Gas or Electric Heat?

Page 2 of 2  


I'm sure that varies by region, and by the availability of the fuel at the time.
However, I prefer electric for a number of reasons, even if it isn't necessarily the cheapest option.
1. Electricity can be generated in many different ways (hydroelectric, gas fired plants, wind generators, coal generators, nuclear, fuel cells, etc.). If one source runs low, there are other ways of generating electricity. So it's fairly "future" proof. If you choose gas, you're basically stuck with gas, even if supplies dwindle and get more expensive in the future.
2. Electric heat is 100% efficient. In other words, the heater I buy today won't be "old technology" in a few years and need replacing. Of course, the methods used to generate the electricity aren't 100% efficient, but those improvements are made by the power company, not by me.
3. Electric heat is safe (barring flammables too close to the heater). No worries of gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, or explosions.
4. Electric heat is easy to zone. We installed individual electric wall heaters (King Electric Pic-A-Watt heaters) in each room. This lets us heat only the rooms we are in, and set the temperature lower in the bedrooms than other rooms. This also means no ductwork to make noise, collect dust, spread allergens, etc... Another benefit of individual zoned heaters is if one fails, you still have heaters in other rooms to keep warm while you fix it.
5. Electric heat doesn't pollute. Yes, some of the generating sources cause pollution, but those are better monitored and regulated than home furnaces.
Just my 2 cents...
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Personally, I don't see this being a big factor for the n ext 30 to 50 years or more. We shold have more methods though.

I'd have to pay a premeium of about $2,000 a year not to keep my old technology. Since I've owned my house, translated to today's dollars, that would be a $50,000 premium so far. No thanks, I'll take my chances with having to replace my heater.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edwin,

None of the items are big decision makers, but viewed together electric heat was the right choice for "me". Obviously, folks with high electric rates and low gas rates will probably view things differently.
We were also building our own house, so individual electric wall heaters were a good choice. Readily available, inexpensive, easy to install, easy to maintain.
Also, our last house had an electric forced air furnace. It had a relay fail one winter, which left us without heat for two weeks while we waited for the part to be ordered. So, this reinforced the idea of multiple heat sources for me.
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JIm Baber wrote:
HerHusband wrote:

If you are in California and get electricity from an investor owned utility it is a sure bet that natural gas cost will be lower by a lot.

True, but they will pass those higher costs right straight to you plus any allowed profit margin.

Again, they will pass those improvement costs right straight to you plus any allowed profit margin.

What about short circuits. rotting insulation on old wiring, bad equipment, and similar problems. All heat sources have some kind of problems, usually worsening with age of heaters.

Very true and I like the idea of reduced usage in areas not in use.

The wall mounted electric's I had several years ago definitely would collect dust and smell terrible when first turned on in fall.

Agreed, if the power is on, I suffered with one spring snow storm that dumped 9 foot of snow on us in 30 hours. It took the power company 10 days to get our power back. I do admit at the time we lived in a home in the Sierra Nevada mountains @ 6600 ft. But, there were 120 homes in the immediate area, we had underground power in our tract, and it was still out that long. Fortunately we had 2 wood stoves, and still had an adequate wood supply. The use of Coleman lamps and hot wood stove tops to cook on got us back to power. My drive was 300 ft. long, and I stayed fairly warm for two days digging out to the street.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Jim,

Of course, but so do the oil companies...
We are all electric here (heat, hot water, lighting, appliances, etc.), and only pay $109 per month for our 1456 square foot home. And we're not exactly "frugal" with our electric usage. Still, compared to our other bills, that's one of the cheaper ones.

True, I guess it's just what you're more comfortable with.

The wall heaters don't have filters like a furnace, but they should still be vacuumed clean once or twice a year. There's still a slight amount of dust smell that first time they are turned on, but it's a one time deal that goes away quickly.

That's why we also have a backup woodstove. :) We actually just had a windstorm knock out the power for a couple of hours last week. The woodstove kept us warm and cozy.
Of course, with electric, I could also install a backup generator if I had the desire and money.

Ours is about 150 feet. I can relate... :)
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is CHEAP. I paid $142 just for lighting and refrigeration. No heating, no special appliances. Our rates are going up again in January about 7.5% over the 17 we pay now.
I'm looking to rent a villa in Italy for vacation next year. Some do not include electric and they charge .26 Euro, or about .34 per kW/hr
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.