I have always assumed that heating my house with electricity would be way more expensive than heating it with heating oil. But I just checked my oil supplier, and the price of heating oil is up to 4.599 per gallon. I then consulted this [fuel comparison calculator](http://www.pelletheat.org/3/residential/compareFuel.cfm/compareFuel.cfm) (my brand new oil furnace is rated at 85% efficiency, and my electricity is .088 per KWH) and discovered that heating with fuel oil at the the current price will cost $39.22 per million BTU’s, while electricity is only $26.38 per million BTU’s.
Could this be right? Will I be better off this winter just buying electric heaters?
They don’t show the math, but it’s probably right.
If you use electric heaters, you will have local control. In other words, you can heat only the room[s] you want. The downside is that you no longer have a central system so even temperature control and even comfort throughout will be difficult.
On top of that, many of those heaters plugged into 115V wall outlets may be a fire hazard. If you have standard 14ga wire, at 115V you have about 1380 watts or so available for that entire circuit. (not just that outlet)
Heating a whole house with multiple electric heaters----depending on the quality of your electrical system and the loads already present-----poses at least the potential for fire hazard.
I think electric is cheaper now. I don’t know about heating oil, but I am set up with a natural gas fireplace that puts out mega heat, and we opted not to use it last winter and just went with our electric heat pump and a small electric space heater for the basement (where the fireplace and the kids bedrooms are) and we never saw a bill above $180 in a month, and that is for a 2400 sq foot home.
YMMV as always.