Both buying a new home, and making over the one you already have, are exciting projects. Speaking to the former, the 2010 census shows the rate of Traverse City’s population growth up more than five percent over the 2000 population survey, suggesting property sales should increase in step. Whether moving into one of those new-builds, or carrying out substantial renovations to a home you already have, it’s going to be decisions all the way. One of the most important is between heating systems, so it’s vital to understand the choices.
Burning either natural gas or propane is the most common way of producing heat, largely because it’s cheaper to buy a unit of heating energy in the form of natural gas than in either oil or electricity. Because the technology is so commonplace, gas-fueled systems have a high reputation for reliability. But there are a couple of downsides:
- Since gas is just as combustible when leaking as when controlled inside an appliance, there is a remote risk of fire or explosion anywhere along the supply line
- Most gas-fueled systems require electricity to function, so a power outage can mean you’re without heating even when gas supply is unaffected
In an electric system, the air to be heated is moved over an electric coil, rather than through a furnace. Although the fuel costs more per unit of heat, this initial outlay is somewhat moderated by the potential to achieve 100 percent efficiency (in that every unit of energy consumed as fuel is returned as heated air), while – because of venting exhaust fumes – even the most efficient gas-fueled unit wastes some energy.
Aside from the higher fuel cost, the downside of electricity usage is largely environmental; much electricity is generated by burning some form of fossil fuel, so there are a number of unseen “costs.”
Installation or Renovation
Both heating systems work with new installation and with renovations, so getting sound advice from your contractor is vital. In Grand Traverse County and surrounding areas, the only choice is Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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