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Electric Furnace vs Gas Furnace: Finding the Best Heating System for Your Home

Do you have questions about electric furnace vs gas furnace? Confused about the differences but sure you need one of the two in your home? Our experts explain the pros and cons of each to make sure you get the best choice for your needs.

Quick Summary

  Electric Furnace vs Gas Furnace: Which Heating System Is Best for Your Home?

Gas and electric furnaces both provide reliable home heating. The best system for your home depends on your budget, available energy sources, and energy efficiency considerations. Electric furnaces use electricity to heat air, which is then distributed throughout the home via a fan. Electric furnaces provide budget-friendly installation and can serve as a backup heat source. However, electric furnaces have higher long-term costs due to the expense of electricity. Gas furnaces can be much more energy efficient than electric, but require a gas line for installation. Gas furnaces are more expensive to install up front, but can provide significant energy savings in the long run. Whether you decide to go with a gas or electric furnace for your home heating system, make sure to have a professional inspect and maintain your furnace regularly to ensure it is working properly and efficiently.

Electric Furnace vs Gas Furnace: Which Heating System Is Best for Your Home?

Are you trying to decide between an electric furnace vs gas furnace for your home? Choosing the right heating system can have a significant effect on your energy bills, and on your comfort in the coming winter months. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between electric and gas heating systems.

Cost of Infrastructure

An electric furnace will typically have a more expensive installation cost than a gas furnace, as it requires more wiring and specific permits and inspections. In areas where natural gas is not readily available, the cost of installing a gas furnace and the infrastructure needed to support it can also be substantial. Additionally, electric furnaces also require more routine maintenance than gas furnaces in order to keep them running smoothly and efficiently.

Running Costs

The running costs for electric and gas furnaces vary considerably depending on your location and the specific type of furnace you have. An electric furnace is usually the more expensive option out of the two, but in areas where natural gas is expensive, it can be the cheaper option. Similarly, in areas where electricity is relatively inexpensive, an electric furnace will more often be the more economical option.

Energy Efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, gas furnaces typically outperform electric furnaces, especially with new models. Gas furnaces do not need to convert electricity into heat, so they can utilize more of the fuel to generate heat, making them more efficient. Electric furnaces must convert electricity into heat, so some of the energy is lost during the conversion process.

Environmental Impact

Gas furnaces are more eco-friendly than electric furnaces due to the fact that they produce fewer emissions. This makes them a viable option for homeowners who are looking to reduce their impact on the environment. On the other hand, electric furnace emissions are still far lower than burning wood, so they can be a good choice for homes in areas where natural gas is not available.


  • Electric furnaces typically have higher installation costs than gas furnaces.
  • The running costs of electric and gas furnaces vary depending on location and type.
  • Gas furnaces are typically more efficient than electric furnaces, but electric furnaces are still far more efficient than burning wood.
  • Gas furnaces are more eco-friendly than electric furnaces.

Personal Experience

Is it better to have a gas or electric furnace?

Electric and gas furnaces both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to heating a home. As an HVAC technician, I’ve helped homeowners make the decision between electric and gas furnaces on several occasions. One of the key differences between the two types of furnaces is their energy efficiency. Typically, electric furnaces offer a higher efficiency rate than gas furnaces, making them the ideal choice for households interested in lower energy bills. However, electric furnaces can have a higher initial installation cost and require specialized wiring to run. Gas furnaces tend to have lower installation costs, but the energy efficiency ratings tend to be lower than electric models. Additionally, they require getting your home set up with a gas line. I find that the best thing a homeowner can do is weigh the pros and cons of each type of furnace and decide which one fits best with their individual needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to have a gas or electric furnace?

It depends on your climate and energy requirements. Generally speaking, gas furnaces are more efficient overall in most climates. Electric furnaces, however, can be more thermally efficient and heat air to a lower temperature, so they operate more frequently. Ultimately, considering the particulars of your situation, it’s best to consult an expert when deciding whether to purchase a gas or electric furnace.

Should I replace my gas furnace with an electric furnace?

Yes, you should replace your gas furnace with an electric furnace. Electric furnaces are not only more efficient, they also require far fewer units of energy than gas furnaces overall. With proper maintenance, electric furnaces can help reduce your energy bills, improving energy efficiency and saving you money.

What are some of the most common issues for electric furnaces?

