Today I heard a prediction for $7.00 a gallon gas from an oil analyst talking on the radio. I wasn't too surprised because I remember hearing a similar prediction for $3.00 gas in 2004. The trend is definitely up, and we all learned in grade school science that a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
Along the way, speculators in crude oil futures will liquidate profitable positions causing fuel prices to temporarily retreat. This is when complacency sets in and all those plans to do something about your heating bill quickly become a distant memory.
This is especially true during the warm summer months. Probably the last thing you want to think about when you're sitting in the back yard sipping margaritas is next year's heating bill. And who could blame you?
But this is precisely the best time to start investigating cost effective heating alternatives to supplement your current system.
The first thing on your to do list should be figuring out which type of alternative fuel you're going to burn. This will be determined by your proximity to the source. The closer you are to the source, the cheaper the fuel will be.
If you don't know the location of the nearest grain elevator or cornfield, you should probably go with wood or wood pellets. If you can't drive more than a couple of miles in any direction without passing a corn field, corn should be the least expensive fuel.
Once you've found a reliable source of cheap fuel, the next step is to pick out an appliance designed to burn the fuel you've chosen. The most popular and least expensive choice is still the wood stove. For around $1000 you can buy a clean burning, EPA certified wood stove.
For about twice the money, you can choose from a wide variety of stoves and fireplace inserts fueled by wood pellets, corn, or both. A typical 45,000 Btu stove or insert will heat 1,200 square feet of living space. This is enough to comfortably heat a ranch style home, modular home, or the main floor of a two story house.
With heating oil prices hovering around $4.00 a gallon, a pellet or wood stove will save enough money to pay for itself in two heating seasons or less.
I realize shopping for a pellet stove in 90 degree weather goes against human nature, but you'll be the only one shopping; and when demand is down, so are prices.
If you're excited at the prospect of saving 30%-50% on next years heating bill, you can learn a lot more at the Wood Pellet Stoves – Corn Stoves section of Alternative-Heating-Info.com