We are new homeowners in SE virginia. The house was built in 1986, and all of the appliances are reaching the end of their usable life. In addition, there seem to be more than the usual number of tax credits and deals being offered.
Right now we have:
- Electric heat pump heat that did just fine in the fall, but during the coldest days of the winter (which in this area is when it is consistently below freezing but not much below) it hasn’t been keeping up. However, a small space heater has taken the edge off and I can live with it a while longer now.
- Electric water heater that may or may not already be deceased.
- Electric air conditioner that absolutely needs replacing anyway before next summer. I’m pretty sure it is connected to the heat pump unit in some way so we could replace both at the same time.
- A glasstop electric stove that I, a cooking geek, hate with a fiery passion that well exceeds the fireability of the stove itself. Natural gas to cook with is capital-A-Awesome.
The house currently has no natural gas and never has as far as we know. In addition, the house is set back quite a ways from the road, so we’d have higher than normal costs to run a line from the main. Our local natural gas company offers line installation discounts when you upgrade multiple appliances at once, presumably because you use more gas that way in the long run. I can get specific numbers on that from my husband if the math hangs in the balance. The house is between 2,500 and 3,000 square feet but I don’t know if that includes the garage or not (it’s an elongated ranch layout). For now it is just the two of us but kids are on the way sometime in the next decade or so.
My husband is from an area where natural gas is relatively cheap and electricity is relatively expensive. He’s convinced that converting now will save us soooo much money but hasn’t been able to show me numbers to that effect (or of any kind).
I’m hesitant to put such a big investment into fossil fuels. My understanding is that the local source for electricity is also deriived from fossil fuels, but my thinking is that electrical appliances will keep running no matter what the source changes to, but natural gas will just keep dminishing in supply and going up in price. We’ll have a big investment to cover, with the possibility that the differential in price will continue to diminish.
My husband thinks none of this will make a difference for the life of the appliances, and we can go back to electric in 20 years if we need to.
So, **worth it **or not worth it?