Rental apartment heating options

5 Replies

Hi

We have a 8-unit building and it uses centralized gas heating, in winter season, we're paying around $800 each month in gas cost, in non-winter season it's about $300 in gas. We want to replace our current gas heating and reduce the gas cost. 

There are 3 units sharing the same electricity meter. The other 5 units have separate electricity meter. We want to separate the electricity meter for the 3 units, also separate the heating for each unit as well. 

I checked online, seems cost of heating by electricity (for example, baseboard heating) is 4 times of heating by gas, is that true? What heating options do you suggest? Thank you!

yes, gas heat is more efficient than electric.  you should consider upgrading your insulation (especially in the attic) and weatherproofing all doors and windows, too.

3-4 times for electric heat over gas heat is about right in Ontario. Cathy is right, insulation (and window replacement) is most likely the easiest way to save monthly heating costs. 

It's odd that you have summer gas costs - do you have gas hot water as well?

I would suggest moving away from the arctic circle. But seriously, Cathy is right. For starters, you need to get your insulation "R" factor up. Put at least 12" of insulation in the attic, I'd do 18". What kind of windows does it have? If it's an older building, I wouldn't be surprised if it's got single pane windows. They're unbelievably inefficient. If they're single pane, may want to consider a dual-pane, argon gas - filed window. I bought about 50 of them for an 11k RSF office building I have in Houston. That coupled with radiant barrier , and in July, my electric AC bill is $450. 

Chris, We have hot water heating by gas as well. Any suggestion of other approaches? Thank you!

Originally posted by @Chris Habets :

3-4 times for electric heat over gas heat is about right in Ontario. Cathy is right, insulation (and window replacement) is most likely the easiest way to save monthly heating costs. 

It's odd that you have summer gas costs - do you have gas hot water as well?

Originally posted by @Minna Hu :
Chris, We have hot water heating by gas as well. Any suggestion of other approaches? Thank you!

I think it would be expensive to install, but you could consider a "hydronic" heating/hot water system. That can increase efficiency from ~90% (assuming a relatively new furnace and hot water tank) to ~97%. But this would be a major change, and the best thing you can do is replace windows and insulation. I'd guess you could save 5-10% on costs with the "hydronic" system and 30-50% with windows and insulation.

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