When you are choosing a new furnace for your home, you have many different things to consider. But one of the first and most basic decisions that you’ll have to make is what type of fuel source your system will use. The two most common fuel sources for furnaces are natural gas and electricity. Today we’re going to help you choose between these fuel types by talking about the pros and cons of gas and electric furnaces and how to choose which one is right for your home!
Pros and cons of an electric furnace
An electric furnace uses heating elements that are powered by electricity to deliver warm air to your home. An air handler blows air over those heating elements, and the heated air is delivered to your rooms through your ductwork.
- Electric furnace pros: Because an electric furnace does not need to be connected to a gas supply and does not need a venting system for fuel-burning byproducts, it is generally less complicated and a bit less expensive to install. In addition, because an electric furnace does not burn fuel, it does not run the risk of any carbon monoxide leaks.
- Electric furnace cons: The biggest con of an electric furnace is that electricity is much more expensive than natural gas. Even though electric furnaces can have higher AFUE ratings than gas furnaces, they are almost always a lot more expensive to operate. In addition, electric furnaces can struggle to keep your home comfortable in extremely cold temperatures.
Pros and cons of a gas furnace
A gas furnace uses burners that are fueled by natural gas to heat a metal heat exchanger inside of your furnace. An air handler blows air over the outside walls of the heat exchanger, and the heated air is delivered to your rooms through your ductwork.
- Gas furnace pros: As mentioned above, natural gas is much less expensive than electricity. As a result, gas furnaces cost much less money to operate than electric furnaces. In addition, gas furnaces are more powerful than electric furnaces. This allows gas furnaces to heat your home faster and makes them more suitable than electric furnaces to handle extremely cold temperatures.
- Gas furnace cons: A gas furnace must be connected to your home’s gas supply line and a venting system is required to vent fuel-burning byproducts out of your home. As a result, gas furnaces can be a bit more complicated and expensive to install than electric furnaces. In addition, gas furnaces emit carbon monoxide when they burn fuel. Normally, the gas is safely vented out of your home. However, your furnace can develop safety issues that allow carbon monoxide to build up in your home.
Gas or electric furnace: How to choose the right one for your home
In most scenarios in St. Louis area homes, gas furnaces are a better option than electric furnaces. Even though gas furnaces might be a bit more expensive to install, you will more than makeup for that in the amount of money you’ll save on natural gas (as opposed to what you’d spend on electricity with an electric furnace). As mentioned above, gas furnaces are also better at keeping your home comfortable. Although gas furnaces can develop safety issues, they are normally completely safe to operate and you can avoid potential problems by scheduling annual tune-ups and regularly changing the air filter.
An electric furnace is typically only recommended for homes that do not have access to a fuel supply. The only type of electric heating system that we recommend as an alternative to gas furnaces is a dual fuel heat pump, which uses a combination of natural gas and electricity.
If you have any questions about choosing a gas or electric furnace, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Charles, MO, furnace installation and repair contractor. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like Weldon Spring, Wentzville and Winghaven, MO.
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