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Gas vs Electric Furnace: Which Heating System is Best for You?

When it comes to gas vs. electric furnaces, there’s no denying the vast price difference: while electric furnaces can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500, gas furnaces come in at a minimum of $3,000, and can reach up to $4,000. Now that you know the difference in cost, it’s time to decide which furnace is the best for you.

Quick Summary

  Gas vs Electric Furnace: Which is Better?

The decision between a gas and electric furnace depends on multiple factors, including efficiency, cost, and local regulations. Ultimately, the best heating system for you depends on your climate, budget, and other preference considerations. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the key benefits and drawbacks of both gas and electric furnaces.

Gas Furnace Pros

  • Gas furnaces are usually more energy-efficient, providing up to 30-40% more usable heat from the same amount of fuel than an electric furnace.
  • Fuel sources like natural gas tend to cost less than electricity. As a result, gas furnaces generally have smaller fuel cost over time.
  • Gas furnaces require less frequent maintenance and repairs than electric furnaces.

Gas Furnace Cons

  • Installing a gas furnace can be more expensive than an electric furnace due to the extra costs of running gas lines and venting.
  • In some areas, gas and propane supplies may be restricted due to safety or environmental reasons.
  • Gas furnaces produce higher levels of pollutants than electric furnaces.

Electric Furnace Pros

  • The primary benefit of electric furnaces is their relative affordability. A typical installation can cost as little as $1000-2500.
  • Electric furnaces have a long lifespan and require little maintenance.
  • Like gas furnaces, they expel heated air into your home relatively quickly.
  • Electric furnaces tend to be simpler and easier to install than gas furnaces.

Electric Furnace Cons

  • Electric furnaces are much less efficient than gas furnaces and generate significantly more electricity bills over time.
  • Electric furnaces take longer to produce heat compared to gas furnaces.
  • Electric furnaces are more susceptible to power outages than gas furnaces.

Ultimately, whether to install an electric or gas furnace comes down to your local climate, budget, and preference for energy efficiency. Comparing both types of heating systems and weighing their relevant benefits and drawbacks can help you determine the best furnace for your home.

Gas vs Electric Furnace: Which is Better?

When it comes to furnaces, there are choices to be made about which type is better for your home. It is important to select the right type of furnace for your needs, budget and the size of your home. Here we compare electric and gas furnaces to help guide you to the right choice.

Cost Difference Between Electric & Gas Furnaces

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 costs. The installation cost for a gas furnace is more expensive than that of an electric one, so depending on the size of your home, this will factor into the total cost. Electric furnaces are often cheaper to buy, whereas gas furnaces can be more expensive overall.

Efficiency Comparisons

When deciding between a gas or electric furnace, efficiency is one of the main factors. According to, electric furnaces have efficiency ratings of 95-97%, whereas gas furnaces have ratings of about 76-80%, so electric furnaces are the more efficient choice. However, it is important to note that these ratings can vary widely depending on the model you choose.

When to Choose a Gas Furnace

Despite the higher installation cost and lower efficiency ratings, gas furnaces can still be the right choice for some. Often the warmer climate produced by a gas furnace is more appealing than that of the electric furnace, particularly in the winter months. Additionally, although the initial cost of purchasing a gas furnace is high, it could be more cost-effective in terms of energy bills in the long run.


When deciding between an electric and gas furnace, it is important to consider the cost, efficiency and climate before making a decision. Electric furnaces are generally cheaper to purchase and are more efficient, however gas furnaces tend to produce a warmer climate, so the choice ultimately depends on your individual needs and budget.

Personal Experience

Is it better to have a gas or electric furnace?

When it comes to gas vs electric furnace, there is no one-size-fits-all solution and a lot depends on factors such as local climate, budget, and personal preferences. I have personally installed both types of furnaces for many customers over the years and have seen the pros and cons of each.

Electric furnaces are preferred in mild climates with low heating needs, since they do not produce gases, making them a more environmentally friendly option. They are also safe, since traditional gas flues are not required. However, electric furnaces are typically more expensive than their gas counterparts, with prices ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.

Gas furnaces, on the other hand, have been around longer and offer more efficient heating capabilities at a lower cost. The installation costs are much lower than an electric furnace, while they are less expensive to operate. They also tend to last longer than electric models. But, they do require more maintenance and they produce carbon monoxide, making them a less environmentally friendly option.

Although it may seem daunting to choose between gas and electric furnace, the right choice depends upon many factors. Whether you prefer a lengthy lifespan and less maintenance or upfront savings and environmental friendliness, a gas or electric furnace can provide you with the comfort and convenience you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to have a gas or electric furnace?

The answer to whether it’s better to have a gas or electric furnace depends on the climate, energy efficiency requirements and the specific needs of the homeowner. In most climates, a gas furnace is more energy efficient overall and cost effective, but electric furnaces have the advantage of being more thermally efficient. Ultimately, the best type of furnace to have depends on the individual’s circumstances and requirements.

