You have a lot of options when adding heat to a cold room or new addition. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages but when it comes down to it, electric heat is a great option for most homes. We think there are three main reasons why you should consider electric heat: It’s easy to install, it’s cost-effective, and it’s efficient.
Easy to install
If you’re adding heat to your home, electric heaters are usually the easiest option. Adding ducts to a HVAC system can disrupt the way the furnace was designed to push air through the home. If you have one or two rooms that could use a little heat boost, you can install electric baseboard or wall heaters to supplement central heat. They operate independently and don’t require any modifications to that system.
A lot of times people who have a forced air systems will close off vents in rooms that they aren’t using. That can cause backflow issues that put a strain on your furnace. Craig Peterson, our Vice President of Engineering says he’s destroyed a furnace in the past after shutting upstairs air vents to only heat the downstairs part of his home.
“Above all else, electric heat is simple,” Craig adds. “All you need is electricity and you have heat.”
Electric heat also comes with less expensive equipment and lower installation costs, which leads to a huge savings potential when adding heat to a room.
Ductwork is expensive to install and difficult to modify, writes Michael Franko of BobVila.com in an article about baseboard heat.
The Department of Energy says that electric heat equipment usually costs less than the alternatives. The heaters are highly efficient but can be expensive to operate, depending on your local power rates.
We’d argue that overall they’ll help you save money. Although your electric rate may be higher than the cost of natural gas in your area, electric heaters need little maintenance, are cheaper to install and typically last longer than other types of heaters. Plus you can heat individual rooms when you’re using them instead of the entire house.
In general, adding an electric heater to supplement your existing system will lower your overall heating bill. When considering your options, it’s wise to review all costs associated with adding and maintaining the new heat source.
Electric heat is 100 percent efficient. That means that all of the power you put into the system is turned into heat. Natural gas and other combustion heating systems don’t offer that kind of efficiency and tend to decrease in efficiency as they age. Electric heat doesn’t.
The caveat to this is that a lot of electricity is generated by oil, coal and gas generators. Those reactions only convert about 30 percent of the fuel’s energy to electricity, according to the Department of Energy. In many cases that’s why electric rates can be higher than natural gas.
Having individual heaters in rooms allows you to independently control temperatures, rather than have your entire house heated to maximize your comfort level in one room. That means you can lower temps around the home with your HVAC and increase them in individual rooms you are using.
“HVAC is like having one light switch for the entire house,” Greg Klose our Vice President of Sales said. “I don’t use my living or dining room unless it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas. Why should I pay to heat them?”
At the end of the day, electric heat can be a very cost-effective, efficient and comfortable heating solution for a cold room, new addition or refinished basement. It won’t necessarily replace your central air system, but it can be a great combination with it.