Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Cost Of Heating A Home

When we purchase a home we tend to think about the cost involved in the initial purchase. How many of us take the time to think about the running costs associated with living in a property?

With energy prices having risen around the world, more and more people are taking a keen interest in their utilities bills. After all, given that the price of basics like gas and electricity has been increasing at a faster rate than inflation, energy bills are taking up an ever increasing proportion of our incomes.

So should we be thinking about the cost of heating and lighting a property before making our purchase? It seems like a sensible thing to do - with any purchase that you make, it's always wise to ensure that you fully understand all of the costs involved.

But you might wonder whether it does really matter. After all, if you're looking at properties within a certain budget then won't they all be of a similar size and hence cost about the same to heat?

If this were true things would certainly be much easier, but sadly it's not the case. For starters, you need to consider that there will be many different property sizes available within a similar price range.

More importantly, different properties will have been built using varying materials, will be insulated in different ways and may well be heating using different appliances and energy sources.

So how should you go about estimating any ongoing costs? The key here is to ask lots of questions and to build up as much information as you can.

Ask what type of appliances are used to heat the property and the water supply. Is a single boiler used to heat both? Is every room of the house heated in the same way?

Some properties may have multiple fuel solutions. This can be quite common in period properties, where you might find that electric radiators are used in all rooms but that a traditional multi-fuel fire is used as a feature in the living room.

Find out exactly what the situation is and ask the current home owner about their fuel bills. If you're not certain that you're receiving an honest response then you could always get estimates from an energy supplier.

Don't overlook these additional costs which could make a real difference when you come to purchase a fire.

By: Keith Barrett

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