Gas or Electric?

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Exactly. The person who USES the equipment gets to choose it.
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Excellent wisdom.
--

Christopher A. Young
Do good work.
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I realize that the cost differences are regional, and it's up to me to call up the local utilities and find out what the going rates are. *however*, there are some things that may preclude cost, and implementation matters too.
Might be buying a house that has a gas waterheater and a gas boiler/baseboard system. Both appear to be fairly new- i.e. 5 years maybe. The water heater is fine- if it ain't broke don't fix it. However-
1) Would it be best to heat the house with the gas boiler, or would it be best to shut it down completely and heat with small electric space heaters? CY: In most places, th e gas boilers are a lot cheaper.
The house is bi-level, very open, about 1100 sq feet, no basement, approximately 20 years old. This is South Central Wisconsin, and we have real winters here (i.e. sustained temperatures between 8-20F for weeks at a time). Can you just "turn off" modern gas boilers- i.e. no pilot light or anything? CY: sure, you can close the gas valve which should be right next to the boiler. I do that kind of thing when replacing furnaces or boilers.
2) We will need to buy a stove for the house. I prefer cooking on gas. The Missus prefers electric. Looks like they cost about the same, and when you sit down to eat the end result is the same. In the long run, which might be a better choice? CY: In NYS, electric cuts are much more common than natural gas cutoffs. A range can be used for backup heat. I know, I have in the past. However, overall it's more important to keep the missus happy all year than it is to heat with the range one day of the year. Buy a portable propane heater, at the store, and some propane bottles for the one day a year the electric is out.
3) We will need to buy a washer/dryer pair for the house. Once again- gas dryer or electric? I have no opinion on this, personally. I think the hookup is currently electric, but we may relocate them anyways. Are the over/under combo units still inherently evil? CY: I'd prefer gas dryer, cause it's cheaper to run.
4) I like beer. Beer gives me gas. The Missus threatens to buy an electric cattle prod to punish me for my efforts. Which will win- gas or electric? CY: Easy choice. Electric is far less expensive, in this case.
Is gas considered enough of a hazard to where it's best to avoid it if at all possible? CY: I've had gas appliances for the 20 years I've been out of the house. Never had a problem. Electric is just as dangerous. Both are managable dangers, if used with caution.
Can multiple electric appliances require an update of the fuse panel to something higher (i.e. from 100 or 130 to 200A)? CY: yes, if you use the appliances all at the same time. Typically dryer is 30 amps at 220 volts, range and stove are 50 amps at 220 volts. Hair dryer 15 amps at 110 volts. Of course, the only time you're using all the burners on the stove is thanksgiving, and so don't dry laundry then. And no hair dryers until after dinner.
Thanks for any replies. CY: Yer welcome.
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