No, it’s not possible to convert an electric heater to natural gas due to the differences in their fuel types and systems. Electric heaters use electricity to produce heat, while natural gas heaters utilize gas combustion to generate heat.
Therefore, the conversion process involves significant modifications to the system, and it’s not recommended for safety and durability reasons. Homeowners may consider converting electric heaters to natural gas because natural gas is a cheaper and cleaner-burning fuel source. However, the conversion process is not a diy job and requires professional assistance to ensure safety.
This is because electric and gas heating systems have different installation requirements and fuel types. Additionally, the process may involve extensive modifications, such as the installation of gas lines, vent pipes, and proper ventilation. Therefore, it’s essential to evaluate the costs and benefits of conversion and consult with a professional before making the decision.
Understanding The Requirements For Electric Heater Conversion To Natural Gas
Electric heaters have been a popular choice for warming up homes for decades, but they can pose some problems for homeowners in terms of affordability and energy efficiency. Many homeowners may want to convert their electric heater to natural gas, which is cheaper and more efficient than electricity, but may not understand what this process entails.
In this section, we will explore the requirements for electric heater conversion to natural gas, including:
Electric Heater Types And Their Compatibility With Conversion
Before converting an electric heater to natural gas, it’s crucial to understand if your specific heater type can be converted. Not all electric heaters can be converted, and attempting to convert the wrong type of heater could lead to dangerous gas leaks or even explosions.
Here are some common electric heater types and their compatibility with conversion:
- Baseboard heaters: Baseboard heaters cannot be converted to natural gas because they are designed to work with electricity only.
- Wall heaters: Wall heaters are generally not compatible with natural gas conversion, but some newer models include conversion kits that allow them to be converted safely.
- Infrared heaters: Infrared heaters can be converted to natural gas, but only if they were designed to be converted from electricity to gas.
Available Types Of Natural Gas To Be Used In Conversion
Once you have determined that your electric heater can be converted, the next step is to choose the type of natural gas you will use. There are two primary types of natural gas used for heating: natural gas and propane.
Both fuels have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to do your research and choose the one that best fits your needs.
- Natural gas: Natural gas is the most common type of fuel used for home heating. It is less expensive than propane and is piped directly into homes from underground lines. However, it may not be available everywhere, and converting to natural gas requires access to the gas line.
- Propane: Propane is more expensive than natural gas but is more widely available, making it an excellent option for homeowners who live in areas without access to natural gas. Propane is usually stored in an underground tank on the property and is delivered by truck.
Additional Parts And Equipment Required For Conversion
Converting an electric heater to natural gas requires some specific parts and equipment to ensure that the conversion is safe and effective. Here are some of the components you may need:
- Conversion kit: A conversion kit is a set of parts that includes a gas valve, burners, and orifices that allow an electric heater to use natural gas.
- Gas line: You will need to install a gas line from the gas source (natural gas or propane) to the converted heater.
- Gas meter: If you’re converting to natural gas, you’ll need to have a gas meter installed.
- Venting: Gas-fired heaters must be vented to the outside to remove harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide.
- Professional installation: Finally, it’s important to have a professional installer handle the conversion to ensure that it is done safely and in compliance with local codes and regulations.
Converting an electric heater to natural gas can be a smart choice for homeowners who want to save money and increase energy efficiency. However, it’s important to understand the requirements for conversion, including checking your heater type, choosing the right gas type, and having the necessary parts and equipment installed by a professional.
Steps Involved In Converting An Electric Heater To Natural Gas
Securing The Necessary Permits And Inspections
Before converting your electric heater to natural gas, you must ensure that you have the necessary permits and inspections. Failure to do so could result in penalties or even dangerous situations. Here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Contact your local municipality or government agency to determine what permits are required for the job.
- It’s important to have a licensed professional handle the conversion, as they will have the required expertise and knowledge to complete the job safely and correctly.
- You must also pass an inspection to ensure that the conversion complies with local building codes and regulations.
Disconnecting The Electric Heater
The next step involves disconnecting the electric heater from its power source. Here’s what you should do:
- Turn off the circuit breaker that powers the electric heater.
- Carefully remove the wires from the electric heater, labeling them to ensure you know how to reconnect them later.
- Disconnect the electric heater from the wall and dispose of it responsibly.
Preparing The Site For Natural Gas Installation
Once the electric heater has been removed, you’ll need to prepare the site for natural gas installation. Here are some steps to follow:
- Clean the area where the electric heater was located to ensure it’s free of any debris or obstructions.
- Locate the area where the natural gas line will enter the house.
