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Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

Last post 01-04-2011 4:34 AM by ichliebe. 23 replies.
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  • 11-24-2010 8:30 PM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

    This reader has a question about heat in a home they are considering renting. Can you help?

     

     We're looking to rent an apartment in a 2 family house (2nd floor).  The apt has electric heat and the landlord is saying it is now cheaper than heating with gas or oil.  Is this true?
     
    The house is old but there are new windows and he says the walls all have added insulation.
     
    Thanks,
     
    Cathy

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 11-24-2010 9:44 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

     I had electric baseboard heat in my last apartment, and it was very expensive. A friend of mine has an oil-filled radiator electric heater, and she says it saves her on fuel oil. She has to move it from room to room.

    It may be different in Cathy's area, but here, electric heat is the last thing I would want.

  • 11-24-2010 10:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

     Does the reader mention what part of the country she lives in? I live in the northeast (NY.) This time of year it does save me money to use 1 electric heater in the main area of the house- it keeps the central heat from starting up. The weather's been 50's daytime, 30's night. Bedrooms get quite cool, but the core of the house stays warm.  If it got no less that 30 degrees, we could probably heat with electric.

    Once we get into the 20's and below at night, The electric heater isn't enough. At that point we let the central heat (oil) kick on. Leaving the 1  electric heater on almost all the time costs about $50 a month (cheaper than the oil would cost.) Heating with multiple electric heaters throughout the house would be very expensive.

    Another factor to consider; on the second floor, if the first floor is occupied, how much does their heat warm the upstairs? Could be a lot.

    Edited to add: our house has large windows and a little sunshine heats it up during the day.

  • 11-25-2010 2:31 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

    groverscorners:
     Does the reader mention what part of the country she lives in?
     

    The e-mail that was sent was copied entirely so our members could have all the information given.

    groverscorners:
    our house has large windows and a little sunshine heats it up during the day.

    The factors make this kind of question hard to answer. Supposedly electric heat is cheaper in my area but there are factors that make one house over another cheaper.

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 11-26-2010 8:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

    The electric bill in my old all electric 1 bedroom apartment used to run $60 on average.

    My 50 year old 960 sq ft house which is gas on furnace, water heater, dryer and stove. It has central A/C. The gas runs $43 and electric is $31. These are average bills.

    Christine
  • 11-26-2010 9:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

    I wonder why the discrepancy. My electric bill for baseboard electric heat was minimum of $100 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment. My heat is now included in my rent - old-fashioned radiators, which I love. And the heat is very fast and very good.

  • 11-26-2010 9:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

     Before he sold his house Dad was paying around $300 for electric central heat (2000 sq ft).

    My house is right at 2300 and we pay about $50 for gas central heat.

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • 11-30-2010 6:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

    Here in Wisconsin gas is still cheaper than electric by far, although the price fluctuates. 

    One added caution about the new windows.  It's a common misconception that new windows are a total fix for a leaky house.  New windows can be just as drafty as the old ones.  It depends on how they were installed.  Weather or not the windows are new the seals around the windows, doors, electric outlets, trap-doors, and door-frames should be checked for leaks and caulked.  This can be done with a blower door test, but if this isn't practical the next best thing is to check for air leaks on a very windy day using a piece of thread at the end of pencil. 

    Make sure you also get the payment history for the heat from the electric company before you rent to get an idea of what your payments will be.

  • 12-20-2010 1:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

     One way to deal with electric heat and reduce your electric bill by 10-25% is to use a whole house power management system, like SteadyPower (found at www.PureLife.us) that cleans your electricity so your appliances use less and last longer.   You will also save on all of your electrical use with this. 

    You can also use radiant barrier in the attic ($150 for 1000 sq feet) that keeps the heat reflected back into the house...it is the same type of foil insulation used in the space program.  See www.AtticFoil.com for details.  It is as easy to install as laying it over the blown in or batting insulation, and it is light, so it doesn't compress the insulation.

  • 12-20-2010 2:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Is Electric Heat Cheaper?

    seaturtle:

    I wonder why the discrepancy. My electric bill for baseboard electric heat was minimum of $100 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment. My heat is now included in my rent - old-fashioned radiators, which I love. And the heat is very fast and very good.

     

    Are they steam radiators? I think they are the best, bar none. Such wonderful, warm, even heat.

    I wonder why they stopped using them?

    I heat with electric ( no choice, it's an all-electric apartment) and it is very expensive.

    budgetwise



    "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Ps. 139:14
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