Comparing Electric And Gas Furnaces

Your furnace is one of the central appliances within your home, and it plays an important role in keeping your comfort at an acceptable level throughout the winter. However, despite most furnaces making use of ductwork and a series of fans and blowers to move hot air around your home, not all furnaces operate in the same way. The fuel source that your furnace uses plays a huge role in the benefits that it offers. Being aware of the benefits associated with the most common types of furnace fuel sources, electricity and natural gas, can help you choose the best model for your needs.

Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces are more common in newer homes and for those living in smaller apartments, largely because of their lower price point and ease of installation. They can be set up within a short period of time and require no extra infrastructure to operate beyond your ductwork. Electric furnaces also tend to be very quiet while in operation. Another important thing to note about electric units is that they do not require the same amount of maintenance as gas furnaces do, and will not pose a safety threat in the event of damage or age.

However, the running cost of electric furnaces will vary widely depending on where you are. This means that the long-term costs of an electric furnace can quickly offset that savings associated with the initial purchase. Furthermore, electric furnaces are less responsive than their gas-powered counterparts, which means that you may have to wait a long time for your home to heat up – especially for larger properties.

Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces are highly responsive, and will begin to throw heat almost immediately after being turned on. They also represent a lower long-term cost, as the cost of natural gas in many parts of the country is lower than electricity -- though again, this will depend on your region. Natural gas furnaces are also able to operate without electricity, which is ideal for areas that may suffer from harsh winters and intermittent power supply.

However, gas furnaces do represent a safety hazard. They can leak carbon monoxide and other gases, which requires constant maintenance and the installation of a detector in your home to monitor. Gas furnaces also require a direct gas line into your property, and if you do not already have one installed, the cost of installation will skyrocket as a result. This is important to keep in mind, as gas furnaces tend to be more expensive than similarly-sized electric units, which means that the initial cost is likely already high for tight budgets.

For more information, speak with a residential heating contractor in your area today.