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Gas & Electric Furnace Pros And Cons: All You Need To Know

Gas & Electric Furnace Pros And Cons: All You Need To Know

2019 Nov 27th

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is continually growing with constant various new offerings in the market. While that leaves homeowners with a handful of choices, deciding what to purchase can be a tough call.

In terms of heating equipment, there are a lot of factors to be considered. One of which is whether to get an electric or gas furnace. Both are basically effective heating systems but each option has its advantages and drawbacks in terms of initial investment, maintenance requirements, effectiveness and operating cost.

Choosing what is best is all dependent on your home and family’s personal needs and demands. What works for you make not necessarily be the best choice in somebody else’s home. Here are the pros and cons of electric and gas furnaces to help you choose the correct type for your home.

Gas Furnace Pros

Provides More Heat

The heat produced in gas furnace’s combustion has higher heat output or BTU as compared to the heat produced in the heat elements of an electric furnace. This makes it a better option in places with harsher winters.

Less Expensive Utility

50% of American homes are fueled by natural gas. One probable reason for this large residential fuel market share is the stable and affordable price of natural gas as a fuel source.

Though gas furnaces cost more upon purchase, the low utility cost of natural gas will help homeowners to save more in the long run.

Gas Furnace Cons

Availability Depends On Gas Lines

If you live in an area where natural gas lines are still not available, it can be very costly to the point of being impractical to have them installed and run to your home.

Require Added Safety Tools

Gas Furnace combustion gives off only minute amounts of carbon monoxide, however, in cases of leaks and improper ventilation and maintenance, your home must be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors to recognize the presence of carbon monoxide and prevent poisoning with this deadly gas.

Check out our selection of HVAC fire and safety systems so you and your family could sleep soundly and comfortably at night.

Expensive and Difficult to Install

Not only is gas more expensive to install (more on this later), but a team of HVAC professionals can take several days to completely install and set up a gas furnace because of its complexity.

Harder To Maintain

A gas furnace needs regular or at least an annual maintenance to maintain its efficiency and safe operation. Carbon monoxide leakage must also be checked to avoid catastrophic consequences.

On the other hand, maintaining an electric furnace does not require much effort at all. In fact, troubleshooting electric furnaces are easier and can be done by homeowners.

Check out this blog, Why Do You Need To Tune-up Your Furnace Before Winter to know why you need annual furnace maintenance and how you can do it yourself.

Electric Furnace Pros

Highly Available

An electric furnace can be installed and used relatively anywhere with electricity. Unlike gas furnaces where availability lies on the presence of pre-installed gas lines in your locality.

Longer Product Life

An electric furnace has a longer lifespan than a gas furnace with product service years of up to 20 to 30 years compared to only 10 to 20 years for a gas furnace.

More Efficient

An electric furnace has efficiency ratings (AFUE) of as high as 100% while gas furnace has efficiency ratings between 89% to 98%. The higher the efficiency rating of the gas furnace, the higher its cost as well.

Lower Purchase & Installation Cost

The average price of an electric furnace ranges from $500 to $2,000 which is way lower than the purchase price of a gas furnace costing around $2,300 and $3,500.

This goes the same way with the cost of installation. Installing an electric furnace is only $1,150 on average while it goes up to an average of $1,500 for gas furnaces.

Quiet Operation

An electric furnace operates more quietly than a gas furnace which increases its comfort-added features.

Electric Furnace Cons

Higher Operational Cost

Because of the high cost of electrical power, it is more expensive to run and operate an electric furnace. Even though the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected an increase in the price of natural gas, it will still be significantly lower than the price of electrical power.

Less Green

An electric furnace as a heating system or unit is efficient but the means by which electric heating is produced is essentially inefficient. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, electricity is produced using techniques that are 30% less efficient.

Moreover, coal which is the primary source of electricity presents more damage to the environment.

Multiple factors are to be considered when deciding for a home heating system. Sometimes, the scale tilts more to one side while you’re looking at your location and climate, availability of gas lines, budget, and many more. The important thing is you know your home and family’s preference to match it perfectly to a more suitable heating system.


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You should also take a look at this blog, Oil & Gas Furnace Pros And Cons: All You Need To Know, to keep your research going.