If you are thinking about getting a new heater, then you will need to decide on a type of fuel. Each type is different in price, effectiveness, and availability, so it's important to get all of the information before committing to one option over the others. Here are some of the most common heating energy types and what they bring to the table:
Natural gas is one of the most common options, meaning that there is a very good chance that your home has easy access to a natural gas line. Depending on where you live, the prices might be extremely low or relatively high. If the former is the case, then natural gas will probably be much cheaper than your other options, but if the latter is true, then you might want to look to look elsewhere.
Propane is similar to gas in the sense that both are related to gasoline, but there are some extremely crucial differences as well. While natural gas can easily be moved in gaseous form (which is how it is transported to your home), propane needs to be compressed down to liquid form for transportation and storage. This allows you to store a ton of potential heat in propane, meaning that a single container of propane can heat your home for an exceptionally long period of time. This does mean that you need to go out and buy new propane from time to time, but it also protects you from utility outages in the future.
Like the above two options, heating oil is also closely related to gasoline. Unlike them, oil can be easily stored at room temperature as a liquid, which means that you don't need a pressurized container to keep it stable and safe (as you need with propane). It tends to be a little less efficient in terms of heat per unit of volume, but the price of heating your home with oil is comparable to using propane.
Made out of recycled materials, heating pellets burn cleanly, which ultimately results in a relatively low impact on the environment. They may not be cheaper than other options and they do require specialized heating stoves, but they are one of your best bets if you are really concerned about the environment and can't afford solar.
If you can afford buying solar panels, then you should really consider whether your situation is suited to them. Solar panels are excellent in areas where you get a lot of sunlight, yet don't get a lot of hail or tornadoes. This will maximize the amount of electricity that your panels generate, while simultaneously reducing the chances of you needing to repair your panels.
Steam isn't always the best option as far as cost efficiency is concerned, but it is certainly a good choice if you are looking for a very unique solution to your heating problem. Steam systems move hot water throughout your home, since water can hold a huge amount of heat relative to other common substances. Contact a business, such as the Laroc Refrigeration-Metal Division, for more information.