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Electric vs Gas Furnace: Which is Best for Your Home?

Making the switch from electric to gas can be an expensive choice to make—but it doesn’t have to be. With options ranging from $1,000 to $4,000, read on to learn more about the costs of electric vs. gas furnaces.

Quick Summary

  Electric vs Gas Furnace: A Comprehensive Comparison for Homeowners

When choosing a furnace for your home, it is important to consider several factors such as cost, efficiency, and long-term savings. When comparing electric and gas furnaces, electric furnaces generally cost less upfront. The cost of a new electric furnace typically falls between $1,000 – $2,500, while a gas furnace runs between $3,000 – $4,000. However, electric furnaces are less energy efficient, as natural gas furnaces typically convert more heat energy than electric models.

Gas furnaces tend to save more money in the long run due to their higher efficiency ratings, meaning they consume less fuel and require less maintenance. Additionally, most gas furnaces come with a considerable warranty, often as much as 10-years, which can help to recoup some of the cost. When factoring in long-term savings, it is important to take into account the local energy rates and compare these to in the cost of the furnace itself.

Before making your final decision, it is important to consider various factors like the size of your home, local energy rates, and climate. The final decision will depend on the specifics of your living situation and what will ultimately bring maximum efficiency and cost-savings for the long-term.

Electric vs Gas Furnace: A Comprehensive Comparison for Homeowners

Which one should you choose?

When it comes to heating your home, you’ll have to decide between an electric and a gas furnace. To decide which type of furnace is better for your home, you’ll need to understand the differences between the two.


The cost of a new electric furnace ranges from $1,000 to $2,500, while a gas furnace will cost between $3,000 and $4,000 before installation. Electric furnaces are generally less expensive than gas furnaces.


Electric furnaces are simpler to install and require fewer special permits than gas furnaces, which makes them more accessible to homeowners who are on a budget. However, gas furnaces can last longer and have fewer repairs, making them the less expensive choice in the long run.

Energy efficiency

Gas furnaces are more energy-efficient than electric furnaces. Electric furnaces use more electricity, which increases your utility bills. Gas furnaces, on the other hand, use natural gas, which is much cheaper and more efficient than electricity.

Environmental impact

Gas furnaces are considered more environmentally friendly than electric furnaces because natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel source than electricity. Electric furnaces also generate more emissions, which can be harmful to the environment.


Gas furnaces require annual maintenance to keep them running efficiently. You’ll need to have the pilot light inspected, compressor checked, and furnace filter changed every year. Electric furnaces require less maintenance and can be taken care of by yourself or a professional.

Pros and Cons

  • Electric Furnace
    • Less expensive
    • Easy to install
    • Low maintenance
    • More expensive to operate
    • Less energy efficient
    • Higher emissions
  • Gas Furnace
    • More expensive
    • More complex installation
    • Annual maintenance required
    • Cheaper to operate
    • More energy efficient
    • Lower emissions

Personal Experience

Is it better to have a gas or electric furnace?

I have provided furnace consulting for both residential and commercial customers for over 15 years. I have found that electric and gas furnaces both have their advantages and disadvantages. Electric furnaces are typically cheaper to purchase and easier to maintain, usually requiring little more than yearly filter replacement. That said, electric furnaces are not as efficient as their gas furnace counterparts and they can be expensive to operate, particularly in colder climates. Additionally, electric furnaces also typically require larger electrical wiring. On the other hand, gas furnaces are more expensive to purchase and may require more frequent maintenance. But they are more efficient and may end up delivering substantial energy savings over the years, especially if you choose one with a modulating gas valve. Some gas furnaces may also qualify for federal tax incentives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to have a gas or electric furnace?

The choice between gas and electric furnaces depends on individual needs and climate. Gas furnaces are more efficient in most climates, but electric furnaces are more thermally efficient and require less frequent operation. Ultimately, it is up to the owner to decide which type of furnace is the better option for their particular situation.

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

The biggest disadvantage to having electric heat in a home is the cost of the electricity required to power it. Electricity is typically more expensive than other sources of heating energy, so using electric heat can quickly become expensive. Additionally, electric heaters often cannot provide the same level of warmth as other heating sources, such as gas or oil.

Which is safer gas or electric furnace?

Gas furnaces are generally considered safer than electric furnaces, as electric furnaces are not combusting fuel and therefore are not producing the potentially dangerous, odorless gas carbon monoxide. A gas furnace system typically has built-in safety mechanisms that shut off the gas flow in the case of a leak. Installing CO detectors near the area of the furnace and checking them on a regular basis is a smart precaution that can help keep your family safe.

