If you’re in the market for a new furnace, now is the time to consider your options. The weather is cooling, but not yet freezing cold, which gives you time to explore the possibilities and make a decision that;’s best for you. Most homes in the area use furnaces of one kind or another to keep warm, and that, in turn, leads to a simple choice. Is a gas furnace right for your home, or would you do better with an electric model? Electric furnaces have their benefits and drawbacks, and if you’re looking for a new system, you should think about how they might benefit your home.
An electric furnace is called that because it derives its energy solely from the power grid in your home. The electricity feeds coils or similar warmers that heat up and send the warmth through your home. This stands in contrast to gas furnaces, which are fueled by burners fed by natural gas. Beyond those basics, there is a lot of variation in individual makes and models. Electric furnaces provide the following pros and cons.
- Inexpensive Installation. Because you don’t have to install any gas lines to run the heater, it costs comparatively little to install, which saves a lot in up-front costs.
- No Gas Lines. Municipal gas lines aren’t usually possible in rural areas, and a lot of people in our neck of the woods live in spots where gas is simply not a practical option. Electric furnaces provide reliable heating without having to worry about where the gas comes from.
- Quiet. Electric furnaces are often very quiet and don’t make a lot of distracting noise.
- Reliable. Electric furnaces don’t have as many moving parts as gas furnaces, and are thus much less prone to breakdowns and other problems. Again, this can be a big selling point for rural residents that repair services may not be able to reach particularly quickly.
- Long Lasting. Similarly, electric furnaces have a long life and can go for many years before requiring replacement: providing good value for the money you invest.
- Safe. Electric furnaces don’t produce harmful gas and there’s no chance of a gas leak. That makes them safer options than most gas furnaces.
- Less Effective. Electric furnaces tend to struggle to keep your house warm when the weather is especially cold, meaning it will run longer and provide a less comfortable environment on the whole than a gas furnace might. It also means that you may have to wait longer for heated air when you first turn your furnace on.
- Higher Costs. Gas is a much cheaper source of fuel than electricity, which means that you’re apt to pay higher monthly bills with an electric furnace.
- Less Versatile. Electric furnaces don’t work as well as gas furnaces do when added to a heat pump or similar means of air conditioning.