Before Edison, lamp makers struggled with making a filament that would heat to create light. They tried all sorts of materials, including parchmentized thread.
Today, electric home sources include solar, wind, biomass, and other renewables. We’re also seeing many smart appliances that monitor and control energy usage. Ask the pros at Your Home Solutions to learn more.
Heating and cooling your home takes a lot of energy. It accounts for about 55% of a typical US household’s electricity usage. The cheapest way to heat your house with electricity depends on the size of your home, your climate, and your local electric rates. However, there are many benefits to converting to an all-electric heating system. Electric heating systems are usually less maintenance-intensive than gas technologies and often have a longer lifetime than conventional furnaces (up to 30 years). In addition, all-electric technology provides key performance advantages. It can be quieter, offer more precision in temperature control, and provide smart features like Wi-Fi-enabled controls. Additionally, some utilities offer incentives to help offset the cost of installing a new electric heating system.
Switching to all-electric heating can also save money by dramatically reducing energy costs. It eliminates the need to pay for costly natural gas equipment and fuel, such as a propane tank or a natural gas stove, plus it avoids the associated monthly gas bills. If you live in a region with deregulated energy markets, you can purchase your power from third-party suppliers that offer lower rates.
Another benefit of all-electric heating is that it significantly reduces your home’s carbon footprint. Compared to gas-powered appliances, electric devices don’t produce harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and formaldehyde. These toxic gases can contribute to poor indoor air quality, especially in tightly sealed modern homes.
Choosing all-electric heating and replacing your old gas-powered appliances with the latest high-efficiency models can help you meet your state’s clean energy goals and support a sustainable future for our planet. However, as the country moves toward electrification, it’s important to ensure that policies are equitable and consider communities that have historically been left out of the clean energy transition. To achieve equity in building electrification, policymakers must assess community needs, set guiding questions, and evaluate progress. Learn more about implementing an equitable path to electrification in your community here.
Electric baseboard heaters and wall-mounted electric heaters use electricity to heat a room through electrical resistance heating. These types of heaters are plugged into your electrical circuits and use your home’s main power which may be powered by coal. These electric heaters can be a quick and inexpensive way to add heat to an area that isn’t getting enough warmth from other sources.
Almost any device that heats or cools uses electricity. HVAC systems are the biggest users, consuming energy for several hours a day, sometimes all day, depending on the climate where you live. Other big energy users include air conditioners, ovens and washer/dryers. The best way to determine what appliances and devices are using the most electricity is to conduct a load analysis, which involves recording the wattage of all your major appliances and determining how often they are on. Some instruments, like refrigerators and lights, are on continuously, while others, such as power tools and televisions, are used intermittently or only briefly.
Many green builders and energy experts are also looking to electrify heating. Natural gas furnaces produce emissions from burning fossil fuels, which can create greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide that trap more heat than the same amount of methane. Additionally, drilling and extracting natural gas from wells and transporting it through pipelines leaks methane – another potent greenhouse gas – into the environment at high rates.
Fortunately, switching from natural gas to electricity is the only way to avoid these emissions. All-electric homes can be powered by clean renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and biomass.
Lighting is the most familiar electric home source. It’s easy to take for granted the energy it takes to power a light or a TV, but this energy has travelled a long way to get where it is used.
Electric lighting is an essential component of the electricity supply chain. Electricity is generated at centralised plants and delivered via a network of transmission lines to households, offices and factories. There, it’s converted into electricity to power appliances like washing machines and computers, and used for electric light bulbs and other equipment.
At the end of the 18th century, lighting technology developed on an industrial scale. This first came in the form of gas lighting, then electric lighting. These new illumination sources were initially popular in cities and large towns, providing a cleaner, brighter alternative to messy oil lamps and gas lights. By the 1920s, electric lighting was rolled out to urban homes in Britain.
The lamp revolutionized interior lighting, invented by Thomas Edison, who beat rivals like Joseph Swan to develop the first viable incandescent light bulb. It opened up a whole new world of decorative lampshades and switches. The Arts and Crafts movement took a particular interest in the latest lighting technology, with architects such as William Benson designing homes that incorporated stylish new electric lights.
Although electric lighting is one of the primary sources of electricity demand, it’s often overlooked in the context of global energy poverty and rural electrification. This is mainly because alternatives such as solar, kerosene, or candles aren’t available in these settings. It’s also because most people seeking out electricity for household lighting need access to more efficient low-wattage lighting options.
Modern energy-efficient lights are available in various shapes and sizes, and many are adaptable to different electrical systems. They include traditional halogen and LED lights, as well as smart solar lights such as those designed by Olafur Eliasson. These newer lights offer more light for less energy input, and the latest advances in battery and inverter technology make them suitable for off-grid systems.
Home appliances are electric, electromechanical devices that make life easier by performing household functions such as heating, cooling, and food preservation. They are often powered by electricity but may also use gasoline or natural gas. Electricity can also be generated on-site through solar energy systems or purchased from a local utility company. Some households are also considering converting to all-electric appliances to reduce their carbon footprint and save on operating costs.
The term “electric home sources” includes all of the appliances that run on electricity and any other electrical equipment and light fixtures in your house. These items can be powered by either AC or DC. DC powers electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Conversely, AC is used by large appliances and electric lights in your home. Both AC and DC power are delivered to your home through a system of high-voltage lines, transformers and substations that extend from power plants in your area.
Each appliance and electrical device in your home consumes a specific amount of electricity, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A grid supplies this energy to your electric meter, which is outdoors where electricity enters your home. The meter measures your energy consumption and is monitored and protected by your electric company. Tampering with your electric meter is illegal and dangerous.
Despite recent efficiency improvements, many of our appliances still use significant amounts of electricity even when not used. This is called “vampire” power and can add up to much-wasted energy over time. The best way to cut back on vampire power is by unplugging devices and using power strips with an on/off switch so they do not draw power when you aren’t using them.
You can also invest in an electricity usage monitor, which allows you to see how much each of your appliances is costing to run. This will help you identify the biggest energy consumers in your home so you can take steps to cut down on your electricity bill. Some of the most popular electricity monitors are made by companies like iHome and Ecobee.