Gas or electric doesn’t just apply to your range; it’s also one of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself when looking to install a new furnace. There’s no clear-cut, one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and you’ll need to weigh the differences, advantages and disadvantages of both to find the right furnace for your needs. Keep reading to learn about both furnace options to make the right choice for your home.
How Do They Work?
Both options work to heat your home using your pre-existing duct system if you have AC. This hot air gets pushed into the home, creating a warm and toasty environment for those cold winter days. Electric furnaces use electricity to heat the home while a gas system relies on combustion gases such as carbon monoxide.
There are a few things to consider with price, including the cost of the unit, installation, and usage:
Unit – Electric units can be significantly cheaper, especially being the system is less complicated than a gas unit. People looking for low upfront costs will commonly opt for an electric system.
Installation – Again, an electric furnace will be cheaper due to how simple the system is. While it’s slightly more work than plugging it in, your technician won’t need to worry about gas hookups.
Usage – Gas is much cheaper than electric, and this may be something to consider when looking at long-term costs. An electric unit runs more efficiently, but it will cost much more to run than a gas system.
It’s quite tempting to think that both types of systems heat your home, so they must run just as efficiently. Of course, nothing is cut and dry when it comes to appliances for the home. A gas unit runs more efficiently because you do not need to worry about losing heat to gas, meaning your unit is working at 100% efficiency. However, gas systems tend to heat up the home faster, meaning you can warm up faster. This better performance can make a huge difference in both comfort and cost when it comes to homes in especially cold areas.
Consider Your Hookups
Does your home host gas hookups? If not, you can be looking at high installation costs to get your home prepared for a gas system. If you want to keep costs low and don’t have gas access, an electric system might be the right option for your home.
Wear and Tear
Gas furnaces rely on a complex system to generate heat, and this system gets regularly exposed to a lot of wear and tear, even for the most well-maintained system. Proper maintenance is integral to avoiding disasters with a gas furnace, and the system will not last as long as an electric furnace. If you want to avoid yearly maintenance checks and more expensive repair costs, an electric system will likely be a better fit for your home.
Choosing a furnace is a major decision, but once you consider the advantages and disadvantages of gas and electric systems, you’re well on your way to making the right decision for your needs and budget.