How to Keep Your Tenants Warm and Happy: Gas Versus Electric Heaters
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” - Edith Sitwell
Everyone loves to curl up at home during winter. However, you're here because you’re planning on installing a new heating system for your rental property so your tenants remain happy. There’s no better feeling in the world is there?
Of course, you can’t proceed without weighing the pros and cons of the two obvious options - gas and electricity. Well, now that you’ve trusted us for a solution, worry no more and keep scrolling through.
Electric Vs. Gas Heating
Traditionally, rental property owners and property managers have opted for gas boilers to keep their tenants warm and happy throughout the winter season. What makes them so perfect is that most tenants are already familiar with how to operate the system. There’s also that added benefit for landlords because gas heating is cost-effective.
Despite its obvious benefit, electric heating seems to have replaced traditional gas heaters and is now also preferred by most modern tenants. You see, electric heating systems are more economical in the long-run and energy-efficient throughout their useful life. Of course, you can’t ignore the fact that tenants nowadays are also more aware of the importance of eliminating energy waste.
And we’re back to square one: which is better? Electric or gas heating?
A gas heating system/gas furnace is typically powered by a gas-fired boiler. This contraption heats water and then spreads the warm vapors throughout the home via radiators. Sounds pretty simple, right? Now let’s quickly discuss what you need to consider before purchasing this system.
If your rental property wasn’t already designed with gas pipes, you should definitely factor in their installation costs. Other than these, a gas heating system will only require a boiler, radiators and a vent. All of these combined installation costs can range anywhere from $3000 to $12,000.
Granted, gas is affordable but it is far from efficient. For starters, gas furnaces are controlled by a single thermostat, which also means that you will have to warm the entire property even though they may reside in only one room. Since you want to keep disputes to a minimum, you can counter this problem with smart thermostats, however, they will increase your overall cost.
Since you’re thinking about installing a gas furnace because of its low costs, you should also know that the maintenance costs of these machines can be quite pricey. Moreover, it will be your responsibility as the landlord to keep a check on leakages and conduct annual (or bi-annual) inspections.
In comparison to gas furnaces, electric heating systems are a lot cheaper to install. Whether you’re opting for electric space heaters or electric furnaces, you’ll find that there is no need to add massive structures or pipes all over your rental property. The only time-consuming factor here would be the hardwiring (and auxiliary radiators and pipes if you choose radiators), which can be delegated to an experienced team of electricians.
Since electrical heating systems don’t consume fossil fuels, they will not add-on to your utility bills to burn it. Not only does this make them more energy-efficient, but they are also considered to be a bliss for your tenant’s health and the environment as a whole.
When it comes to electric heating systems, maintenance is vital. However, this job can just as easily be delegated to your property manager or certified electricians during installation. The only risk here is that landlords are solely responsible for repairs if unforeseen breakages occur in the middle of winter.
Has winter got you feeling lazy? Well, you can always hire an experienced property manager, to streamline your tasks for you. By hiring a property manager, all you need to do is make a decision and follow-up whenever your schedule allows you to.
So which is it going to be? Gas or electric?