Gas Furnaces vs. Electric Furnaces: Which Is Better?

A furnace is an efficient, reliable way to heat a home. When choosing a new heater, the first step is deciding which type of system is best for your house: a boiler, furnace, or heat pump. And if you’ve already decided that you want a furnace installed in your home, the next question involves which type of power source to use: gas or electric?

Many homeowners wonder whether a gas furnace or an electric furnace is a “better” choice. Often, however, the question is not this simple. In many homes, a gas furnace may be the best option, but in some cases an electric unit may be a better choice, or possibly the only option available.

Making the Decision

Gas and electric furnaces both distribute heat in the same way. A blower moves the warm air through the ducts and into your home. However, the two generate heat much differently. A gas furnace uses an igniter to create heat in a combustion chamber. An electric model instead generates heat with a current that runs through series of electric heating coils which heat the air as it moves past.

In general, people choose gas furnaces over electric furnaces because they are less expensive to run. In most areas, the cost of electricity is simply too high to justify purchasing an electric model, and operating a gas furnace will save a lot of money over time. However, there are some homeowners who don’t have access to a gas line. And there are a few more advantages to electric models. The initial cost of electric units is usually lower, and they are safer to run since they pose no risk of gas leaks.

Other Considerations

Deciding whether to purchase a gas or electric model is not the only choice you will need to make. You should look into the AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) of your unit to find out how much energy your unit uses to heat your home and how much is lost during operation. Proper sizing is also key to ensuring an efficient system. Talk over your concerns with an expert, like the folks at ACI Northwest. To find out more about professional heating services in Coeur d’Alene, call us today!

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