Many of the older adult communities in our area were built before gas was available and that particular area. As a result the only choice was to use electric heat.
Now, I realize most of you think electric heaters horrible and extremely expensive. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be so. Let’s talk about a few ways to keep the heat bill Under Control if you have electric heat.
First of all, every room has a thermostat. It makes sense only to heat the rooms that you use. If you’re not using a spare bedroom, keep the door closed and keep the heat down. When you leave your bedroom in the morning, turn the heat down and close the door. 20 minutes before it’s time to go to bed, open the door and stick your arm in to turn the heat up. And then when you go to bed turn down the other rooms.
And some of the larger homes that have electric heat, you’ll find doors separating various areas of the house. Again only heat the rooms that you’re in. Just doing this will keep your heat bill a lot lower than if you don’t.
Now let’s talk about where you can get some big savings.
The electric heaters that you see on the wall at the baseboard are eighty or a hundred year old technology. The way that it works is you turn on the electric going into the unit, and you create a short circuit on the wire that goes right through the radiator, which heats up and that’s what heats the room. When you turn off the power going into the heater, it stops almost instantly.
There is a newer technology available. It looks very similar to what’s already there. It’s a baseboard heater, and it has an oil tank Inside. The oil tank is sealed, you’ll never have to replace the oil. What happens is when you turn on the electric going into the unit, instead of heating a wire, it heats the oil. And then when you turn off the electric going into the unit, the oil which has been heated continues to emit heat for quite some time.
We’ve spoken to people who have installed this system, and they’ve reported that they have cut their electric bill in half.
Wow! Cut the bill in half.
So what does it cost to do this? You need to replace all the radiators that are existing. As an estimate, the replacement heaters with the sealed oil tank are available at most home improvement stores. They 6 foot unit will cost somewhere in the lower $200 range. Installation is relatively simple. Or you can have a contractor come in and replace them all for probably about $2,000 or less. You would probably have a payback of well under 2 years.
So just because an adult community home has electric heat, don’t necessarily cross it off of your list. It could be a good viable alternative.