Airtight Stoves - 25% to 35%
Older Airtight Stoves - 40% to 50%
Newer EPA non-catalytic Stoves and Fireplaces - 60%
Newest EPA catalytic Stoves - 72%

Pellet Stoves

Older Pellet Stove or EPA Exempted - 55% to 65%
Newer Pellet Stove - EPA Approved - 65% to 80%

Gas (LP or Natural) Hearth Products
Vented Gas Fireplace Logs - 5% to 15%
B-Vent Gas Fireplaces and Stoves - 35% to 65%
Direct-Vent Fireplace and Stoves - 40% to 75%
Vent-Free Fireplaces, Stoves and Logs - 90%

Coal Heating Systems
Older Coal Furnace/Boiler - 50% to 65%
Modern Coal Stove - 60% to 80%
Stoker or Hopper-Fed Stove - 70% to 85%
Electric Resistance Heat - 95% to 100%

Notes - due to large numbers of variables, this calculator should be used as only a rough guideline for your study. Many factors affect the performance of most any heating system, but especially those of solid fuels, where the variables include operator, chimney, wood moisture, wood species and more.


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