Replace Baseboard Heat with Electric Furnace?
LESLIE: James in Ohio is on the line with a heating question. What can we do for you today?
JAMES: Yeah, hi. I was calling in – I have an older home built in 1968. And I was wondering if it’d be easier to install an electric furnace, instead of having the baseboard heat, or possibly getting an – one of the outdoor units that mount high on your wall.
TOM: Do you have natural gas or propane or oil in your area?
JAMES: Maybe natural gas?
TOM: Yeah, that would be the way to go. I mean if you’re going through the trouble of putting a furnace in, I would definitely not put in an electric furnace because that is the most expensive way to provide heat to your house. I would suggest a high-efficiency, natural-gas furnace. The installation expense is going to be similar if you’re putting a new furnace in but the ongoing cost to run it will be a lot lower.
JAMES: Will I incur more cost because – for the ductwork? Because I have plaster walls instead of drywall.
TOM: Well, if you’re going to put an electric furnace in, you’re going to have to do the ductwork anyway. So, the ductwork is there whether or not you use an electric furnace or a gas furnace. And it really depends on how creative your HVAC contractor is but that’s a fixed cost. If you’re going through the trouble of ducting out your house, which is going to add to its value, I definitely would recommend gas.
And typically, the gas companies don’t charge to bring gas up to your house, so they’ll bring the line up and put a meter in because now you’re going to be their customer forever and they’re very happy about that.
JAMES: OK. Well, I thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, James. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.