Gas Furnace or Electric Furnace – Which Is Best?

February 18, 2020by admin
warm thermostat setting

In the market for a new heating system for your home? You’ve probably discovered a common dilemma faced by today’s homeowners. If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out whether to purchase a gas furnace or electric furnace, you’re not alone.

Your heating system should last you longer than a decade, so keep that in mind before you commit. Ultimately, you will have to determine which one works best for you and your specific needs, but we’ve put together a few points of consideration. After all, an informed decision is the best decision, so make sure you take the time to do the research before you make a choice.

Cost Comparison: Gas vs Electric Furnaces

Before we go too far into this, let’s get one thing out in the open: gas furnaces will require a bigger investment upfront as they cost more than electric units. Additionally, the installation is more complicated, which means you’ll spend more in labor costs. The benefit, though, is that they are less expensive to operate, especially in warmer climates like Virginia where the winters are milder.

money bag

Electric furnaces don’t cost as much and are much easier to install, which is why many homeowners might choose them over gas models. Using electricity to heat your home instead of natural gas, however, is the more expensive option. Again, though, the cold months don’t last very long in Richmond, potentially making this less of a concern.





Efficiency: Gas vs Electric Heat

If you’re looking for a way to heat up your home as quickly as possible on those chilly days, it’s hard to beat a gas furnace. As soon as the burners start running, these units begin pumping out maximum heat throughout your home.

On the other hand, you’ll have to wait a little longer for an electric furnace to really get going. The heating element has to power up before it can even begin distributing warm air, so it’s not unusual to experience a few minutes of cool air blowing from your vents before things get toasty. Despite being much more efficient than gas furnaces, you might still may pay more due to the higher cost of electricity and longer heating times.

Maintenance & Lifespan

When it comes to maintaining your furnace, you’re going to have to put a lot more effort into running a gas unit. With safety in mind, you’ll need to have it serviced on a yearly basis. This is because gas heat comes from combustible fuel, which can leave your household at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning if your furnace isn’t properly maintained. Additionally, with a lifespan of 10 to 20 years, a gas furnace could last about half as long as its electrical counterpart.

As there’s no risk of a natural gas leak, you won’t have to worry that a damaged electric furnace could put your health at risk. Having it inspected and maintained once a year should be more than enough. On average, electric models can last for up to 30 years.

Gas Furnace or Electric Furnace: A Review

We’ve discussed a few areas of consideration when comparing gas furnaces to electric furnaces. To make it easier to review, here are some of the biggest takeaways to keep in mind when choosing your new heating system.

Gas Furnaces:

  • Cost more upfront
  • Installation can be complicated
  • May lower your monthly energy costs
  • Heat your home quickly
  • Could leak carbon monoxide gas
  • Require regular maintenance
  • Best suited for cooler climates

Electric Furnaces:

  • Lower initial cost
  • Minimal installation
  • Higher monthly energy costs
  • Take longer to warm your home
  • Last up to 30 years
  • Easier maintenance
  • Best suited for warmer climates

It’s important to consider the pros and cons associated with each type of heating system in order to make an informed decision, but you don’t have to do it alone!

Furnace Installation in Richmond, Virginia

man installing heater
Virrage Images/

At W.G. Speeks, we understand that investing in a new furnace is a big deal. You need to have confidence in the system you choose, which is why it’s best to consult with professionals. Our team of experts can review the options with you while taking into consideration your home’s design and unique needs.

After serving the Greater Richmond Region for more than 75 years, we can also provide guidance on what heating systems work best in this climate. We offer a no-risk, free consultation with our NATE-certified technicians. Call W.G. Speeks today, and let us help you take the next step.

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