Nearly everything you do in your home consumes energy. Daily tasks like drying clothes, cooking, and heating your home consume energy. Most homes throughout the U.S. use electricity or natural gas as the primary energy source. Today, environmental concerns are rising, causing many homeowners to adopt eco-friendly modifications such as switching from gas to electric appliances to limit their carbon footprint.
One of the latest trends involves performing whole-home electrification if you want to do what you can to protect the environment. This process allows you to move from natural gas to electricity as your sole energy source.
More than 25% of homes in the U.S. run entirely on electric power, most of which are located in the South. The amount of work that needs to be done depends on your home’s current extent of electrification.
What It Means to Electrify a Home
As renewable energy becomes increasingly popular, more homeowners are looking to electrify everything in order to switch to clean energy sources. An example of electrification in a home is replacing a gas furnace with a heat pump. To take it a step further, you could also install solar panels on your roof to power your home with renewable energy.
How Homes Benefit from Electrification
While electrification isn’t the perfect solution for every homeowner, it does offer numerous benefits. These benefits become even more apparent as clean energy availability on a large scale increases.
Switching from gas to electric appliances can also help you increase home safety. Even though gas leaks are rare, one common issue in homes that use natural gas involves poor indoor air quality. Even basic activities like cooking or boiling water on a gas stove can result in harmful emissions being sent into the air. In comparison, electric appliances don’t consist of open flames, require gas lines, or release harmful emissions.
There are numerous tax incentives and rebates that you can gain access to when you electrify your home. The Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022 provides a rebate of up to $8,000 for electrification purchases, which include everything from wiring upgrades to electric appliance installations. These rebates can stack to a total of $14,000. You can also save as much as $4,000 when upgrading your electrical panel to accommodate the higher energy demand that occurs when obtaining whole-home electrification.
Electric Versions of Common Gas Household Appliances and Tools
Water heaters and gas furnaces release more carbon emissions than any other home appliance. While they aren’t as harmful, gas-powered lawn tools, fireplaces, and gas stoves also create considerable emissions. You can replace all of these tools and appliances with electric alternatives that produce zero emissions. These appliances will also be safer to use and more affordable to operate.
The first change you should think about making is to switch over to an electric heat pump. Heat pumps are highly efficient since they use only a small amount of energy to transfer heat. These high-efficiency heat pumps are regularly used for air conditioning and heating. They can be installed in the coldest climates and are able to deliver consistent indoor temperatures. Once installed, your home should emit around eight tons less CO2 each year.
You can avoid producing up to three tons of carbon emissions each year and reduce your energy bills by replacing your gas water heater with a heat pump water heater. While these units have the same appearance as conventional water heaters, they use much less energy. This appliance can last anywhere from 8-15 years if you properly maintain it.
Outdoor Gas Tools
You should also take steps to have your tools electrified. Homeowners burn more than one billion gallons of gasoline each year when tending to their yards. A high amount of this gasoline is spilled onto the ground.
Dirty fuel filters also contribute to the amount of toxic waste that reaches landfills. You can avoid the frustrations of maintaining gas engines by moving to electric lawn tools, whether they use an extension cord or are battery-powered. These tools start instantly and emit much less noise when operated.
Other Major Appliances
Electric fireplace inserts deliver the same type of heating as gas fireplaces during the winter season. They can produce realistic flames and have precise temperature controls. Another reason to switch over to an electric fireplace insert is that you’ll have no need for a chimney.
While the most common electrification enhancements in a home involve space heating, hot water, and cooking systems, you can also electrify your clothes dryer. If your laundry room is currently outfitted with a gas-powered dryer, it’s easy to have it substituted for an electric unit that takes up less space and helps you reduce your monthly energy bill.
Another option is to replace your propane BBQs and gas stoves with electric BBQs and induction cooking. Induction ranges can heat faster than gas and have more accurate temperature controls. These appliances are also considerably easier to keep clean and will reduce harmful contaminants that build up in your indoor air. Electric BBQs never need to be refueled.
Services Commonly Provided During Whole-home Electrification
When you request whole-home electrification services, the work doesn’t solely involve replacing old gas appliances with new electric ones. Some areas may require rewiring to accommodate new electric appliances.
There are also times when adding too many electric appliances at the same time can create issues with the home’s primary electrical panel. This panel can be upgraded by our electricians to accommodate larger loads of energy.
When we first evaluate your home before the electrification process, we’ll determine if your home will need electrical upgrades. Because you will have more electric appliances in the home, you might experience issues with the home’s primary electrical panel. In some cases, the electric panel may need to be upgraded to accommodate this increased load. Also, if your home’s existing electrical system shows signs of wear, your home may require some rewiring before installing new appliances.
While undergoing whole-home electrification, you should consider protecting your electric appliances. For instance, our team at AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical offers whole-home surge protection, which ensures that your electrical appliances and devices are protected in the event of a power surge. Because your home will have higher electricity demands after whole-home electrification, surge protection may be required.
Challenges to Look Out For
Likely the most challenging aspect of whole-home electrification is the retrofitting process. This involves removing and replacing old appliances with new electric ones and properly dealing with gas lines. Old appliances and components in a home will need to be safely dismantled and disposed of to make sure that everyone in the home remains safe.
If you believe that your home would benefit from whole-home electrification, our electricians can start transitioning your home to all electric appliances immediately. Before the project begins, our team will evaluate your Farmington Hills, MI home to identify how much work needs to be done and what the project will cost.
Here at AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical, we also offer HVAC repair and installation services, indoor air quality services, and installation services for water filters. Our drain cleaning services will help prevent blockages and allow water to flow easily. Call AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical today to learn more and start the process for a more sustainable whole-home electrification.