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Should I Convert from Electric to Gas Heating?

buyer's guide to switching from electric to gas heatingHomeowners in New Jersey often ask us if they should convert from electric to gas heating.

This is what we tell them: Generally, we recommend gas heating for homes in New Jersey for energy savings and effective heating. 

But before you make the switch to gas, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of each heating method and ask yourself these 4 questions:
  1. Does your home already have a gas line?
  2. Does your home have a forced air system in place?
  3. What energy-saving rebates are available in your area?
  4. Have you considered a dual fuel system?
We’ll go into more detail about these 4 questions later in the article. But first, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of gas vs. electric heating...


Pros & cons of gas and electric heating


The bottom line

After looking at the pros and cons for each type of heating method, in colder climates like New Jersey, we generally recommend gas heating because it provides faster, more powerful heating and typically costs less to operate (lower monthly costs).

However, if you already have electric heating and want to switch to gas, you’ll want to consider certain cost factors before you make the decision...


Ask yourself these 4 questions before you switch to gas heating

Before you make the switch to gas, you’ll want to consider these cost factors:


#1: Does your home already have a gas line?

You’ll know you have a gas line if you see a gas meter outside of your home.

If you don’t have a gas line, you’ll have to factor in the cost of running one to your home as part of the overall cost of switching to gas. To know how much you could expect to pay, follow these steps:
  • Check with your local gas company to find out what they charge for running a main gas line to your home. They’ll run a gas line for free or a relatively small fee (around $500).
  • A plumber generally charges between $1,500 to $3,000 to run a gas line to your home.
  • If you need to extend your gas line to reach other appliances like a stove or clothes dryer, budget about $500–$1,000 for that cost.


#2: Does your home have a forced air system in place?

Gas heating relies on furnaces, which require a forced air system. A forced air system uses ductwork and vents to distribute heat throughout your home.

If your home doesn't have a forced air system already in place, you’ll have to consider the additional cost of installing ductwork as part of your switch from electric to gas heating. 

Adding ductwork to your home for the first time costs an additional $3,000–$5,000+, depending on the size of your home. A large home can easily cost upwards of $10,000 to install air ducts and vents.


#3: What energy-saving rebates are available in your area?

Since gas is cheaper to produce than electricity, many gas companies offer discounts and rebates to incentivize homeowners to switch to gas. These discounts often range from $500 to $3,500+. Also, Energy Star certified gas furnaces qualify for a federal tax credit ($150–$200).

You can subtract these rebates from the cost to install a new gas furnace, which will lower your total out-of-pocket cost. 


#4: Have you considered a dual fuel system?

If your home has both electricity and gas, you may want to consider a dual fuel (or hybrid) system. A dual fuel system is an electric heat pump combined with a gas furnace. This system can reduce your heating bills by as much as 30% during the heating season.

Here’s how it works: When cold temperatures are relatively mild (usually around 30° F), your heat pump will heat your home by condensing the heat from outside air. But when temperatures drop below 30° F, your gas furnace will kick in and heat your home.

Working this way a dual fuel system provides you with comfort and energy savings in the winter, plus, a heat pump provides cooling in the summer, so you won’t need an air conditioner.


The bottom line

Switching to gas can be expensive based on these cost factors. The energy savings you experience may not eventually pay for the cost to install it, especially if you have to add a forced air system to your home for the first time. But switching to gas will generally raise the value of your home, and you’ll spend less per month on energy bills and experience greater comfort.


Want a gas heating system? Or just want an expert’s opinion?

If you’re interested in a new gas heating system or you want to speak with an expert about specifics related to your home, contact Air Experts. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.


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