Hey all.. well, I've been registered for a whole 5 minutes and need to post a question already lol... (*edit* hopefully I got this posted in the right forum/area, if not I apologize in advance)
First of all, a little info on my 'situation'.. I live in northern WV, where our summer months are hot (avg. 85-90*F) and our winters can be cruel at times..avg. I would say hi's in the 20's-30's F, and lows 10-15* and typically we get a run of maybe 5-6 days a month where temps will be 5* or lower... For the past 4yrs. we have been heating with nothing other than a hotblast 1557M wood/coal furnace, with the primary fuel being wood (free supply, I just have to cut/split/haul). We live in a run-of-the-mill ranch style home. Approx. 1300 sq. ft. with open, uninsulated basement/2-car garage. The insulation in the living area seems to be fairly good, however we do have some slight drafts as we live on the top of a big hill and typically have 20-30mph sustained winds in the winter.
Now on to my question. I have finally decided to purchase another furnace to use a secondary heat source (I know, a little late to make this decision now). This furnace's primary purpose would be to use at times when temps are warm during the day but chilly at night, and also in the event that for whatever reason I may not have a fire going in the hotblast. I already plan on purchasing a heat-pump unit next spring/summer to add-on, so my question is this:
I'm looking for some advice/opinions on whether I should purchase/install an electric furnace/air handler with a 15kW strip and built-in cooling coil, or should I purchase a nat. gas furnace? A couple key factors.. If I go with the electric, I can install it myself, with the exception of having to have someone build me a new plenum... We do have nat. gas available to us, however the gas company would have to come out and install a junction, meter and any line needed as the main is on the opposite side of my lane and this house has never had gas. Also with this, I would have to have the entire install done by a cert. HVAC tech as I really don't know anything about installing a gas appliance.
Please keep in mind that whichever furnace I purchase, it will not be run very often (thinking maybe, on average, 10-15hrs per month if that) and that, as I mentioned earlier, I will be purchasing a HP unit and having it professionally installed next year. Thanks in advance for any advice/help that you can/will give.
*edit #2* Sorry forgot to add something... I do realize that there are already tons of questions/answers out there about gas vs. electric, however given my specific set-up, I wanted to get my own feedback. Pretty much everything I've read about this topic is with the standard residential 1-furnace set-up.