Central air/heat upgrade using oil, gas or electric?

Asked by Home buyer, 19125 Thu Dec 20, 2007

I have oil heat, and it is too expensive. I was going to upgrade to central air/heat using gas, but now gas prices are too expensive as well. What do you think about using electric for my central air/heat? Would it be cheaper? And if I needed to sell my home would this be better than having oil heat?

Thank you in advance for your replies.
Thank you in advance.

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Gary Swank, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Mon Feb 23, 2015
Check with your local electric supplier. It's possible they may be able to provide you with an energy
assessment when converting to electric heat.
0 votes
Caleb Hart, Renter, Orem, UT
Wed Feb 18, 2015
I would say it depends on the area you live. I have a lot of friends that only use electricity or coal to heat their homes because they live in the mountains. They can't get gas lines ran to them. If you can get gas ran to your house, it tends to heat your home more efficiently. http://www.toddcoinc.com/services/heating-air/
0 votes
Andrew Janos, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sun Jul 27, 2014
There are a couple things you could do in this situation, but gas tends to be more efficient than electric.

High velocity systems are nice because you don't have to deal with much duct work and can have a gas system in the basement.

Split system electrical units could also be placed in certain rooms that you spend more time in.

Make sure to consult a contractor when evaluating different systems to find the best solution. Not all might be possible.
0 votes
whiskeyjenki…, , Silver Spring, MD
Thu May 29, 2014
Electric all depends on... location, location, location! It's true though. For example, SoCal pays a lot in electricity, along with Hawaii. Here in my state, it's half the cost.

Will Jenkins | http://www.mikecurrieelectric.com/
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Dec 20, 2007
It partly depends on local/regional preferences. Oil and gas can keep your home toasty warm in winter. Resistance heat will too, but it's horribly expensive. And I don't like heat pumps. For 30 years, they've been saying they're getting better. But they still are inefficient in cold weather (such as you get in Philadelphia), and their backup is resistance heat. Oil is perceived as dirty, while gas and electric are perceived as clean.

As long as you're living there, you should do the math to figure out the payback period of switching your heating source (and your air conditioning, if that's involved). Get bids from several HVAC contractors; they should be able to do the basic calculations. Double-check their numbers, though, with the local utility companies.

If you're planning on selling, find out from a Realtor what buyers expect for your type of home.

Also, you note in your question that oil heat "is too expensive." If cost is the driving factor, then be sure to look at other steps you can take to reduce your heating costs: Better insulation in the attic, sealing around doors and windows, possibly replacing old, leaky windows with tight-sealing ones, electronic thermostat, furnace cleaning, and so on. Sometimes your local utility company will offer a free or low-cost analysis. Otherwise, you might have to spend some money on the analysis (unless you know, for instance, that you've got a problem that should be fixed). But the payback period is likely to be pretty quick.

Good luck.
0 votes
Horlow , , 19440
Thu Dec 20, 2007
I have an electric heat pump a/c combo and added a pellet stove to help with the mild days so i don't run the heat, , I sold houses with both, It seems to be a matter of preference , however I always had a positive feedback on the a/c. As to what's cheaper, in your area I don't think there is much difference, except for oil , I would chosse according to the installation expence and heat pump a/c electric energy effecient 13 Seer or higher for better resale marketing. I hope this can help . Please click below.

0 votes
Todd Norsted, Agent, Maple Grove, MN
Thu Dec 20, 2007
Interesting question...

I have natural gas myself, but have friends who have radiant electric heat and even though it does dry out the home, it seems to be very economical. I will be witching this thread......

Thanks for the great question......
Web Reference:  http://www.toddnorsted.com
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