How to tell the difference between gas furnace and electric furnace?

Gas furnaces produce heat by burning fuel, while electric furnaces produce heat through electric resistance. To tell the difference between the two, look for a small window on the front of the furnace. If you see a blue flame, then it is a gas furnace. Additionally, you may be able to hear the sound of a blower fan coming from the furnace, which would indicate that it is an electric furnace.

Which furnace last longer gas or electric?

Electric furnaces typically last 20 or more years, while gas furnaces are usually good for 15 to 20 years. Therefore, electric furnaces usually last longer than gas furnaces.

Should I replace my gas furnace with an electric furnace?

Yes, you should consider replacing your gas furnace with an electric furnace. Electric furnaces are more efficient and require less maintenance than gas furnaces, reducing overall costs and increasing energy conservation. With proper maintenance, an electric furnace can offer years of reliable use and cost savings.

Which is better electric or gas heat pump?

The best choice of heat pump depends on specific preferences and budget. Generally speaking, gas heat pumps are better suited for colder weather, as they warm faster and more efficiently. However, electric heat pumps are more affordable upfront and can still provide efficient heating over time. Ultimately, both types of heat pumps can be cost-effective and reliable, so consider your needs and budget before making a decision.

Is it cheaper to heat with gas or a heat pump?

The answer depends on energy costs in your area. Generally, heat pumps are more efficient than gas furnaces and can be up to 3x more energy efficient. Therefore, for most places, heat pumps can be cheaper to run than gas furnaces.

Is it cheaper to heat with gas or electric 2022?

Overall, gas heat is generally cheaper than electric heat in 2022. According to our analysis, natural gas heat will cost an average of $9.2 per million BTU (MMBTU), while electric heat on average costs $34 per million BTU (MMBTU). Thus, heating with natural gas is generally more cost-effective and will save you more money on your heating bills.

Is it cheaper to heat your house with gas or electric?

It is generally cheaper to heat your house with gas over electric. Gas furnaces are typically around 20% less expensive to use than electric furnaces, and their operating costs are lower. Gas furnaces also have fewer maintenance requirements, which can further reduce costs.

Is it cheaper to heat with electric or natural gas?

Natural gas is generally cheaper than electricity, making it the more cost-effective option to heat a home. Gas furnaces use less mechanical parts than electric furnaces, making them quieter overall. Therefore, it is cheaper to heat with natural gas than with electric.

How much more expensive is electric heat vs gas?

Electric heat is typically much more expensive than gas heat. On average, consumers can expect to pay 30-50% more for electric heating than for gas heating. Factors such as the type of heating system and energy efficiency of the home may also contribute to the difference in costs.

Is natural gas the cheapest way to heat a house?

Yes, natural gas is the cheapest way to heat a house. According to the federal Energy Information Administration, natural gas heating costs an average of 70 percent less per household than oil heat. This makes natural gas a more affordable option when heating a home.

Are natural gas prices going up in 2022?

Yes, natural gas prices are going up in 2022. According to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), the cost of a single unit of natural gas – or a therm – rose from $2.36 per therm in January 2022 to $5.11 per therm in January 2023, representing an increase of over 115%. This dramatic rise in prices will likely have a consequential impact on consumers.

Is an electric furnace better than a gas or propane furnace?

Yes, an electric furnace is usually more cost-effective than a gas or propane furnace. With installation and maintenance costs being lower, an electric furnace is often the better financial choice due to its lower initial and long-term costs. Furthermore, electric furnaces can provide reliable, efficient heat that can be easily controlled.

How much does an electric furnace cost?

An electric furnace typically costs between $2,000 and $4,000. This cost is usually higher than a gas furnace, which typically costs between $4,500 and $6,000. However, electric furnaces typically have higher efficiency and a lower initial purchase price, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run.

What are the advantages of a gas furnace?

The advantages of a gas furnace are cost-effectiveness, higher power, safety, efficiency, and lower emissions. Gas furnaces are more cost-effective to operate due to their higher efficiency and lower fuel costs. They are also more powerful, safer, and more efficient than electric furnaces, and burn cleaner than the fuels needed to power an electric furnace. Gas furnaces can also help lower emissions to improve the local air quality.

What is the difference between gas and electric heating?

The main difference between gas and electric heating is the fuel source used to generate heat. Gas heating systems typically use natural gas, propane, or butane, while electric heating systems use electrical energy for their source of heat. In terms of cost, electric heating systems tend to be slightly more expensive than gas-fueled units up front, but electric heating systems can be more cost effective in the long run due to the lower cost of electricity compared to natural gas.

Final Thoughts

When deciding between a gas and electric furnace, it is important to consider how much money you are willing to invest in a heating system. Electric furnaces are generally more affordable than gas furnaces, making them a great option for those on a budget. However, gas furnaces tend to be more efficient and provide better overall performance. Ultimately, the choice between a gas and electric furnace will depend on your budget, climate, and location.