Convert from electric to gas?

7 Replies

I am wondering if it is worth converting my 2 family to gas.  It is currently electric and very high to heat and run appliances.  I house hacked and live in one half and rent the other.  Long term plan is to move out and have the entire home as a rental.

My electric bills for just my portion of the home is crazy high!  I would convert to two separate water heaters and furnaces for $25,000.  It is a lot of money but would cut my monthly bills substantially.  I don't pay the tenants utilities but I am wondering if gas utilities would make my home more desirable as well as being able to charge a bit more for rent.   

You would need to research your rental market to get answers to those questions. It depends entirely on your specific market. You will need to compare with similar properties in the area. Assuming you find the area is predominantly electric and the market is strong with good rental rates then there is no reason to convert. If on the other hand your competition is gas with utilities extra and their rents are on average higher you would need to do the numbers to determine the pay back on your 25K expense.

I've received a few different quotes all around 25k. The issue is with running all the new ducts. But maybe I'll shop around some more.

Why do you need new ducts?  Is the current electric heat not central, or is it just one furnace for both sides of the house?

It's probably also worth a call to the gas company to make sure they have a pipe on your street, and to see if they have any incentives/rebates.  Sometimes they have one for switching fuels, and sometimes there is one for installing a more-efficient furnace.

There is a possible alternative. Use gas wall heaters or fireplaces. They can typically be vented out through the wall. Install them only where most of your heating energy goes and leave electric heating for the other rooms. You can keep different rooms of your house at different temperatures.

Take a look at valorfireplaces.com for some ideas. Most of our house is kept fairly cool but we regularly turn on a gas fireplace to warm up a room we spend most of our time on.

The current heating is electric baseboard.  

There is actually gas to my detached garage, but not to my home.  The previous owner did this for some odd reason.  The $25,000 is the price with all rebates and incentives. 

Fireplaces are nice and all but for renters?  And in Mass our heating season is October-April.  Plus the decreased cost of running a dryer and stove.