Background. I just moved to Norfolk VA into a house built in 1930, which has a natural gas furnance heating hot water radiators on both stories (water heater is only other gas appliance). The previous owner installed a Lennox Elite split air conditioning system less than two years ago to cool (and sell) the house - with a CB 30M-46-4P air handler in the attic and a HS 26-042-6P outside the house. The previous owner did not install the optional ECB-29 electric heat strip - possibly because it would have required upgrading the electric supply, which consisted of the old style screw-in fuses - and not many of those. After buying the house and discovering that some electric circuits had been disconnected to install the Lennox system, I paid to have the electric upgraded with a modern (and safer) supply with lots of capacity.
As natural gas is getting pretty expensive here ($380 heating bills are a new experience for me), I am thinking about adding the ECB-29 to help out with winter heating. Can someone tell me what I would need to do this? I called one company and, after telling me I had to talk to a sales person rather than a technician, the sales person told me I would have to replace every single part of the system - because "those parts are not upgradable". The cost then quoted to me was almost what I paid for my last new car.
Any help would be much appreciated - including any opinion on why natural gas is so expensive (I thought it was supposed to be cheaper than electric...).