If you’d like to reduce your home’s carbon footprint while saving some money in the process, you should look at building an electric home or retrofitting your existing house with electric technologies.
An electric home can save you money by reducing your energy bill, while simultaneously helping the environment and improving the air quality inside of your home, according to Southern California Edison.
It’s a great way to live a greener life and put some money back in your pocket. Here’s what you should know about electric homes.
What is an Electric Home?
You might be wondering what the difference is between an electric home and a normal home. After all, your home likely has access to electricity and appliances or devices that run on electricity.
Basically, it comes down to whether or not your home uses gas, according to Grist.org. Have a traditional stovetop? That’s probably gas-powered. Your water heater likely runs on gas, as well.
An all-electric home is a house that swaps anything powered by gas for electric home appliances. Think of using an electric heat pump water heater or induction stove rather than a standard stove top using natural gas to cook your meals. Efficient electric homes may also swap a standard natural gas heating system for an HVAC heat pump, which moves heat rather than create it.
The Pros of an Electric Home
There are a number of significant benefits to an electric home. They can save you money, reduce your carbon emissions, and put an end to the major sources of indoor air pollution, according to Greencoast.org.
First up, all-electric home cost. A recent research report by the Rocky Mountain Institute found that all-electric homes saved money over mixed fuel homes. In fact, net cost savings over a 15-year period could be as high as $6,800 a year. (That accounts for startup costs, too.)
Electric homes are, as you might expect, much more eco-friendly. They can significantly reduce the carbon emissions that your home produces because no fuel is being burned onsite. While there are considerations to be had about how clean your electric grid is, an electric home is hands-down greener than one with gas-powered appliances.
Additionally, the major sources of indoor pollutions are stoves, heaters, fireplaces, and chimneys. If you cut out the gas appliances in these areas, you’ll be reducing the amount of air pollution in your home. That’s important because chances are you spend a great deal of time there. As an added bonus, electric homes generally have better overall performance. Cleantechnica indicates that electric appliances offer more control and precision than gas counterparts and are generally quieter.
All-electric Home Cost
Generally, an electric home is cheaper to build and occupy in the United States. That might sound counterintuitive because gas is generally cheaper than electricity, and retrofitting your home with new electric appliances might be costly upfront.
However, according to the RMI study, the construction of an electric home will reduce overall homeowner costs over the lifetime of appliances compared to those that are gas-powered. Additionally, new electrified homes won’t need gas mains, meters, or other gas-related construction considerations.
You’ll likely also save money if you’re retrofitting an existing house. The RMI research indicates that customers who switched away from propane and heating oil, gas customers who need to replace furnaces and air conditioners, and customers who bundle rooftop solar panels with an electric home could all stand to save money.
If you’re concerned about environmental impact and saving some money, it’s likely that you’re also considering sustainable energy production like solar panels. It makes the most sense for consumers to pair an electric home with renewable energy options, such as a solar energy solution or the air powered ECap Rack from Alternative Sustainability.
Electric Home Appliances
As mentioned, the key differentiator of an all-electric home comes down to the appliances. If you’re looking to electrify your home, you’ll need to look at purchasing electric alternatives to traditional gas-powered appliances.
Some of the key technologies needed in the electrification of a home include the following:
- Heat Pump Water Heater: Gas water heaters account for a significant portion of home energy use. You will likely be looking at hundreds of dollars of savings with electric hot water heaters, which generally use less power. Do know that many contractors may be unfamiliar with electric water heaters, since they’re relatively new compared to some other electric appliances.
- Induction stove: Many homes come outfitted with either gas stoves or electric coils. Neither of those options are as efficient as an induction stovetop. These cooktops can match gas stoves with their ability to change their heat quickly. They also create heat far more rapidly and are more precise in their heating capabilities.
- Heat pumps: One of the most effective ways to go green and save money is to ditch your traditional heating or air conditioning system and opt for a heat pump. Rather than creating hot or cold air, heat pumps move existing air in the environment. All electric home heating is at least four times more efficient than other options.
- Fireplace: Fireplaces can be dangerous and produce a lot of indoor air pollution. Suppose you’d like to complete your electrification process and have an electric home. In that case, it’s worth looking into an electric fireplace insert to replace your existing gas fireplace or wood-burning fireplace.
Of course, you’ll also likely consider options like a smart thermostat that can connect to a digital assistant. In addition, some people may even consider the use of solar panels or another alternative options to gas. That brings us to clean energy production as part of an electric home system.
Alternative Clean Energy Solutions
As mentioned, there are various options for providing renewable energy to an electric home. Let’s review some of the options together.
Solar panels are the current most common way of producing renewable energy at the consumer-level. If you live in a sunny climate and can afford the startup costs, they’re a great option. However, solar panels do have a number of disadvantages, including efficiency, space, and the time it takes to get a return on investment.
Low Carbon PTAC
The Low Carbon PTAC is an alternative solution to a traditional air conditioner or heat pump which uses highly efficient electric heating coils to provide cooling and heating without the need for central air. It provides better sound and thermal insulation, easy options for digital control and built-in UCV sterilization. Both businesses and homeowners can lessen their gas usage by up to 70% with the Low Carbon PTAC.
The ECap Rack works like a smaller-scale wind turbine system – and, unlike a giant wind turbine, you can install it in your home. It’s a self-contained and standalone unit that you place on, near, or inside of your building. A single ECap Rack can produce as much as 3,000 watts just by using airflow, which is as much clean energy production as 10 solar panels rated at 300 watts each. Compared to other clean energy solutions – like solar panels – they’re by far more reliable, efficient, easier to install and cheaper.
Turbine Slide Frame
The Turbine Slide Frame can be installed in any HVAC unit or ductwork and can create massive amounts of power using a building’s existing exhaust systems. Most buildings have systems for bringing air in and exhausting air out. Normally, all of that airflow is wasted, but that’s where the Turbine Slide Frame can come in as a solution.
T7 Exhaust Turbine
The T7 Exhaust Turbine can produce clean renewable energy by leveraging a building’s exhaust systems. You can replace your existing exhaust fans with the T7 Exhaust Turbine to create energy without any major retrofitting to your building’s roof.
All-Electric Home Vs Gas
All of this talk about an electric home begs the question of whether there are any benefits to traditional gas-powered appliances. While electric homes are more energy-efficient, more cost-effective, and better for the environment, it’s worth talking about some of the ways gas might be superior.
In general, natural gas is cheaper than electricity, which could become more of a factor depending on where you live. Additionally, an appliance like a gas-powered water heater can heat up water faster than its electrical counterparts.
Additionally, some contractors may be unfamiliar with electric appliances, so you’ll have to do your own digging. When you’re looking to plan an electric home during the construction phase or you’re retrofitting an existing house, having the right people for the job is essential.
It’s also expensive to go in either direction. If your home is set up for gas, buying new electric appliances will cost you, and you’ll likely have to cap your gas line, which can cost up to $350. Converting an electric home to gas can also cost upwards of $1,000 if you need to lay gas lines and purchase new gas appliances.
Why Choose Electric?
Electric homes are more cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and efficient than mixed-fuel homes — and that’s especially true if you’re taking other eco-friendly measures to reduce your carbon footprint and reliability on the electrical grid.
A home with an ECap Rack system and all-electrical appliances is a match made in heaven for both a customer’s wallet, as well as the environment and planet at large.