- Prepare the area by digging a trench for the gas line and installing any required pipes or fittings.
Assembling The Necessary Equipment
Now that the site has been prepared, it’s time to assemble the necessary equipment for the conversion. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A natural gas conversion kit compatible with your specific model of heater.
- Piping and fittings that comply with local building codes and regulations.
- Tools such as wrenches, pliers, and a pipe cutter.
Installing The Natural Gas Line And Conversion Kit
Now that you have all of the necessary equipment, it’s time to install the natural gas line and conversion kit. Here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when installing the conversion kit to ensure that it’s installed correctly.
- Hire a licensed professional to install the natural gas line and connection to your home’s gas supply.
- Only use piping and fittings that comply with local building codes and regulations.
Testing The Converted Heater
Once the conversion is complete, you’ll need to test the converted heater to ensure that it’s working correctly. Here’s what you should do:
- Turn on the natural gas supply to the heater.
- Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing the heater to ensure that it’s working correctly.
- If you’re not comfortable testing the heater yourself, hire a licensed professional to do it for you.
By following these steps, you can safely and correctly convert your electric heater to natural gas. It is essential to hire a licensed professional to ensure that the conversion complies with local building codes and regulations.
Pros And Cons Of Converting An Electric Heater To Natural Gas
Is it possible to convert electric heater to natural gas? Explained.
Are you thinking of converting your electric heater to natural gas to reduce your energy bills and environmental impact? If so, you should weigh the pros and cons first. We will discuss the advantages and benefits of converting an electric heater to natural gas, potential drawbacks and considerations to keep in mind prior to conversion, and a cost comparison between electric heater and natural gas options.
Advantages And Benefits Of Converting An Electric Heater To Natural Gas
Here are the advantages and benefits of switching from an electric heater to a natural gas one:
- Lower energy bills: Natural gas prices are typically lower than electricity rates, allowing you to save money on your energy bills.
- Eco-friendly: Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel than electricity and generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions. You will reduce your environmental impact by converting to natural gas.
- Better heating experience: Natural gas heats up faster and spreads the warmth evenly throughout your home, resulting in more comfortable indoor temperatures.
- Safer: Natural gas is less likely to cause house fires than electric heaters, as it doesn’t overheat. Natural gas heaters also continue to work during power outages, which can be crucial in cold weather.
Potential Drawbacks And Considerations To Keep In Mind Prior To Conversion
Before you proceed with converting your electric heater to natural gas, you should consider the following potential drawbacks:
- High upfront cost: Converting your electric heater to natural gas can be expensive and requires professional installation.
- Availability: You need natural gas lines to run to your house to use a natural gas heater. If your location doesn’t have access to natural gas lines, you may need to install them, which adds to your costs.
- Safety: Natural gas appliances have some risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and gas leaks if not installed, used, and maintained correctly. You should hire a licensed technician to install and maintain your natural gas heater.
- Decrease in energy efficiency: Because electric heaters are 100% energy-efficient, natural gas heaters may have a lower efficiency rating, resulting in higher energy consumption.
Cost Comparison Between Electric Heater And Natural Gas Options
Cost is a critical factor in determining whether to convert your electric heater to natural gas. Here’s a cost comparison to help you make an informed decision:
- Electric heaters usually cost less to purchase and install, ranging from $200 to $500.
- Natural gas heaters are expensive to install and can cost anywhere between $1,800 to $5,000, depending on their size and complexity. However, their cheaper operating costs will save you money in the long run.
- Natural gas prices are typically lower than electricity rates, allowing you to save money on your energy bills. An average household that uses natural gas as a primary heating source spends $686 annually, while an electric heater costs $1,024 per year to run.
Converting your electric heater to natural gas has its pros and cons. While natural gas can save you money on your energy bills and reduce your environmental impact, it requires a higher upfront cost and may not be available in your location.
You should carefully evaluate your needs and budget before making a decision.
As you might have realized by now, converting an electric heater to natural gas is not a simple task. This process requires technical expertise and needs to comply with several safety standards. While it can be worth converting your heater from electric to natural gas to save money, you should consult a professional before starting.
It’s imperative to have a licensed technician install the heater to minimize the risk of safety hazards. They can effectively evaluate the feasibility of your conversion and ensure everything is installed correctly. Moreover, they can also provide valuable advice on maintenance and upkeep, minimizing the risk of breakdowns and prolonging the lifespan of your heater.
So, if you’re considering converting to natural gas, remember to rely on a professional who can provide the right guidance and expertise required to get your heater up and running efficiently.