Which system costs less to operate? What’s the payback period? The Space Heating Energy Calculator and Water Heating Energy Calculator provide the answer.
Compare Energy Costs
Keeping a home running comfortably and efficiently means choosing mechanical equipment that's ideal for the region your home is in. The updated Space Heating Energy Calculator and Water Heating Energy Calculator can help you do just that. Enter details for your existing system to gauge its effect on the environment and your wallet, then compare it to a second system to see how your home’s efficiency and expenses can improve.
The mobile apps allow you to compare heating or water heating systems results side by side, on the go. Get them free for iOS and Android operating systems. The interactive tools provide the same in-depth energy cost data as the mobile apps. Start comparing systems now by exploring the module above.
Frequently Asked Questions – Click to Expand
To get started, you simply enter essential information, such as location of the home, system type, and efficiency rating, and the app figures out the estimated amount the homeowner will pay each year.
One valuable new feature will be particularly helpful for pros evaluating both high-efficiency and standard-efficiency equipment: the payback calculator. Users can enter details for a standard system and a higher-efficiency option — along with installation costs and available rebates or incentives — to compare the two systems side-by-side. With two systems to compare, the apps will also calculate how long it will take for homeowners to break even on their investment in more-efficient technology.
The new Space Heating Energy Calculator also adds the option to compare space heating systems that use dual fuel sources, such as a geothermal heat pump with a propane backup furnace.
The energy cost and emissions estimates generated by the calculators are based on our comparative space heating and comparative water heating studies. Based on that methodology, the calculators provide suggested equipment efficiency ratings based on the regional climate. Default values for energy prices are from 2015 state-level pricing data collected by the DOE's Energy Information Administration.
Because the energy cost estimates produced by the calculators are based on virtually modeled prototype homes, actual energy costs will vary due to unavoidable differences between real and prototype homes, as well as unpredictable factors such as weather and homeowner behavior.
Please note that the calculators are designed to assist users to compare propane systems against likely alternatives, such as oil or electric systems. The calculator is also meant to provide comparisons for homes in areas where propane is a common energy choice. Because propane is not typically used in areas where natural gas is available, the calculator does not offer natural gas as an energy option.
For construction pros working with green buyers, the calculators also provide estimated CO2 emissions associated with the operation of the systems.
The calculators estimate CO2 emissions based on state-level data provided by the EPA and DOE. These data identify the amount of CO2 released during the production of the energy consumed at home. For example, a state's electricity emissions factor comes from the type, size, efficiency, and energy source — such as coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, and wind — of its electricity generation plants. Emissions factors for propane and fuel oil are generally lower than emissions factors for electricity. This is because the largest portion of electricity generated in the United States is from coal-fired power plants, which are intensive producers of carbon emissions.
Every 2,000 pounds (1 ton) of CO2 emissions avoided or eliminated is the equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 0.174 typical passenger cars driven for a year. Stated another way, the annual emissions from a passenger car are offset by every 5.76 tons of CO2 reduction.
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