Converting from electric Heat to Natural Gas heat?

Hi All,
I just bought one house with Electric Heat in it and was thinking to convert it to natural gas heat.
House is having four bed rooms, living room, kitchen, one bath room. I heard from the utility company that the last gentlmen had an average of 200$ in Electric bill for last two years.. Which scared me off.
I live in NJ, north. Would it be a good idea to convert to natural gas heat? I heard government is giving some subsidies and also loan programs are available. But, I don't know what is given to whom and also which companies are good at it.
Any help?
Thanks, D J
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D J wrote:

You don't indicate what type of electric heat you have, and this makes a big difference. Some types of electric heat will be far easier and therefore less expensive to convert to gas than others. Electric baseboard heat or electric radiant heat would be the worst to convert since you essentially have to install everything new. Electric forced hot air or electric fired hydronic heat would be among the easiest to convert since much of the existing system could be reused.
Either way you'll still be out more money that you will save for a few years. You need to get estimates on the cost of the conversion, the best estimate for the savings and pay back time and then decide if it's a project you want to tackle right away. If it will cost you $5,000 to do the conversion and only save you $500 over the heating season (10yr pay back), you might want to wait a year to put aside some money and get quotes.
Pete C.
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In theory, that is probably a good idea. In most places, gas is cheaper. Be sure to check that out. There is a web page where you can do cost comparisons by plugging in some know numbers. A Google search will probably find it.

Scared? That is damned cheap. I pay $200+ in summer with partial Ac. I pay $100 in winter with oil heat and then pay $160 average for oil. I'd trade bills with you any time This year, with increased rates and oil prices, I'll probably average $270 for heat and electric.

First, find out if gas is available. In my case, it would be $10,000 just to get hte gas line to the house and that was 20 years ago. Until you know that gas is available, the rest may be for naught.
Changing oil to gas or vice versa is fairly simple. You just change the burner or boiler and leave all the plumbing or furnace ducting in place. From electric baseboard to some other form of heat can be very expensive if you have to run ducts or piping.
Your local utility company will know about any subsidies or loans available. Check with them and the heating contractors.
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As others have mentioned, unless you have ductwork in place, you may spend more than you'll save. Perhaps spend that money on better insulation or siding. Our house has an "odd" multi level layout, so we're often heating several rooms just to keep one or two bedrooms warm. Our "solution" for this winter is to turn the thermostat down and give the kids electric blankets. We'll see how it works....
S
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Before you tuck your kids under an electric blanket for 8 to 10 hours a day, do a Google search for "electromagnetic field" and/or "electromagnetic radiation."
Maybe there's nothing to it. Maybe sleeping under an electric blanket is as safe as sleeping under a down-filled comforter. However, if there's any chance - even one in a billion - that electromagnetic fields could harm my kids, I wouldn't take a chance.
Instead of electric blankets, why not buy them some good artic sleeping bags? They'll be nice and warm, your electric bill will be lower and you'll able to sleep at night knowing they're safe.
Morvin
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200 a month not bad.......
if you convert realize your electric rate will likely go up, since most power companies have lower rates for all electric homes.......
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