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Pros and Cons of Gas and Electric Furnaces

woman researching gas vs electric furnaceChoosing a new furnace is big decision. After all, the furnace is one of the most important parts of your home and plays a major role in your safety and comfort. When considering furnace repair and replacement, one of the first choices is between a gas or electric furnace. Both types of systems have pros and cons, and there isn’t a set answer that one is always better. Consider the information below when deciding on gas or electric heating for your home.

Gas Furnace Pros

Gas furnaces are run by natural gas. Natural gas is typically fairly affordable, which means gas furnaces are less expensive to run. Over time, those savings can add up and make a large difference in the cost between the two types of furnaces. Gas furnaces are also very powerful, which means they can easily provide heat without having to strain to meet demand. In general, gas furnaces can reach higher temperatures and produce heat much more quickly than electric furnaces. Gas furnaces are great for colder climates because they can reliably keep a house comfortable in very low temperatures.

Gas Furnace Cons

One of the major downsides of gas furnaces is that they are typically much more expensive to purchase and install. Gas furnaces are more complicated, which can also impact the installation process and increase the maintenance costs. Then there’s the issue of access. Not every house is equipped with a natural gas line to power a furnace. Gas lines can usually be added, but the cost of equipping the house with gas is usually incredibly high and not worth the work. In some places, installing a gas line simply isn’t an option because of the location of the home or the utility agreements in the area. Natural gas is also a combustible material. Although the chance of an accident occurring is incredibly small, it is still a risk. Houses with gas furnaces must have carbon monoxide detectors.

Gas furnaces also run the risk of not being as energy efficient as electric furnaces, especially if gas escapes the system and doesn’t heat the house. In general, gas furnaces are louder than electric furnaces and don’t have as long a lifespan.

Electric Furnace Pros

A major benefit is that all houses already have electricity, which means they have power to run an electric furnace. They are also simple and reliable. The initial electric home furnace cost is typically lower, and electric furnace efficiency tends to be very high. These furnaces have easier maintenance, which can lower the cost of upkeep. In fact, many homeowners are able to troubleshoot simple issues on their own, which can’t be said about gas furnaces. On average, they last longer and are quieter than gas furnaces.

Many people appreciate that electric furnaces don’t use natural gas, which means they don’t have to use a combustible gas in their house that runs the very small risk of causing a dangerous reaction.

Electric Furnace Cons

In most places, electricity is more expensive than natural gas, which means electric furnaces often have higher utility fees. Although the initial cost is lower, the increased energy cost could cost more money over time. They also create original heat, which means they don’t transfer heat. This means they may have to work harder and not reach as high of temperatures. In some areas, these types of furnaces may struggle to reach the heating demand, especially if the unit also has an air conditioner. For this reason, they are typically recommended for warmer climates.

There are many options for both gas and electric furnaces. Consider the cost of both natural gas and electricity in your area, as well as your home’s access to natural gas as you are trying to choose. In the end, either type of furnace will work hard to keep your house warm.

Pros and Cons