approx cost to go from gas heat to elec heat?

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merk

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Living in the San Fran/Bay area, so winters are not harsh here. Low 40's would be the typical low end for winter nights.

I was just wondering what the ball park figure out would be to go from gas heat to electric heat. I'm talking installation cost, not the actual cost of running the system.

2 reasons i'm considering this:

1. we currently have a single gas heater in the hallway/living room. Which means if you don't sleep with your bedroom door open, you get no heat. We often close the bedrooms doors when we leave to keep the dog out which means the bedrooms get pretty cold and take a while to warm up.

2. considering getting solar panels installed and i want to make sure we get the most benefit from them. If we did get solar installed, in the long run I think it makes sense to move from gas to electric.

I'm guessing the cheapest option would be to replace the current wall gas heater with an elec one, but that doesn't do anything to help with issue #1 above. So ideally some sort of system that heats the rooms individually since that way doors open or closed makes no difference and we can just heat the bedrooms at night and not the whole house.

Just wondering if anyone has any experience with how much something like this would cost to install. House is 1100 sq ft and bedrooms have no insulation in the walls. We do though have new energy efficient windows in the whole house.

thanks
 

merk

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Sorry i forgot to mention that - crawl space under the floor and attic
 

nealtw

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I would leave the gas until you know you have enough power from solar and just add a 24" baseboard heater under the window in each bedroom. You need room in the breaker box for a double breaker.
 

merk

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Yeah I wouldn't pull the gas heater out until probably next year since spring is around the corner. That way if the elec doesn't cut it, we can use the gas as a supplement.

I dont think a breaker will be an issue. We just had the wiring in the house redone and that included new subpanel in the garage and new main panel outside. there are 3 and 2 consecutive slots open in the subpanel. Does each unit need it's own circuit? or would they all be on the same circuit?

I'm assuming this is a relatively simple install process - basically screwing the units into the floor/wall and then running wires back to the panel. Aside from the cost of the units (which seem to run between $50 and $100, unless i go hydronic which i dont think i need) i'm guessing this would be a couple of hours of work for an electrician, so under $1000 to install?
 

nealtw

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One double pole breaker and wire sized to fit the draw will do the job. You can hook up a thermostat on an inside wall of each room but the wire has to go there too. Or you can go with dial on the unit.
They screw to the wall usually right at the floor but running wires from the crawl space should be easy with out insulation in the wall. Biggest cost will be labor. I would leave the molding and just go above.
 

Sparky617

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You could run duct work in either the attic or crawlspace, this is of course sight unseen on my part. But assuming access for someone to move around it would be possible. My ducts and HVAC unit for the second floor are in my unconditioned attic. The first floor ducts and unit are in the basement.

Given your mild climate a high efficiency heat pump could be a viable option to gas. Not sure of the operating cost difference between the two though as a lot would depend on your electric rates and gas rates.

Rough guess, you're looking at $5k plus. You need to get a couple of quotes. Another option that wouldn't require ducts would be a mini-split system. http://energy.gov/energysaver/ductless-mini-split-heat-pumps
 

merk

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For the thermostat, I was hoping/planning on installing some sort of smart control system - something like Nest or something similar. Do you happen to know if that will work with these systems? Otherwise at the very least we'll put thermostats in each room so we can set the temp based on time of day.
 

merk

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You could run duct work in either the attic or crawlspace, this is of course sight unseen on my part. But assuming access for someone to move around it would be possible. My ducts and HVAC unit for the second floor are in my unconditioned attic. The first floor ducts and unit are in the basement.

Given your mild climate a high efficiency heat pump could be a viable option to gas. Not sure of the operating cost difference between the two though as a lot would depend on your electric rates and gas rates.

Rough guess, you're looking at $5k plus. You need to get a couple of quotes. Another option that wouldn't require ducts would be a mini-split system. http://energy.gov/energysaver/ductless-mini-split-heat-pumps
So you're suggesting some type of forced air system? Is there a reason you suggest that over elec base board? Seems like the install costs for the base board would be a lot cheaper and require less substantial changes to the interior of the house.
 

Sparky617

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Forced air if you want AC along with heat. Given the mild climate in the SF Bay area AC is probably highly optional.
 

Sparky617

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Yeah I dont think we really need AC.
If you don't need or want AC baseboard electric would be the cheapest to install and maintain. Most expensive to run. I'd keep the gas and supplement it with the baseboard. Unless the gas unit is at end of life and becoming expensive to maintain.
 

nealtw

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Yeah I dont think we really need AC.
There maybe a better way to go, with hot water.
I will ask Bud to drop by and explain how they set up hot water heat with a water tank.
But these new fancy tanks do work off solar power.
[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8nR8We9Qdo[/ame]

Hot water heat can be installed below the floor above insulation.
 

bud16415

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We put hot water heat using baseboard units in my nephews house and used a regular 40 gallon water heater gas fired to supply the hot water worked out great and is going on 20 winters now in Northern Pa. easy to zone and control rooms with electric valves and a circulating pump. The system we designed isn’t under pressure we have a stand pipe that holds water and looses maybe a quart of water per winter. We have a water valve to fill the system and he turns it on for a couple seconds in the fall till water comes out the stand pipe and that’s it. We did his with PVC but I would use PEX now it would be really simple to install. Heat is instant as the tank is always at temp when the system is running and goes out at maybe 180 and comes back at 170 so there isn’t a lot of run time heating water. Nothing builds up in the tank as the same water stays in the system.

Just a thought as Neal invited me to comment.
 

nealtw

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We put hot water heat using baseboard units in my nephews house and used a regular 40 gallon water heater gas fired to supply the hot water worked out great and is going on 20 winters now in Northern Pa. easy to zone and control rooms with electric valves and a circulating pump. The system we designed isn’t under pressure we have a stand pipe that holds water and looses maybe a quart of water per winter. We have a water valve to fill the system and he turns it on for a couple seconds in the fall till water comes out the stand pipe and that’s it. We did his with PVC but I would use PEX now it would be really simple to install. Heat is instant as the tank is always at temp when the system is running and goes out at maybe 180 and comes back at 170 so there isn’t a lot of run time heating water. Nothing builds up in the tank as the same water stays in the system.

Just a thought as Neal invited me to comment.
Thanks Bud: A friend has a similar system with red pex tacked to the floor joists, it works good but I have never looked at it.
 

bud16415

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Thanks Bud: A friend has a similar system with red pex tacked to the floor joists, it works good but I have never looked at it.
I am surprised more people haven’t figured it out using a water heater instead of a boiler with all those pressure tanks and stuff. when we built his house we left room and did the plumbing for 3 tanks. One for domestic hot water and thinking he might need 2 to heat the house. We just hooked up one and he never saw the need for the second one. His house is a full 2 story 10’ high first floor that is a shop and living above with 8’ ceilings 24x48. the hot water heats the second floor and some of the shop he also has a wood burner down there he uses. Around here its not uncommon to see negative 30f in the winter so in a place with mild winters a water heater tank system would hardly run much at all.
 

merk

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The main reason i was leaning towards the electric heaters is it sounds like it would be cheaper/quicker to install. I think i might even be able to do it myself (with a few tips from you guys - probably wont do it myself though). Cost to run isn't really an issue since the other reason i'm thinking electric would be if we went with solar panels. It would add another panel or two to the installation but would pay for itself after a couple of years.

We're not installing solar right away so we wont be doing anything with the heat right away either. Just trying to get some information for now.
 
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