9 posts / 0 new
Brett
Electric Heat

I have a furnace and oil tank and both have just about seen their better days. I would like to convert my hot water to electric as well as my heat. As it stands today the heat is baseboard forced hot water and the home is a small ranch approximately 850 square feet with 200 amp. electric in the New England area. I would like to get away from oil for several reasons the biggest one being the \$4.30 a gallon cost. Natural gas is not an option at this point and I was wondering if there were any suggestions on electric heating options, cost and efficiency.

canuk
Quote:

I was wondering if there were any suggestions on electric heating options, cost and efficiency

The fact is that 100% of the electrical energy is converted into heat which means that all electric heaters are 100% efficient.

ALL electric heat sources turns 1000 watt hours of electricity into 3,413 BTUS.

It’s a bit complicated to determine whether switching fuels is a good investment. One way is to use past energy bills to estimate how much heat your house requires. Determine the Annual Heating Load of your house by using this equation #1 ....

Anual heating load with existing equipment = Energy content / Energy cost per unit X Seasonal efficency X Anual heating costs

With this estimated annual heating load, you can determine how much it would cost to provide the same amount of heat to your house with a different energy source or different equipment using this equation #2.

Anual heating cost with new equipment = Energy cost per unit / Energy content X Anual heating load / seasonal effiency

Constants for electric ....

Energy content (elect.) = 3,413 Btu/kWh

Seasonal efficiency (exist.) = 1 (100%)

Constants for oil ....

Energy content (oil) = 140,000 Btu/gallon

Seasonal efficiency (new) = 0.86 (86%) .... assuming 86% efficent boiler

For example ....

total season cost at \$4/gal for oil = \$2500 .

140,000 / 4.00 X .86 X 2500 = 752,250,000 BTU ( equation #1)

to switch to electric heat at \$0.10 /kwh estimated seasonal cost.....

0.10 / 3413 X 752,250,000 / 1 = \$22o4.07 (equation #2)

Hope this makes sense and helps. :)

Brett

Thank you for the help. At this point it appears that Electric will be close to 1/3rd the price of oil. It will probably make a huge difference considering the furnace I have now is almost 50 years old.

canuk

Brett .... you're welcome.

As with any type of heating system you can enhance the efficency by improving your insulation and draft seal within the home.

Also there can be advantages with zone controls .... also electric in floor radiant heat can be advantageous in certain areas.

Cheers. :)

Brett wrote:

I have a furnace and oil tank and both have just about seen their better days. I would like to convert my hot water to electric as well as my heat. As it stands today the heat is baseboard forced hot water and the home is a small ranch approximately 850 square feet with 200 amp. electric in the New England area. I would like to get away from oil for several reasons the biggest one being the \$4.30 a gallon cost. Natural gas is not an option at this point and I was wondering if there were any suggestions on electric heating options, cost and efficiency.

In my opinion hot water baseboard is the most comfortable heat available other than hot water floor heat. Electric base board never seems warm enough.I think you are making a big mistake. Have you considered propane?

canuk

Just to be clear ... I'm not saying whether or not to switch to full electric heat.

pomer

if you switch spend a little more and get electric hydronic base boards

JacktheShack

I agree with Ravens on the preference for hydronic baseboard over electric & also feel you're making a mistake to switch to elec---at least until you research it more.

I also agree with canuk in his advice to obtain previous utility bills to get an idea of your heating expense.

New England happens to have the highest electric rates in the U.S.

The method widely used to make a decision on heating fuel choices is threefoldfold:

1) Do a fuel cost comparison (below) of the present cost of elec., oil & propane in your area---call the propane co. & ask them what they charge for a gallon of propane--the elec. co. will give you a price for a kwh of elec.--since you live in New England the price is ~16 cents/kwh--and they have a bid before the PUC to get 20 cents/kwh.

Once you have the data, plug it into the fuel cost comparison sites below to see which will cost less---the charts include an efficiency factor for fuel-fired boilers.

This step alone should tell you what's best in your area.

2) You can also do a heat loss calculation for your house to determine how many btu's/hour are bleeding out of the building on a cold day.

A rudimentary HLC takes the building's total sq.footage & multiplies by a heat factor between 30 & 60 (30=very tight building w/lots of insulation, tight windows...60 = very drafty building with little insulation/drafty windows)---thus a 2000 sq.ft. building X 40 = 80,000 btu/hr heat loss ( and the size of the boiler needed, or the amount of heat output from the elec. baseboard).

This calculation can be used to plan your insulation needs & determine how much propane, oil, or elec. you will burn to heat the house.

3) Check out the new generation of low temp heat pumps that are now coming onto the market---they are designed for colder northern areas of the U.S. & Canada & can heat a house even when the outside temp is sub-zero--Noraire by Electric Industries (hydronic) and Hallowell (forced air/AC) are attracting a lot of notice in HVAC industry---Mitsubishi & Hitachi are also introducing new heat pumps---the dual compressors on these units mean they don't have to use the resistance heat strips when it gets very cold---that makes them very efficient.

JacktheShack wrote:

I agree with Ravens on the preference for hydronic baseboard over electric & also feel you're making a mistake to switch to elec---at least until you research it more.

I also agree with canuk in his advice to obtain previous utility bills to get an idea of your heating expense.

New England happens to have the hightest electric rates in the U.S.

The method widely used to make a decision on heating fuel choices is twofold:

1) Do a fuel cost comparison (below) of the present cost of elec., oil & propane in your area---call the propane co. & ask them what they charge for a cu.ft. of propane or a therm (100 cu.ft) of propane--the elec. co. will give you a price for a kwh of elec.--since you live in New England the price is ~16 cents/kwh--and they have a bid before the PUC to get 20 cents/kwh.

Once you have the data, plug it into the fuel cost comparison sites below to see which will cost less---the charts include an efficiency factor for fuel-fired boilers.

This step alone should tell you what's best in your area.

2) You can also do a heat loss calculation for your house to determine how many btu's/hour are bleeding out of the building on a cold day.

A rudimentary HLC takes the building's total sq.footage & multiplies by a heat factor between 30 & 60 (30=very tight building w/lots of insulation, tight windows...60 = very drafty building with little insulation/drafty windows)---thus a 2000 sq.ft. building X 40 = 80,000 btu/hr heat loss ( and the size of the boiler needed, or the amount of heat output from the elec. baseboard).

This calculation can be used to plan your insulation needs & determine how much propane, oil, or elec. you will burn to heat the house.

Great Answer Jack You Da Man!!!!

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