I agree with most of what Frank Slason said about the escalating need for electric power (letter, Feb. 20). However, at one point he said his house is heated by electric resistance baseboards which give him “a dollar’s worth of heat for a dollar’s worth of electricity.”

Back in the 1980s, when he built his house, electric resistance heat was the most expensive way to heat a house unless it was super insulated.  Convenience of operation and maintenance was its main attraction.

Science has moved along in the last 30-40 years. He might want to investigate heating (and cooling) with a heat pump. There are various kinds of heat pumps. Some draw air right in from outdoors to extract heat. Some pump water deep underground and bring it back up warmed.

But on average, they give you three times the heat for the same dollars’ worth of electricity. Heat pumps can save two-thirds on a resistance-heated house. The saving is a bit less from oil, but that just mean it takes a bit longer to pay off the cost of the conversion. After that, it is mostly savings.


Harvey Versteeg


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