Electric vs. Gas home heating

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Hi Edwin,

Yeah, I might have to rethink my position if my electric bill was doubled. :) But, I would still have a hard time switching to gas. I'd spend more time improving insulation and minimizing the space I have to heat.
I chose individual electric wall heaters in our new house, partly because the furnace in our old house broke down one year. We were without heat for nearly two weeks in the middle of winter while waiting for a part to be ordered! With the individual heaters, one or more can quit working and we still have other heaters in the house to keep warm. For those rare times when the electricity goes out altogether, we have a woodstove too.

True, but I'd rather the power plant deal with maintenance, efficiency, polution, and all that instead of me.

Hydro is common around here, but it's not a perfect solution either. Fish populations are on the decline, not only an environmental problem, but it affects fisherman making their living by fishing too.
Wind power is gaining popularity, but I thought I read somewhere it has negative side effects too?
Nuclear is nice, but has it's own risks and there's no where to store the waste.
I guess everything is a tradeoff...
Maybe hydrogen generators or fuel cells will be the answer? :)
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

Too much future-proofing isn't always economical.

That is very misleading because 20-30% of the electric energy is lost during power transmission, meaning if resistive heat is powered by a gas-fired generator station, it may not be as efficient as an 80-90%-eficient gas furnace. Also resistive heat is more efficient than a heatpump, yet the latter typically needs only 30-50% as much electric energy for the same BTU output.

Safety is probably the best reason to use electric heat.

Tanked gas is typically so expensive that it makes electric heat cheaper.

If more houses were zoned like that, we could probably cut heating bills in half. My home is completely zoned, including with temperature and motion sensors in each room, and my highest air conditioning bill last summer was $90. This is for 72 degrees average, 4400 sq. ft. and central Arizona, with ordinary SEER 12 A/C units.
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Agreed, but combined with all the other benefits, electric heat is still my choice.

True, but most homes probably aren't running the most efficient gas furnaces, and probably aren't maintained the way a generator station would be.

However, heat pumps usually only work well in moderate climates, are expensive to install, use dust collecting duct work, and require space outside the home for the compressor.

It was one of our main deciding factors.

We have so few hot days here that we don't need air conditioning.
As for heating bills, that's hard to calculate with electric because our bill also includes all electric appliances, electric hot water heater, electric well pump, a full time home office, and woodworking power tools running fairly often.
However, we are on an "equal pay" plan and currently pay $145 a month, summer and winter. We average about 30-40 kwh/day during the summer, and 70-80 kwh/day during the winter, weather depending of course.

It's not an option most people want to hear these days, but reducing square footage is the best way to cut energy costs. No matter how efficient your heating and insulation may be, more square footage means more energy is needed to heat and cool.
The recommendations I have heard is 8 watts per square foot for electric heat in well insulated houses. That's about 12 kw for our 1456 sq/ft house, where a 4400 sq/ft house would need 35 kw at the same rate.
Anthony
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Dominic wrote:

Time to replace that old furnace with a new more efficient one and that will be cheaper than even that cheap electric power.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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