Your heat source is likely the last thing on your mind as you prepare to remodel your home. But now is a great time to switch to electric heat sources since California has made a strong stance against new gas heaters.
By 2030, new natural gas-fired furnaces and water heaters will be prohibited in California. This plan was approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to ensure that California meets EPA ozone requirements.
You can lessen fire risks, reduce pollution, and perhaps even save money by switching to electric heating. The ideal time to make this change is during a home renovation.
Why Make the Switch from Gas to Electric Heating?
Keeping your gas furnace may seem simpler at first, but electric heat has so many benefits that it’s hard to argue against switching during your remodel. Here are a few compelling arguments for switching to electric heating.
Easier to Zone
If you’re like most homeowners in the Bay Area, you have spaces or rooms in your house that are rarely used. You can save money by easily turning on and off electric baseboard heaters in formal living rooms, workshops, and guest bedrooms. Traditional HVAC systems cannot be zoned without the installation of ductwork in advance.
Electric heating is far more environmentally friendly. There is no combustion process or emission of hazardous flue gases in an electric heating system.
Electric heat is generally safer than gas heat because it doesn’t require fuel to produce heat. If you have been a Bay Area resident for some time, you probably recall the horrific gas line explosion in San Bruno that completely destroyed a neighborhood.
Gas furnaces and heaters can emit a dull roaring sound when in use. Electric heat is significantly quieter. The only drawback is not knowing whether the heat is on.
Smart Home Benefits
If you enjoy the advantages of modern Smart Home gadgets, you can control a contemporary electric heating system via your phone. This enables you to regulate the heat output and modify the temperature in each room separately. Only using your heater when you are at home will help you save money. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can design schedules that are tailored to the requirements of your family. Keep in mind that not all electric heaters are “smart” when choosing heaters to make sure you get what you want in the long run.
You will probably get more years out of an electric furnace if you purchase one. Gas furnaces only last 10 to 15 years, whereas electric furnaces can last more than 20 years. Less parts are susceptible to failure in electric furnaces.
No Vents Required
For forced-air gas furnaces, you need heat vents in each room that are connected to ducts in your walls, floors, and ceilings. If you’ve ever noticed that a room could feel chilly even with the heat on, look at the vents. There are fewer vents in older homes (and occasionally in installations done by unprofessional HVAC contractors).
Instead of the obtrusive vents needed for gas heaters, you and your designer can create a ductless electric heat system that is more contemporary. It provides a cleaner finish, which is especially important in today’s open floorplans.
How to Change from Gas to Electric Heat
In order to switch from a gas furnace to an electric furnace, the existing heating system must be entirely replaced. Before switching, take into account the following.
- Work with an architect who is knowledgeable about eco-friendly construction. This is not a job for a contractor whose plans are drawn by a junior draftsman. You need someone experienced at the beginning of your project.
- To disconnect your home from the neighborhood’s main gas line, plan to hire a HVAC specialist. They should remove any boilers, water lines, and radiators as part of their services and adhere to all local and state laws.
- The removal of the gas meter and subsequent capping of the gas supply are the responsibilities of your energy provider (PG&E). A gas supply may be shut off or the gas line that passes through your property may be completely removed. Make sure your contractor is aware of your plans because scheduling, permitting, and inspections can all take time.
- You may need to remove the gas lines as well as update the electrical connections to the furnace and any in-room units.
- Depending on your other HVAC system needs, you may wish to upgrade the ductwork on your existing system. Your HVAC professional will know whether what you currently have will work with your new electric furnace and what you will need to maintain for the rest of your HVAC systems, such as air conditioning.
Plan for a Smooth Transition to Electric Heat
When switching from gas to electric heat, having a team of professionals on hand is critical.
Drafting Cafe Architects understands how many decisions you must make when remodeling your home. We have years of experience helping our clients become more energy efficient and smarter with their energy choices, in addition to our knowledge of trends and styles. Contact us to discuss your remodeling plans.