Gas vs. Electric Furnaces

Regardless if you are building a new house or just replacing your outdated furnace, you have an key decision to make: Will you install a gas furnace or an electric furnace? Or might a heat pump be the best option for you? To help you decide, Service Experts would like to offer several comparisons between gas and electric furnaces, as well as offer our thoughts about the ideal scenarios for using a heat pump.

Gas vs. Electric Furnace Installation Costs and Requirements

Gas furnaces are usually higher in price and labor cost for installation than electric furnaces. The equipment alone has additional components that are not required in an electric unit, which leads to a higher production cost, thus a higher retail price. Also, gas furnaces demand more intricate installation and ventilation systems to safely take out combustion gases from the home. This would mean you need more space to allow for the installation. Plus, if you didn’t have a gas line and appliance hookup, you’ll need to factor in that expense too.

In contrast, electric furnaces are relatively simple to install, they can fit into a smaller space, and will not necessitate a ventilation system because there is no fuel used. Having said that, they will need a connection to a 240-volt electrical circuit, which isn’t available in some older homes. As such, you will probably want an electrician to set up a new receptacle and upgrade your electric panel.

Gas vs. Electric Furnace Efficiency and Energy Costs

The higher initial price of a gas furnace usually provides a financial return rather quickly because it’s much less expensive to run than an electric furnace. This may surprise you, considering that electric furnaces will often achieve higher annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). In the end, it boils down to the lower per-unit cost of natural gas in contrast to electricity, which typically overcomes even a noteworthy difference in AFUE ratings.

Keep in mind, energy costs vary by region and change over time, thereby making electricity less pricey in some areas. It also makes sense to choose an electric heating system if you are planning to use eco-friendly solar panels on your home. Bear in mind, heat pumps normally cost significantly less to operate than electric furnaces, so consider this option if you wish to save with an electric-based heating system.

Heat pumps function on the same principles as an air conditioner, working with refrigerant to move heat rather than producing it from a fuel source. As a matter of fact, thanks to a reversing valve, heat pumps can act as efficient air conditioners in the summer, ridding yourself of the need to add an independent cooling system.

While they are highly efficient in mild temperatures, heat pumps have some drawbacks. Because they generate heat from cold air, the delivery temperature is far lower than that of gas or electric furnaces. Standard heat pumps must also fall back on an inefficient electric resistance heater during especially cold days. While this ensures home comfort, it also raises your energy bills. Cold-climate heat pumps offer more effective performance at low temperatures, so think about this potential option if you live in an area that can experience bitter cold winter days.

Gas vs. Electric Furnace Heating Effectiveness

There’s no doubt that gas and electric furnaces are reliable at warming your home, but gas furnaces are usually more powerful and faster at warming large spaces. Gas furnaces produce heat by burning natural gas, which creates hot air that circulates across the home via ductwork. In contrast, electric furnaces use electrical resistance heating, which usually takes more time to ramp up.

Gas vs. Electric Furnace Fuel Accessibility

The selection of a gas or electric furnace may well boil down to what fuels are obtainable in your community. Gas furnaces must have access to a natural gas line, which may or may not be an option. Even if gas is offered in your region, you may be unable to afford the cost of installing the gas line, which is understandable. As such, an electric furnace or heat pump may be the only reasonable choice for keeping your family warm at home during the winter.

Gas vs. Electric Furnace Maintenance and Safety

Both gas and electric furnaces would need consistent maintenance to assure safe and efficient functionality. But gas furnaces require additional maintenance, like regular inspections and cleaning of the gas burners and heat exchanger. Remember, electric furnaces still require routine filter changes and examinations of the heating elements and blower motor.

In terms of safety, gas furnaces bring a limited risk of carbon monoxide leakage if not maintained or installed appropriately. This is the reason you should prioritize scheduled inspections and never install a furnace without a professional contractor. Electric furnaces can’t leak carbon monoxide, but they still require professional installation and maintenance to guarantee safe performance.

Install a New Gas or Electric Furnace

For assistance choosing the optimum home heating system for you, select Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We can analyze your unique circumstances and help you make an educated decision about which type of furnace to purchase. We’re so convinced you’ll be happy with our services that we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee! For more information or to arrange a free furnace installation estimate, please contact a Service Experts office near you.

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