Comparing Gas & Electric Furnaces: Pros & Cons

pros and cons of electric and gas furnaces

Which is Better - Gas or Electric Furnaces?

While natural gas remains the most widely used home heating fuel here in the United States, it may not be available in all areas of the country. Those with no access to natural gas have to rely on other sources of energy for their heating needs, including propane and electricity. Even homeowners with access to natural gas can opt for alternatives when selecting a new furnace. If you are in the market for a new furnace, here are a few things you should consider.

The Pros of Electric Furnaces

According to Consumer Reports, new electric furnaces are less expensive on average. While the average price for a new gas furnace ranges from $2,000 to $3,000 electric furnaces generally range from $1,000 to $1,500. Now, while the upfront cost of an electric heater is lower than a gas furnace, operating a gas furnace is lower in cost (see below).

The primary benefit of an electric heater is the lower purchase price. The technology behind electric heating is relatively simple, as they basically work like your toaster or hair dryer. That is, coils within your electric heater heat up and a blower forces the warm air through your ductwork. Due to the simplicity of the design, electric furnaces have a longer service life, between 20 and 30 years, compared to a gas furnace which has a design life of 15 to 20 years. In addition, electric furnaces are heating systems that are pretty simple and straightforward, meaning repairs are less frequent. And since electric furnaces burn no fuels, there is no chance of accidental exposure to carbon monoxide.

The Pros of Gas Furnaces

But this is not to say gas furnaces don’t hold benefits as well.

Natural gas is a much cheaper source of energy than electricity, which means a gas furnace will save you money every month in utility costs. The combustion chambers inside gas furnaces operate at a much higher temperature than electric furnaces, which means they will also heat your home much faster than an electric furnace.

Choosing a furnace is an important decision that you should make together with your local heating contractor. If you have questions about how to choose the right type, make, and model of furnace, contact Hoffman Cooling & Heating today. Serving the Twin Cities with more than 100 years of combined experience, we're the Minneapolis-St. Paul area's resident experts on all things heating. For your convenience, we offer financing options to help make your new furnace purchase more affordable.

Hoffman Cooling & Heating is available 24/7 to replace your furnace. To schedule an appointment or request an emergency furnace replacement service, please give us a call now at (612) 255-5883.