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Converting ducted gas to electricity in Canberra

By FHW 11 May 2015 27

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Has anyone out there got any experience of having a ducted gas heating system converted to an electrically powered system?

I am thinking of doing this (because of the expectation of prices increases, the divestment movement, and the fracking issue) but am hopeful that it is possible to reuse the same ducts and vents, and just replace the heating apparatus.

If you have had this done, I have a million questions, starting with…. How much did it cost? Could you reuse the old ducts and vents? What sort of system did you get?

What companies are there in Canberra that do this? Was the electrically powered heating as good as the ducted gas? Did you notice a change in the heating bill?


What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Converting ducted gas to electricity in Canberra
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zllauh 8:50 am 29 Jun 15

Hi FHW,

As others in the thread have suggested the unit is actually the expensive bit, The vents could probably be re used but it will not be probably making a big difference in the past.

We recently got a hot water system upgraded and it was done by http://capitalgasworks.com.au/ .
Good work and did not leave any mess behind.

Would recommend giving him a call at least i believe he will be able to give you honest opinion.

My 2 cents.

Rustygear 5:28 pm 05 Jun 15

csdaly said :

… the Alternative Technology Association released an analysis in November 2014 on this very question, … There’s a page dedicated to Canberra (http://www.ata.org.au/news/are-we-still-cooking-with-gas). …

Thanks for this, very interesting. I looked at page 58 (the Canberra page) – unfortunately the authors, being familiar with their own work, forgot that other readers might not know how to interpret their cryptic phrasing and colour codes. But I guess they are saying, for example, that for a small house in Canberra, if “Switching a gas appliance, within 5 years of end of life, staying on gas network”, you would save about $4600 (per year?) on space heating, save another $1300 (per year?) on space heating, and lose $60 or so on cooking. Have I got that right? If so, that’s amazing.

csdaly 4:04 pm 05 Jun 15

On the topic of electricity versus gas, the Alternative Technology Association released an analysis in November 2014 on this very question, based on expected gas price increases and comparing water heating, space heating/cooling and cooking, and different types of households, ages of equipment and climate zones. There’s a page dedicated to Canberra (http://www.ata.org.au/news/are-we-still-cooking-with-gas). Might be of interest. Convinced me to change to reverse cycle when the gas heater gets a bit older. As I don’t have cooling, it would involve completely replacing the ducts. Cooling requires a larger duct diameter than heating.

wildturkeycanoe 11:17 pm 25 May 15

Genie said :

$12000 seems like a pretty hefty price tag. I didn’t convert but my brand new system (on a brand new property) was less than half that, surely it can’t cost as much as the product to switch everything over.

Retro-fitting is more expensive than installing a new system in a new house, as you have to remove the ole unit first which is extra labor costs. Then replacing the ducts is more difficult with a roof on and ceiling in place. On a new house access is much easier.
My uncle just had his replaced with reverse cycle ducted and they are very impressed at how much warmer the entire house feels compared to the old gas unit.

JC 3:42 pm 25 May 15

Genie said :

$12000 seems like a pretty hefty price tag. I didn’t convert but my brand new system (on a brand new property) was less than half that, surely it can’t cost as much as the product to switch everything over.

Although at first I was hesitant to have electric heating and cooling, I quite enjoy my $90 gas bills vs $1500 gas bills over winter. My electricity bill has never been more than around $300 but I did use it quite sparingly last winter. The sun heats my house up nicely during the day and I find I usually only need it on for a few hours at night.

It all depends upon what they have got. For a ducted multi zone split inverter system it would be about right. For a single zone electric furnace only a bit much.

JC 3:40 pm 25 May 15

FHW said :

An update to this: I had someone come out to quote. It seems that I’d need something close to $12,000 to convert the house. As many posters predicted, the ducts can’t be reused because they are the wrong size. After all the work I have put in to insulate under the house, I can’t face the work to redo all of that at this stage. Nor do I have a $12,000 budget.

Since there will very likely be an exodus from gas in the next few years, here’s an amazing opportunity for the companies that develop ducted electric heating systems. Can of them come up with an electric system that can reuse the old gas-compatible ducts?

But hard to change physics, because that is what the core issue is.

Btw what kind of system did you get quoted on. Pure heater or a reverse cycle ducted inverter system?

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