I am building a new home, 1800 sq ft with a walk out basement. I just found out that the utility company does not provide natural gas to our area. So we are left to choose between buying a propane tank for the back yard or just going all electric. We already intended to have an electric range, so outside of the furnace the only other sacrifice we may have to make would be a gas fireplace.
My understanding is that that an electric furnace is cheaper and easier to install, typically has a longer operating life, but takes longer to heat a house resulting in higher electric bills.
I'm looking for opinions/suggestions on what you would do in this situation. Or if there are any other alternative ideas out there I should consider. Thanks.
It might help if you provide your general location so that folks can tell whether you're in an area of severe winter weathers or more mild ones, i.e., how much heating would be the norm and thus what the cost disparity might be between the frigid northern states vs. a southern state.This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Good point; I am in SW Missouri.
Faced with the same utility options that you have, we made the choice to go with propane. That was in 1990 and we have not regretted it.
The biggest difference is that gas heat is a warm heat. Electric in your area will be a heat pump and while it will warm your house it will never feel hot. Stand over a heat register with gas heat and you get a nice warm feeling. Do the same with a heat pump and you feel a tepid draft.
Other advantages are that we went with a gas water heater (much faster recovery time than electric and utility costs are about 1/3 of electric). We also got a gas dryer which dries clothes faster without static. When we built the house, we had a almost new electric range so we kept that, but when it died we replaced it with gas.
Downsides to gas are having the big, ugly tank and spending your utility budget in large chunks rather than a fairly consistent monthly electric bill.
Propane is expensive and getting more so. we had severe shortages last winter in Minnesota and the Dakotas, and the price went up to where folks froze to death.
it won't get better, the pipeline from Canada is now shut down, being reversed to carry light distillate up to the shale oil developments in Alberta so they can run that thick goo through pipelines.
electric heat is also very costly. if you get below 40 degrees in the winter and have to switch off the heat pump, it will cost more than propane to use electric elements for heat.
it's not out of the question to mount a heat pump over an oil furnace and use oil for the backup heat in the depths. one advantage is once the tank is full, you have your heat for the winter. we also had natural gas shortages due to 2 of the 3 pipelines going down, and businesses had to cut to diesel or coal on their backup burners.
all the infrastructure in this country is overstressed and starting to fail.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
For general message board help, click the tab labeled "Tools," and choose "Help" from the dropdown menu.