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All-electric homes are safer, more environmentally friendly  Smart Choices Archive

All-electric homes are safer, more environmentally friendly

Image: Touchstone Energy

Your Efficient, Comfortable, Safe Home

Thinking about replacing your heating and cooling system (HVAC)? What about a new stove, clothes dryer or water heater? If so, are you considering electric appliances rather than propane, natural gas, kerosene or oil? You should be.

Here are 8 reasons why an all-electric home is in your own best interest:

  • Newer electric heat pump technologies require less supplemental backup than older models and are now capable of heating to lower temperatures. Heat pumps use energy three to five times more efficiently than old electric and natural gas options. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about cold-climate heat pumps and mini-split technology. And of course, be sure to consider a geothermal heating and cooling unit, as geo is considered to be a renewable fuel, as well as providing safe, energy-efficient heating and cooling.

  • There are also updated versions of electric cooking stoves and water heaters. Stovetop induction technology is a huge advance in energy efficiency and speed, making cooking a whole new adventure. Energy-efficient water heaters can be linked to heat pumps so you can receive “free” hot water through your heat pump HVAC system. Prices are also coming down on these new technologies, while efficiency is rising.

  • Fossil fuel appliances produce carbon monoxide, which must be vented to avoid danger to inhabitants of the home. You’ve probably heard of people who have become very ill or died because of a malfunction in a furnace, cooking stove or portable heater fueled by a fossil fuel. That’s because carbon monoxide is odorless, and those affected by it often can’t tell they are being poisoned. While carbon monoxide alarms do help “catch” the problem, they aren’t failsafe, especially if you forget to check them and fail to change batteries regularly. And, some experts say, gas appliances may produce more pollutants that can affect respiratory tracts and cause other health issues.

  • Experts, such as the those at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) have compared the cost of building new homes with all-electric features vs. connecting to gas in various cities. They discovered that all-electric homes saved money in each case. The homes were cheaper to build and were also less expensive to operate once occupants moved in. Read their finding here.

  • Performance can be better in all-electric appliance technologies as they offer more control and precision than many clunky gas versions. For example, induction stoves offer a high degree of temperature control. Most electric appliances are also quieter than the gas-powered versions.

  • The cost of fossil fuels is predicted to rise over the coming years as supply of the fuels decreases. It’s getting more difficult to safely extract oil and natural gas from the ground, and as these industries face environmental roadblocks, it’s natural to turn to the more energy-efficient electricity as a safe alternative. In contrast, electricity production is getting cleaner and cleaner. More and more electrical production is turning toward cleaner renewables such as solar and wind.

  • As we look ahead to the future, all-electric homes have the potential to someday be fueled primarily by renewable energy, unlike any fossil fuel-based home or business. 

  • We support our members in the move toward all-electric homes. Contact us for more information on incentives for electric-based appliances and HVAC systems, as well as to discuss in more depth the advantages of an all-electric home.

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