Electric Heat Options 
  For Electric Customers

Electric baseboard heat
Electric baseboard heat operates by converting electrical energy into heat. The heating element inside every electric heater is simply an electrical resistor. It works on the principle of an electric current flowing through a resistor that converts electrical energy into heat energy. If you are planning a home expansion, using an electric baseboard heater may be an option other than the expense of upgrading an existing heating system and expanding the duct work to the new addition.

Forced Air
A forced air electric furnace operates by using a fan to blow air over heating elements. As the air moves over the elements the heat is forced through the ducts into each room of your home. While this is one of the most common types of electric furnaces, according to the DOE it's also one of the least energy efficient due to air cooling as it moves through the duct. Some ducts may have gaps and cracks at the joints and registers allowing warm air to escape, reducing efficiency. The leaks allow warm air to escape into non-living spaces such as a basement, inside a wall or up in the attic.

An oil-electric furnace is a combination of an oil furnace that has electric heating elements. This type of furnace allows the majority of heating to be done with only the electric elements. Oil heating is used for supplemental heating when conditions outside are very cold and the electric elements can’t keep up with the heat demand.

Heat Pump
A heat pump uses an electric motor to drive a refrigeration cycle, drawing energy from a source such as the ground or outside air and directing it into the space to be warmed. Some systems can be reversed so the interior space is cooled and the warm air is discharged outside or into the ground. Learn more about heat pumps on the Energy.gov website.

Air Source Heat Pump
An air source heat pump works by removing heat from the air outside and pumping it into your home. Although the air outside may seem cold, air above absolute zero contains heat that can be used by the system. The energy efficiency of an air source heat pump decreases as the outside temperature drops which is why many air source heat pumps include a supplemental gas or electric heating element. Learn more about heat pumps on the Energy.gov website.

Ground Source Heat Pump
A ground source heat pump works similarly to the air source heat pump but pulls heat from the ground instead of the air. This type of heat pump is much more efficient than the air source heat pump system since the underground temperature is generally more stable.
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