Should I heat my barn with gas or electricity?
October 24, 2010 12:08 PM Subscribe
We have an old barn in our backyard that we are currently restoring. It will be fully insulated when finished (though we're recycling old windows that are probably 100 years old, which are single pane, so it won't be optimally efficient.) I am trying to decide if we should heat it with gas or electricity. Because the barn has never been heated before, and we're changing it anyway, I'm having a hard time estimating costs. (See extended explanation for details.)
The barn is already wired for electricity (and we have more than enough capacity), so adding electric heat will have a trivial cost. Installing gas heat is likely to run about $4,000 all-in. The barn will be used at least 5 days out of every week, ten hours a day, so it will need to be well heated. We live in the greater Seattle area and pay about $0.098 per KWH for electricity, and about $1.058 per Therm for gas. Our home heating bills tend to drop to near-zero for about three months, and are significant for nine months. The barn is 20' by 22' and is unusually tall (about a story and a half.) So it's a big, open space on the inside.
So, all that said, I'm trying to very roughly guess in how many years I'll "break even" by installing gas heat instead of electric. Anyone have any ideas?