Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Turn up the Heat!

Electric Baseboard Heat Versus Gas Furnace
In Real Estate, one of the major factors taken into consideration is that of the heating and cooling systems.  Depending on who you speak with, the opinions can vary greatly, making this for a tough subject to tackle.  Often comfort levels, allergies, dust collection in duct work, and cost play important roles in preference for conversion, purchase and new construction.  Below we have outlined some import factors for consideration when choosing a heating system in new construction, or making the decision to convert your current system.  Both Electric and Gas have their pros and cons, and in-depth research should be done based on personal needs and preferences before making a decision. 

Electric heat can be targeted to heat specific rooms in the house, but is typically more expensive on a monthly basis.  Certain tools, such as a heat pump, can be used in most climates to cut back on the electricity consumption.  Electric heat can be dispersed by a forced air furnace through duct work, or by individual room- using baseboard heating. 

Natural gas heat systems are generally less expensive- and proponents will say much more environmentally friendly.  The usage and waste with natural gas is said to be less than that of electric, therefor being more environmentally friendly.  Gas systems do have the potential of releasing dangerous by-products, such as Carbon Monoxide, and maintenance is necessary for optimal and safe operation- thus increasing the lifetime costs of gas systems. 

Making the choice between electric heat and natural gas may also be decided by certain factors beyond your control.  For example, if you purchase or build a home that does not have access to a gas line, then another heating option must be chosen.  Often then, electric heat is chosen over fuel heat because fuel is more expensive, must be stored onsite and doesn’t burn as clean. 

Other proactive measures can be taken, regardless of the heating method in place- to ensure it is functioning as best as possible.  The choice you make will ultimately affect what type of stove and clothes dryer you will have available as well.  Choosing energy efficient appliances and monitoring usage can have a great positive impact on the costs and efficiency of either system. 

Control is another factor worth mentioning- As gas can be easily modified for comfort levels, electric heat is a little more complex as it is stored and control is limited.  Gas systems will also generally heat home and water supplies quicker than an electric system would. 

Making the right decision for your household can come with many questions, and often requires extensive research for your area and for the general operations.  It is important to know all of the factors before choosing, and working with a trusted service provider is key!

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