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What are the advantages and disadvantages of electric heating?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of electric heating over oil or gas?

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Manage My Life
Advantages of Electric Heat

Electric heating has several advantages when compared to gas or oil furnaces and boilers. These include -

The temperature can be controlled easily room by room or zone by zone.

Electric heating systems are generally less expensive to purchase and install than others.

If several space heaters are used, the house will not be thrown into a no-heat condition by the failure of one unit.

Electric heat is quick to respond.

Electric heat is clean (at least from the homeowner's perspective).

Electric heat can be added on a localized basis to heat specific cool areas.

Electric heat can take up less space in the house than other conventional systems (assuming space heaters are used).

There is no chimney, so there is no off-cycle loss when the system is at rest.

The system is safe because there is no combustion process. There is no chance of flames starting a fire or having combustion products contaminate the air.

Electric heat can be very quiet.

In most electric heating systems, there are few moving parts.

Disadvantages of Electric Heating

There are a few disadvantages, but the one that always rises to the surface is -

Expensive to operate

. In many areas of North America, the cost of electricity makes it expensive to use as a heating fuel. It is not unusual for electric heat to cost 11/2 to 2 times as much as gas heating, for example.

The other disadvantages are -

With space heaters, we can't easily provide central

filtration, humidification

or

cooling

. However, this is also true of boilers and radiant heating, for example, no matter which fuel is used to generate the heat. Electric

furnaces

, of course, do have the opportunity to provide central filtration, humidification and cooling.

Some people would suggest that the

electrical hazard of shock and fire

caused by electricity is an issue. However, since this is already an issue in homes because of the electrical distribution system, most people do not feel that this adds considerably to the hazard of the house.

Electric heat requires a

larger electrical service

than normal. There is a cost associated with this.
by Manage My Life
April 26th, 2007
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