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When replacing an existing heating system with a new one, you should consider all the various fuel options available and compare the operating costs. Natural gas furnaces are usually the least expensive to operate, but this can vary by region of the country and the relative costs of the various fuels. In some areas, an electric geothermal heat pump can be the cheapest system to operate.
Use the following figures to compare the operating costs. The following quantities of various fuels provide the same useful heat output. Compare the costs of these quantities of each fuel in your area to determine which is cheapest to use - 16 lbs. of coal, one gallon of fuel oil, 30 kwh of electricity or 120 cubic feet of natural gas. Propane usually costs about 2 to 3 times more than natural gas to use.