If you live in an area that gets chilly in the winter, you probably have a heating system in your home. Depending on where you live and the housing stock from that era, yours might be electric or natural gas. Both systems are effective ways to heat your home, but they also have their unique pros and cons.
For most homeowners, electric home heating might seem like an obvious choice. After all, all homes have electricity. But after doing a cost analysis of using an electric home heating system, you may wonder if there are any other options available that would be cheaper and more economical than what you plan on investing in.
The good news is that converting your home’s electric heat to natural gas could save you money over the long term. You will also cut down on your carbon footprint and help the environment, which is always a positive.
Here are five detailed reasons to convert from electric home heating to natural gas:
1. Natural Gas Is a More Reliable Heating Source
If you are using electricity for home heating, you could be left in the cold should you experience a power outage. Outages can occur when there’s damage to power lines, such as after a storm, or if the power grid is not functioning correctly. No electricity means no electric heat.
On the other hand, natural gas is an on-demand fuel source that is almost 100 percent reliable. The only time your home heating will be affected by the availability of natural gas is when a technician needs to come to repair the broken pipe.
In the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or flooding, electric power may be out for days, weeks, or even months. However, even in these extreme weather events, natural gas will still flow through the pipeline system to your home.
This reliability is a great reason to convert from electric home heating to natural gas.
2. Natural Gas Is Cheaper Than Electric Home Heating
Natural gas is also a more efficient source of heat than electricity, which means you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your home heating bill.
As per a report by the Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity for home heating is about 21 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), which works out to around $1,268 per year for the average household. The average cost of natural gas, on the other hand, is about $746 per year, depending on where you live in the country.
That’s significant cost savings that you can use for other essential household expenses. You can also save money on the initial cost of converting to natural gas by choosing both a natural gas furnace and water heater, which costs significantly less than the electric equivalent and there may be tax breaks available for converting to more efficient appliances.
If you live in a rural area where you have to rely on electricity to heat your home, you may end up paying a higher rate because the area may not have as much capacity to deliver electricity to homes. This means you may experience higher rates during times of peak demand.
3. Natural Gas Is Safer than Electric Home Heating
Safety is one of the most important reasons to convert from electric home heating to natural gas, especially if you have young children or pets in your home.
Natural gas is considered much safer than electricity for a couple of reasons. For one, it has a lower ignition threshold, meaning that it requires less energy to set off a fire than electricity, which is perhaps why many schools and colleges use it for heating.
Secondly, natural gas requires a special “burner” device to ignite the gas and turn it into heat. This burner is not something that children can accidentally turn on.
4. Converting From Electric to Natural Gas is Easy
If you have an electric home heating system, you may be hesitant to switch to natural gas because you don’t know where to begin. Luckily, converting from electric home heating to natural gas is easier than you think.
First, you’ll want to speak with an HVAC contractor about your options for converting from electric to natural gas, including the type of gas furnace you should install. You may want to consider a high-efficiency natural gas furnace that is Energy Star–certified.
Once this is done, the HVAC contractor will come to your home and install a natural gas furnace and hot water heater, which will only take a few hours to complete.
You will also need to find a natural gas supplier in your area that offers residential natural gas service. Most utility companies will come to your home and install a natural gas line for free, provided that you sign up for a plan.
5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint By Converting to Natural Gas
This might come as a surprise to a lot of people, but the fact is that natural gas has a much lower carbon footprint than electricity.
Most of the electricity we use today is produced by coal, which emits carbon dioxide, thus contributing to pollution. On the other hand, natural gas is a clean energy source that produces fewer greenhouse gases than electricity and, as such, is a better option for the environment.
Even though you might not be able to completely eliminate your carbon footprint, converting from electric heating to natural gas will help you significantly reduce it since you’ll be producing less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
As you can see, there are many benefits of converting from electric home heating to natural gas, including cost savings, safety advantages, and environmental benefits. Natural gas is also a more reliable heat source because it’s an on-demand fuel rather than an intermittent energy source like electricity.
If you have been considering converting from electric home heating to natural gas, now is the time to make the switch. Contact Entek HVAC today and connect with one of their home heating experts.