From switching to an electric vehicle (EV) to swapping out your gas stove for a convection one, more and more homeowners are making the switch to electric power. Whether your primary motivation is cutting costs or moving towards environmentally-friendly (and safer) power sources, electrifying your home is the perfect solution. In this article, we’ll cover what you need to know about home electrification, including the benefits and what you actually need to replace to go electric.
- Whole home electrification means that everything in your home is powered by electricity, whether it comes from the grid or your own home solar system.
- To electrify your home, you’ll likely need to replace a few things, such as your HVAC system, your stove, and even your car.
- Looking to electrify your home and save money long-term? Head to the EnergySage Marketplace to receive multiple quotes for installing solar on your property.
What’s in this article?
- What does electrifying your home mean?
- What do you need to replace to electrify your home?
- Benefits of electrifying your home
What does electrifying your home mean?
You may hear the phrase “electrifying your home” and ask yourself, “doesn’t my house already have electricity?” You’re correct – your home has lights, appliances, and more that already run on electricity. But, when people talk about electrifying their homes, they’re referring to whole home electrification, aka operating your entire home on power from the electric grid, or better yet, your own home solar system!
Electrifying your home may involve taking out a natural gas heating system and replacing it with more efficient, electric heat pumps. In addition to replacing a natural gas heating system, you would also replace a gas stove with a convection one, removing the need for the use of natural gas in your home entirely. This is just one example of the changes that you could make to fully electrify your home (more on this later). To better understand how much electricity it’ll take to power your whole home, check out this article.
What do you need to replace to electrify your home?
If you want to get started on electrifying your home, you probably have some things to replace! These can range from your stove to your entire home heating system, or even your car. Here’s a list of the major things you should be thinking about replacing to electrify your home.
For a long time, many homeowners were installing gas stoves and ovens, so you’ll find them in many recently renovated and newly-built homes. However, now, a lot of people are starting to move away from wanting gas appliances in their kitchens due to environmental and safety concerns and are instead installing induction stovetops. Induction stoves are powered by electricity and are also safer than older electric stoves because they don’t hold onto residual heat after they’re turned off. Swapping out a gas stove for an induction one is a great first step toward electrifying your home.
Heating (and cooling) system
Is your heating system outdated? Is it gas powered? If your answer was yes to either of those, another step in home electrification you can take is to replace your outdated and/or gas-powered heating system with electric heating, specifically air source heat pumps. These are an efficient and effective way to heat your home, and to add an air conditioning system to your home if you don’t already have it.
Heat pump technology is continuously improving to be as efficient as possible, which can save you money on utility bills while also making your home a more comfortable place year-round. The installation process for heat pumps is fairly simple, and can often be completed in a few hours after an initial consultation, making it a fairly painless process to upgrade your HVAC system to an efficient and electric option.
Hot water heater
In addition to replacing your HVAC system, you should check to see if your home’s hot water heater is powered with gas or electricity. If it’s the former, you can easily replace it with an electric hot water heater, and if it is the latter, you can look into upgrading your system further for better efficiency (or even replacing it with a solar hot water heating system). Solar hot water heaters use heat from the sun to warm up your home’s water – they’re a great way to harness solar energy to further your home’s electrification journey.
Depending on how the rest of your home is set up (such as having gas heating), your dryer may be gas-powered as well. When you’re checking out your stove and hot water heater, don’t forget to look at the type of energy your dryer is using to dry your clothing. You can update it and replace it with an electric dryer at the same time as everything else.
If you’ve electrified other major appliances and systems in your home, another step you can take in your home electrification process is to purchase an EV. You’ll save money on gas, and can charge your car overnight while you sleep. Almost all electric cars on the market now have a range that’s suitable for the average American family, so you won’t have to worry about stopping to charge it constantly. While charging an EV can make your electricity bill increase overall, you’ll see savings in what you were previously spending on gas to drive your old car. And, if you want to offset those charging costs, you can always install solar panels on your property to power your EV with free electricity produced by the sun!
Your electrical panel serves as the connection point for all of these electrical upgrades. So, depending on the size of your current electrical panel, there’s a good chance you’ll need an upgrade or you’ll need to add a subpanel to support higher electrical loads! This is also a great time to add an energy management system, which allows you to both monitor and control your electricity usage. Energy management systems come in a variety of forms, such as a new smart electrical panel like Span or smart subpanel like Lumin.
Other energy-efficient upgrades
In addition to large upgrades like appliances, HVAC systems, and vehicles, there are minor upgrades that you can make around your home to make sure it is operating as efficiently as possible. For starters, you’ll want to make sure your appliances are Energy Star certified, meaning they’re energy efficient and don’t use a lot of excess electricity.
Benefits of electrifying your home
By electrifying your home, you’re immediately making your house more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and safer. You’re also likely to see long-term savings as a result of the upgrades you’ll be making. Here’s an overview of the key benefits of electrification:
In the process of electrifying your home, you’ll be replacing appliances that are older with newer and more efficient appliances. All of the changes from gas to electric appliances that we covered above are more efficient, and can be easily monitored with a home energy management system to maximize their efficiency. Even if you already have electric appliances, you should consider replacing them if they are fairly old in order to have your electrified home operate as efficiently as possible.
About 20 percent of the energy provided by the United States electric grid comes from renewable sources, and that number is continuing to increase! By powering your home completely with electricity, you’re reducing the demand for natural gas. If you install a solar system on your home, you’ll be able to power your home with energy from the sun, furthering the environmental benefits of your whole home electrification. You can also subscribe to a community solar farm to save about 5-15 percent annually on electricity, while supporting the development of clean energy in your community.
Electrifying your home can be a major safety upgrade, especially if you’re replacing a gas stove with an electric one. In addition to the open flame of a gas stove, you also run the risk of leaving the gas on without lighting the stove, leaking dangerous natural gasses into your home. If you have younger children, or are just slightly forgetful one day, this is an easy mistake to make! Making the switch to an induction stove can increase the safety of your house – especially because newer electric cooking appliances quickly cool down – giving you greater peace of mind.
Through electrifying your home, you can also be setting yourself up for some long-term significant savings! By using smart home energy management systems and updated appliances to run your home as efficiently as possible, fully electrifying your home can save you up to $2,500 per year according to a study published in 2020 by Rewiring America. After a few years, those savings will really start to add up!
Start electrifying your home today
Ready to get started electrifying and upgrading your home? Installing a solar system on your property is a great way to maximize the benefits of electrifying your home. Shop the EnergySage Marketplace to start producing electricity right at home! EnergySage provides you with free quote comparisons from local installers to help you find a solar system that fits both your energy and budget needs.