wood, coal, oil, gas or propane?

I try to keep up with technology as it relates to housing. We are going to see a shift in how housing is heated and cooled. Here in the Twin Cities, natural gas is by

far the most common fuel used to heat our homes.

Before natural gas, there was fuel oil. In some homes, we can see where the tank is that held the oil. A truck would come by with the oil and hook up to the fuel tank from outside the house and fill it. In the mid-1970s during the oil crisis, many homes were converted from oil to natural gas. Natural gas is cleaner the oil and at the time it was less expensive.

Before fuel oil, many homes in the area were heated with coal and before that wood. There are properties that use propane heat too and some are heated with electricity. Central heating may become a thing of the past.

We won’t always be heating our houses with natural gas.  Electric heat will likely replace natural gas and eventually solar and wind power will replace electricity. Our houses will need to be greener too. Our survival as a species depends on it.

Gas appliances will also become less and less common. If I were to replace my stove today I would opt for a conduction cooktop and a convection oven. I have used both for cooking and they are nothing short of amazing. We know now that having an open gas flame in a house probably isn’t the best practice for safety or for clean air.

Houses can be retrofitted for different types of heating and appliances. Emergy use in Minnesota in the winter is particularly high and this year it is going to be more expensive than ever to heat our homes.

Old boiler
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