Monday, April 22, 2019

Heat Your New Home With Electricity

When you are planning to build a new custom home in the country where there is no access to Natural Gas for heating is Propane the only option and is it the best option?

This question I hear a lot these days as more and more people want to build a new place in the country away from natural gas lines.

The question is a good one, most people think that because you can't get natural gas you just switch to propane because their both gases and their probably the same costs to heat homes. Well that is a major misconception.

Propane is far more expensive then natural gas when you are comparing costs of heating your home. What makes natural gas so cheap is that it is delivered underground through lines that are permanently placed in the ground. Propane has to be delivered in a truck to your own personal tank every time that you need to have it filled. Basically the delivery fee of propane is a lot higher then natural gas and because there are so many more users of natural gas it helps keep the cost in check.

Natural gas also has a pretty consistent cost, the average price goes up and down year to year but the change is slow, propane on the other hand can swing wildly from season to season. In the past couple of years we have seen propane costs double during the winter when people need it the most and then come back to normal in the summer when it isn't.  Depending on when you fill your propane tank will determine how much you will end up paying for your heating fuel.

Most people don't think that there really is a cost effective alternative but there is and it is heating with electricity.

Now I'm not telling you to build a brand new custom home and then install baseboard heaters in it. Electric heat has actually come along way in the past couple of decades and because of the dramatic increase in the electricity rates in Ontario they have been forced to come up with more efficient options for electricity.

There are two main ways to heat in the country with electricity;

1. Geothermal. Geothermal is a wonderful way to heat your home. Its very consistent and its actually a very simple system. Geothermal is glycol filled lines that are installed deep in the ground. Glycol is basically a fancy name for alcohol. These lines absorb the heat from the ground and then transport that heat to your furnace. The furnace squeezes it through a radiator inside your furnace while air is blow across it. That air is warmed to your desired temperature and transported throughout the house in the duct work. The system works in reverse in the warm summer months to provide the house with air conditioning.

2. Air to Air heat pumps. This is pretty close to the same design as the geothermal heating and cooling, the difference is that it makes the heat and cooling from the outside air beside your home. There are many different types of heat pumps, depending on the efficiency will determine how well the heat pump works in extreme cold temperatures. This system is also less costly to install then geothermal.

Both systems don't just make heat from the air and ground they also make air conditioning for the warm summer months and they do it at a much more efficient rate then a normal air conditioner that you get with a propane furnace.

Geothermal heating has an added benefit that it provides free hotwater into your hotwater tank the more air conditioning that you use. That means that you actually use less energy in the summer running the air conditioning in your home then if you didn't run it at all, that's because it takes more energy to make hotwater then it does to create air conditioning.

There are other ways to help limit the cost of your heating system when using electricity. Adding more insulation into your new home when you are building will make it easier to heat your home and if you add solar panels you can offset the electricity that you use to heat and cool.

So when you talk to your contractor about building your new custom home talk to them about the heating system, talk to them about heating with electricity.

Village Builders Inc.

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