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The Cost of Different Heating Systems

The Cost of Different Heating Systems

Interior renovationsThe Cost of Different Heating Systems

In Quebec, winters are often harsh and cold, hence the importance of choosing the right heating system! On average, Quebecers spend 64% of their residential energy costs on heating, with a bill that can often climb up to $1,200 for the average home.

Several techniques can be used to reduce this costly amount. Among other things, it is recommended to close the curtains at night and open them during the day, to clean and dust the hot air systems and to assess the heat needs of your home at all times.

Replacing your heating system can certainly represent a major investment, but this choice can be wise in terms of energy savings and reducing consumption costs. In this case, it is necessary to carefully compare your options by choosing an economical, ecological and easy-to-maintain heating system that will provide all the necessary comfort for your family.

Heating Systems: Costs

1. Heating with natural gas

Heating systems: the prices

Source: Cava

The advantage of using this system is that natural gas is a non-renewable fossil fuel. This means that this energy comes from the decomposition of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. Natural gas is made up of 70% to 95% methane (CH4). For the same release of energy, the combustion of natural gas will emit 30% less CO2 than the combustion of fuel oil and 45% less than that of coal. As a result, natural gas is the cleanest of fossil fuels.

Aside from the ecological aspect, natural gas can heat a home quickly without drying out the ambient air. Thanks to this heating system, it is possible to save energy, while reducing the time required to reach the desired temperature.

The cost of the equipment required to heat a home with natural gas varies between $4,800 and $7,920 (including grid connection and labour). Add to that $245 for an annual technician's visit and filter replacement.

You can also consult our cost calculator for more information on the matter.

Different kinds of natural gas heaters

  • Hot water boiler: reliable and efficient, it requires simple and inexpensive maintenance;

  • Hot-air central heating: standardizes the temperature in all the rooms and offers great comfort to the inhabitants;

  • Floor heating: this heating system is located below the surface of the floor and it can cover the area of ​​a room or a floor by diffusing constant heat;

  • Gas fireplace: completely modular according to your preferences, it does not produce ash and emits very few fine particles in the air, unlike a wood fireplace.

2. Geothermal heating

Heating systems: the prices

Source: Canva

Geothermal energy is known to be clean, renewable energy from the earth's subsoil. This solution is used for both heating and air conditioning. Energy-efficient, geothermal energy has been proven for more than 30 years and continues to evolve.

The geothermal heating system works using two elements: an underground circuit and a heat pump. It saves up to 60% on heating costs compared to an electric resistance heating system, according to Hydro Quebec. Geothermal energy is above all a sustainable solution since the lifespan of an underground circuit is over 50 years and the geothermal heat pump lasts about 20 years.

As you might expect, durability comes at a price and often requires an investment. Count $24,000 to $48,000 for the price of a geothermal system for an average-sized home. This price varies depending on several factors like the need to adapt the distribution system for heat or cool. In addition, the installation of the underground circuit varies depending on the soil and requires drilling.

3. The heat pump

Heating systems: the prices

Source: Canva

If you do not already know the concept of the heat pump (HP), we will give you a brief description. This electrical device is used to transfer heat from one place to another within a home. A heat pump does not produce heat, the air is taken from the outside to be transferred to the interior of the house. The heat pump provides both heating and air conditioning.

The price of a heat pump varies depending on its power and its installation characteristics. Count $4,800 to $8,400 depending on the tonnage and energy efficiency required. However, a home visit is required for an estimate (free in most cases).

In Quebec, a heat pump system alone cannot meet the heating needs of a home during the winter, because the cold means that the performance of the device is significantly reduced. For this reason, it must be connected to another heating system capable of taking over from a certain temperature. Note that in the case of poorly sealed and poorly insulated houses, the energy gains will be even more limited.

4. Electric heating

Heating systems: the prices

Source: Canva

The electric furnace is known to be safe, easy to install, on top of allowing the addition of an air conditioning system. Its success with homeowners results in relatively advantageous electricity prices. In addition to using clean technology, the electric heater is quiet and consumes much less energy compared to some systems. Electric heating requires very little maintenance once installed and its performance is durable through the years. The cost of an electric furnace varies between $2,400 and $3,600.

A significant advantage of electric heating is that the temperature can be adjusted at any time. The most efficient heaters reach the required temperature in just a few minutes. Electric inertial heaters react immediately to information communicated by the programming unit. This system allows you to program the temperatures of each room in one go, on the days and at the time requested. No need to think about it anymore!

5. Propane heater

Heating systems: the prices

Source: Canva

Propane is a light hydrocarbon; it is composed of carbon and hydrogen and comes from the refining of petroleum. Even though it emits more particles than natural gas, it remains relatively cleaner, as it emits less CO2 than coal, fuel oil and wood. The Canadian Propane Association (ACP) has shown in a study that propane appliances produce 52% fewer greenhouse gases compared to electric water heaters and 38% fewer than oil furnaces.

Propane gas warms spaces quickly while keeping the air breathable. The models are varied and can be easily fitted with an air filter or a humidifier. Propane heaters are also known for their durability which is estimated to be around 20 years. If you opt for a propane heater, the replacement costs are $4,800 to $7,200.

Propane heating can also be a good alternative for homes located in isolated areas or without electrical services or natural gas. However, the use of this heating system requires the installation of a cistern in your home. Fortunately, there are also underground cisterns that will not be visible. They are generally made available to the customer by the supplier who remains the owner.

6. Oil heating

Heating systems: the prices

Source: Canva

After having had its heyday some 50 years ago, oil heating is now less used, given its harmful effects on the environment and its high prices.

However, the equipment for an oil heating system is still on sale. Plan $2,400 to $ 3,600 for the purchase of an oil furnace and $1,560 for the purchase of the tank and its installation. To this is added $125 for the technician's annual visit to ensure that the system is functioning properly.

Heating System Pricing Guide

Type of heater
Average cost
Heating with natural gas 
$4,800 to $7,200
Geothermal heating
$24,000 to $48,000
Heat pump 
$4,800 to $8,400
Electric heating
$2,400 to $3,600
Propane heater
$4,800 to $7,200
Oil heating 
$2,400 to $3,600

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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