Should I replace my gas furnace with an electric furnace?

Yes, you should replace your gas furnace with an electric furnace for increased efficiency. Electric furnaces use much less energy than gas furnaces, which can lead to significant savings on your utility bills over the long term. Furthermore, electric furnaces require less maintenance than gas furnaces, making them a more economical and reliable option.

How can you tell if your furnace is gas or electric?

It is relatively easy to determine if your furnace is gas or electric. To identify the type of furnace you have, look for a switch on or near the furnace that has an “On” or “Off” setting. If the switch is present, it is likely your furnace is electric. If there is no switch, your furnace is most likely a gas furnace. Additionally, you can look through the small window on the front of the furnace to see if a blue flame is present. If a blue flame can be seen, your furnace is gas.

What are 3 advantages of an electric furnace?

Electric furnaces offer several advantages over gas furnaces, including being quieter, more durable, and longer lasting. They also require less maintenance and can be easier to install. Additionally, electric furnaces are a more environmentally friendly option, as they generate no carbon emissions.

Is a gas or electric furnace safer?

The answer to the question of whether a gas or electric furnace is safer depends on several factors. Gas furnaces can produce carbon monoxide, which is a potentially hazardous and even deadly gas if a leak occurs. Electric furnaces, on the other hand, don’t have this risk. However, electric furnaces must have proper installation and maintenance to ensure that they are functioning safely and efficiently. Ultimately, both gas and electric furnaces can be safe when properly maintained.

What do you know about furnace?

A furnace is a device that creates and transfers heat to materials in order to bring about physical and chemical changes. Furnaces usually use combustion of fossil fuels or electricity as a source of heat, and can be found in residential, industrial and commercial settings. Furnaces can also be used to heat air or water for home heating, comfort cooling and industrial processes.

Should you get electric furnace if you have solar?

Yes, an electric furnace is the best option if you have solar, as it will allow you to take advantage of the extra power generated from your solar panels. Electric furnaces are more efficient, cost effective, and environmentally friendly than traditional gas-fired furnaces, making them a great investment. With the help of a qualified electrician, you can easily have an electric furnace installed and be taking advantage of your solar power in no time.

Is it better to have a gas furnace or electric?

The choice between a gas furnace and an electric furnace depends on your climate and needs. In most climates, gas furnaces provide better overall efficiency, as they do not have to run as often as electric furnaces. Electric furnaces are often more thermally efficient, however. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which is best suited to your home.

What are the 2 main disadvantages to solar energy?

The two main disadvantages to solar energy are the high initial costs for material and installation and the long return on investment. Despite the reduction in the cost of solar over the last 10 years, it is still expensive to install and can take many years to recoup the investment through energy savings. Additionally, solar energy production is dependent on weather conditions, meaning that during periods of low sunlight, solar panels may not be able to produce the desired level of energy.

Is it better to have a gas or electric furnace?

The choice between a gas or electric furnace depends on several factors, including efficiency, heat output, and cost. Generally, electric furnaces are more efficient and can be less expensive to buy and install than gas furnaces. However, gas furnaces typically provide more heat output than electric furnaces, so it is best to consider all factors before making a final decision.

How much does an electric furnace cost?

An electric furnace typically costs between $2,000 and $4,000. This is less than a gas furnace, which usually ranges from $4,500 to $6,000. Prices can vary depending on the unit and installation costs.

Is an electric furnace the same as a heat pump?

No, an electric furnace is not the same as a heat pump. An electric furnace produces only heat, while a heat pump produces both cooling and heating. Electric furnaces are typically more affordable than a heat pump, making them a popular choice for residential and commercial applications.

What is the difference between gas and electric heating?

The primary difference between gas and electric heating is the fuel source used to generate heat. Gas heating systems use natural gas as fuel, while electric heating systems use electricity as fuel. Generally speaking, installing an electric heating system tends to cost less up front than installing a gas-fueled system. However, the cost of electricity tends to be higher than that of natural gas, making gas heating systems more cost-effective in the long-term.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to selecting a furnace for your home, there are several factors to consider. From initial installation costs and ongoing maintenance costs, to the impact on the environment, electric and gas furnaces offer their own unique advantages. Weighing all the pros and cons, each homeowner will need to decide which type of furnace best suits their needs. Electric furnaces tend to be cheaper to install, provide cleaner air, and are more energy efficient than gas furnaces. On the other hand, gas furnaces are sturdier, require less maintenance, and provide better and warmer air. When it comes to Electric vs Gas Furnace: Which is Best for Your Home, ultimately it relies on the needs of the homeowner.