Heating Cost Per Square Foot Calculator ($0.00049836 average)


How much does heating cost per square foot?

If you know the average heating cost per square foot, you can calculate the total heating cost for your home. Of course, the exact heating cost per square foot depends on many factors. The two most important are:

  1. Heating is needed. In the US, you will need anywhere from 30 Btu per square foot (South America) to 60 BTU per square foot (North America) to heat your home. You can use this heating requirements map to figure out how many BTUs per square foot of heating you need.
  2. heat source. It can be natural gas, propane, heating oil, electric heating, etc. The cost of heating per square foot depends on the current price of the heating source as well as the energy efficiency of said fuel (and furnace, stove, heater, etc.).

pay attention: Estimates of heating costs per square foot include lots of average heating needs, highly volatile and state-specific fuel source prices, location, your home’s insulation, and more.

When you count all of these factors (to a fairly-substantial extent), the calculation will show that a typical American household will cost approx. $0.00049836 per square foot per hour For natural gas heating. You will find further explanation for this calculator. Here is a quick summary of the results:

  • natural gas: $0.00049836 per square foot per hour.
  • Propane: $0.0011716 per square foot per hour.
  • Heating Oil: $0.0009662 per square foot per hour.
  • electrical heat: $0.0015463 per square foot per hour.

These numbers are extraordinarily low as we are heating only 1 square foot of living space for 1 hour. However, a deeper look will notice that, on average, the most cost-effective way to heat is with natural gas and the least cost-effective way to heat is with electric heating.

To help you estimate the heating cost per square foot for your specific situation, we’ve compiled a ‘Heating cost per square foot’ calculator, With the calculator, you can determine how much you will pay to heat 1 square foot of living space per day.

Heating Cost Per Square Feet Calculator

To adequately use the calculator, you must first choose a fuel source (natural gas, propane, heating oil, electric heating).

Once you have this, you need to check what the current price of a fuel source is in your area. Example: The US national average electricity cost is approximately $0.1319 per kWh, and the average natural gas cost is $12.92/Mcf. This EIA report,

In the calculator, we used average fuel cost and energy efficiency to represent how much heating costs per square foot.

pay attention: This is only a rough estimate based on average prices. Below the calculator, you’ll see how you can calculate a more accurate heating cost per square foot for your home.

Here are some heating resources to help you calculate how much heating costs per square foot:

BTU Content + Cost Per Sq. Feet Calculation of Thermal Fuel

Let’s say you have a 2,000 square foot home that requires 40 BTU heat per square foot, This means you will need an 80,000 BTU furnace. In 1 hour, you must use enough fuel to produce an 80,000 BTU heating output.

How much natural gas, propane, heating oil or electricity is that? How much does it cost?

Here’s a useful list to calculate it:

  • 1,000 cubic feet (mcf) of natural gas 1.037 mmBtu or 1037,000 BTU of energy. Average Price (Very Variable): $12.92/mcf of residential natural gas. (Source: EIA,
  • 1 gallon of propane contains 91,500 BTU of energy. Average Price (Very Variable): $2.68/gallon of residential propane. (Source: EIA,
  • 1 gallon of propane contains 138,690 BTU of energy. Average Price (Very Variable): $3.35/gallon of residential heating oil. (Source: EIA,
  • There are 3.412 BTU in 1 kWh of electricity of energy. Average Price (Very Variable): $0.1319/kWh,

Now, what does this mean?

Well, that means if we use natural gas for heating we have to pay $12.92 for 1,037,000 BTU of energy.

In our case to heat 1 square foot, we only need 40 BTU per hour. How much does natural gas cost to heat per square foot? Here is the calculation:

cost per square feet (natural gas, 40 BTU) = (40 BTU 1037,000 BTU) × $12.92 =

$0.00049836 per square feet per hour

If we have a 2,000-square-foot home, we need to multiply this very low cost by 2,000, and we get, surprisingly, exactly $1.00 per hour for heating, This means that we spend the total $24.00 per day To heat a large house with natural gas.

Here are the results for this case (40 BTU/h per sq ft) for heating with all 4 specified heating fuels:

  • natural gas: $0.00049836 per square foot per hour.
  • Propane: $0.0011716 per square foot per hour.
  • Heating Oil: $0.0009662 per square foot per hour.
  • electrical heat: $0.0015463 per square foot per hour.

These numbers are really hard to compare because the cost per 1 hour per 1 square foot is less than 1 cent. However, with a keen eye, it is clear that, given current average prices, using natural gas to heat your home is the most cost-effective option.

Of course, this largely depends on your local fuel prices. To test what’s better for heating – natural gas vs propane vs heating oil vs electric heating – you need to calculate for your specific area. Finding out all these heating fuel prices is also not a piece of cake.

If you find concrete numbers, you can write them in the comments below, describe your situation, and maybe we can help you with the calculations.

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