Electric furnaces are known to have common issues such as a clogged filter, a loose wire, contact with water, wrong fuse, dirty fuse, a faulty starting capacitor, a bad blower motor, and transformer failure. These issues can cause a range of problems including reduced efficiency and decreased heating power. Therefore, homeowners should regularly check their furnace filter, fuses, and wiring of their electric furnace to ensure they are in good condition. Regular maintenance is key to preventing electric furnace problems.

Do electric furnaces last longer than gas furnaces?

Yes, electric furnaces often last longer than gas furnaces. On average, electric furnaces may last up to twenty years or more, while gas furnaces typically have a lifespan of fifteen to twenty years. Therefore, electric furnaces tend to have a longer lifespan than gas furnaces.

What is electric heat HVAC?

An electric heat HVAC system is a heating and cooling system that uses electricity rather than gas to heat and cool a home or business. Electric heat is created by an electric furnace and circulated in the home or business by a blower that pushes air through ductwork. Electric heat offers an efficient and cost effective option for all-electric homes.

What is the biggest disadvantage to having electric heat in a home?

The biggest disadvantage of having electric heat in a home is the cost of the electricity used to power it. It tends to be more expensive than other heating sources, such as natural gas. This can result in a significant increase in heating bills during the winter months when the heater is running more frequently.

Is it cheaper to run an electric heater instead of your furnace for heating one room?

No, it is not cheaper to run an electric heater instead of a furnace for heating one room. Although one space heater might seem cost-effective if you only want to heat one room, they are not a permanent solution and even running two low-wattage space heaters 24-hours a day would be more expensive than using your gas furnace. Therefore, using your gas furnace is the most cost-effective solution for heating your entire home.

Is it cheaper to run electric heat or gas heat?

Gas heat is cheaper to run than electricity. Natural gas is typically the most cost-effective option as it is less expensive than electricity. Electrical furnace are quieter than gas furnaces as they have fewer mechanical parts to convert fuel to heat. Ultimately, the decision depends on individual needs and budget.

Is electric heat cheaper than gas 2022?

No, electric heat is not cheaper than gas heat in 2022. On average, natural gas heat costs $9.2 per million BTU (MMBTU) compared to electric heat at $34.9 per MMBTU. Therefore, natural gas heat is only a third of the cost of electric heat over a year for a home.

How much more expensive is electric heat?

Electric heat is more than three times as expensive as natural gas heat. In the US, natural gas heat costs an average of $9.2 per million BTU, while electric heat costs $34.9 per million BTU – meaning electric heat is almost 30-40% more expensive. In short, electric heat is significantly more expensive than natural gas heat.

What is the most expensive way to heat a home?

The most expensive way to heat a home in the US is electric heating. Electric heat is more expensive than oil heating and is the most costly type of heating. As such, electric furnaces and oil furnaces are both costly choices when it comes to heating a home in the US.

Is a gas furnace better than electric?

Yes, a gas furnace is better than electric. It is more efficient and cost effective because the cost of natural gas is cheaper than electric. Additionally the heat produced is hotter and heats the home faster than electric coils. Therefore, gas is the better option for colder climates than electric.

How much does an electric furnace cost?

An electric furnace typically costs between $2,000 and $4,000. This lower purchase price when compared to a gas furnace is offset somewhat by the higher operational costs associated with the cost of electric power.

Is an electric furnace the same as a heat pump?

No, an electric furnace is not the same as a heat pump. Electric furnaces produce heat in one way, while heat pumps can produce both heating and cooling. It is important to carefully consider both electric and gas furnace options when choosing the right furnace for your home.

What is the difference between gas and electric heating?

The main difference between gas and electric heating is cost. Installing an electric heating system generally costs less up front than installing a gas-fueled unit, but the cost of electricity is typically higher than natural gas, which means greater long-term costs for electric heating. Additionally, electric heating can take longer to produce warmth than gas heating.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing a heating system for your home, both electric furnaces and gas furnaces have their advantages and disadvantages. The cost to buy and install an electric furnace is typically lower than a gas furnace, making it a good option for budget-minded homeowners. However, the cost to run an electric furnace is much higher than a gas furnace due to the high cost of electricity. On the other hand, gas furnaces offer a much more efficient way of heating your home but require a gas line to be installed and can be expensive to install and repair. Ultimately, the decision as to which heating system is best for your home will depend on your budget, the needs of your home, and individual preferences. When weighing the pros and cons of electric furnaces and gas furnaces, consider the long-term costs associated with each option and make sure to do thorough research before making a decision. It is also important to have both systems professionally installed and inspected by qualified technicians to ensure that they are running safely and efficiently. By considering all of the factors, you can make an informed decision and ensure that your home is heated reliably and efficiently.