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Old 02-29-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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an all electric house


which are the pros and cons of buying a house with an electric heating and cooling system

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Old 02-29-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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Depends on the eletric utility costs for a all electric home.

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Old 02-29-2012, 09:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ivelisse1676 View Post
which are the pros and cons of buying a house with an electric heating and cooling system
Pros: No gas bill
If you have a heat pump, lower electric bills
Clean heat
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:18 PM   #4
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CON #1: Weather events leading to long duration power outages.

I don't believe I'm aware of a non-electric cooling system...unless you are considering open windows.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:22 PM   #5
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CON #1: Weather events leading to long duration power outages.

I don't believe I'm aware of a non-electric cooling system...unless you are considering open windows.
That is true and part of the Ozarks charm.....
(I've got a generator)
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:52 AM   #6
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CON #1: Weather events leading to long duration power outages.

I don't believe I'm aware of a non-electric cooling system...unless you are considering open windows.
In the 70's there were tax breaks for building an all electric house.

The benefit of electric is it is more efficient than fossil fuel, but that does not mean it will be cheaper. In my area there are very few all electric homes but our gas cost are low.

They do make natural gas AC condensers but they are not very efficient. The only place I have seen them used is where the home owner was getting free natural gas.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:09 PM   #7
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On average, in an area with a cold enough winter to get some snow, gas utility (as opposed to onsite fuel such as propane) gas heat costs less than electric heat even with a heat pump for the latter.

Almost no "non-electric" heating systems use no electricity at all so they too have power failure as a "con". Probably the last heating system in common use in the U.S. and not needing any electricity was the "gravity hot air" system which was quite inefficient by today's standards in gas or oil consumption and also had large (space consuming) ducts.

Also electric water heaters cost more to run in terms of cents per gallon than other kinds in most areas of the U.S.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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Until about three years ago I had hot water boiler that didn't need electric to run. The gas valve was a millivolt system that would turn on the burner without electricity. The circulating pump would not run but the baseboard rads would heat up from convective actions of the hot water.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:33 AM   #9
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Probably the last heating system in common use in the U.S. and not needing any electricity was the "gravity hot air" system which was quite inefficient by today's standards in gas or oil consumption and also had large (space consuming) ducts.
Huh??? Still a lot of wood stoves around here, even in them there big cities where them city folk live, by garsh.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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I have a wood stove, which is our primary heat source, although it does have a blower which operates on electricity. Even when the electric goes out, we still get about 75 percent of the normal heat flow, which was good when we had an ice storm and power was out for four days.

As for an all electric house, electricity is generally MUCH more expensive on a per BTU basis than any other form of energy. In particular, natural gas is dirt cheap right now, about $2.50 per million BTU wholesale, but even fuel oil at $4 per gallon is less expensive per BTU than electric. If given a choice, I would heat and cook with natural gas, use electric only for the things it works best for, such as refrigerator and lights.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:02 AM   #11
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On average, in an area with a cold enough winter to get some snow, gas utility (as opposed to onsite fuel such as propane) gas heat costs less than electric heat even with a heat pump for the latter.
Not necessarily, and not in my case. My electric bill here never goes over $200, winter or summer with a heat pump for heat and cool. And that includes electric water heater, dryer.(all electric house) My gas bill alone in Illinois was always over $250. in the winter months, and $80. for the rest of the year. And my home here is twice the size of what I owned in Illinois. Long sory short, I pay way less per year in utilities than I did in Illinois.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:22 AM   #12
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OK Missouri, I hear you. But check this out. In Missouri, the average electricity price (according to the State) is 7.57 cents/kilowatt hour. This is outstanding, very low compared to most of the country. So lets call it 8 cents per kwh to make the arithmetic easy. According the main natural gas supplier, the average rate for 1000 cf of natural gas as of December 2011 was $10. Now 1000 cf of natural gas is about 1 million BTU's, and there are 293 kwh in 1 million BTU's.

So, even in your very low cost electric state, you are paying approximately $23 per million BTUs for electricity, versus $10 per million BTUs with natural gas. Now you are using an electric heat pump, which complicates the comparison between a natural gas heater and your heat pump, so we won't try to do the comparison directly. The point is that on a PER BTU basis, natural gas is less than half the price of electricity today in Missouri. In a higher cost electric environment, which is most of the U.S., the difference is even greater. In Massachusetts where I live, on a per BTU basis natural gas is about 1/4 the cost of electricity. So if you compare a conventional natural gas furnace or boiler versus a direct resistance electric unit, no contest.

Comparison of a natural gas heat pump versus an electric heat pump system is beyond my zone of knowledge. Perhaps there is an HVAC pro on here who can comment on the relative costs to run the two types of systems.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:38 AM   #13
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Daniel - I may have read too fast, but I don't think you also calculated the inefficiency of natural gas vs. electric. Still, even with lower efficiency the Natural Gas will be cheaper to run. Upside of no gas appliances would be not having to run any gas lines or exhaust lines.

P.S. I like my natural gas house. I don't think I would want all-electric if I had the option.

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