At some point, every homeowner will need to replace their furnace. When you do, there are basically two options; an electric heater or gas heater. Your choice depends on a few factors, including cost, efficiency, and where you live. If you’re weighing the decision of gas vs. electric heating, here’s a look at both to help you decide:
A gas heater is a higher up-front investment, but after installation, operating one is less expensive, assuming natural gas is available where you live. It is most cost-effective in cold climates during winter. And, as soon as the burners get going, gas furnaces produce maximum heat output right away.
Gas heaters require a chimney as well as air ducts and vents throughout your residence. Professional installation is your only option; there’s no way around it. The two types of gas heaters include flued heaters designed to vent gas away from living spaces, and non-flued, ventless heaters; a flueless heater is suited only for rooms with adequate ventilation.
Downside to Gas Heaters
Gas furnaces are more expensive to purchase and install. They also require more maintenance, or else efficiency and safety may be compromised. Combustible gas from a furnace can produce carbon monoxide, a deadly gas you can’t see or smell.
There’s a greater safety risk overall with gas heaters. Focused heating comes with fire dangers. If you have a ventless heater, it must be turned off before going to sleep. As these heaters dry out the air, skin conditions such as eczema can be exacerbated unless you use a humidifier.
Electric heaters include radiation heaters, which are great for spot heating. The heating element is built into a glass envelope. Heat is emitted as infrared radiation, while a reflector directs radiation into the surrounding air.
Convection heaters work by causing hot air to rise, and cold air to enter and also become heated. A hot air current is therefore established. Suited for closed spaces, these devices include oil-filled and ceramic heaters.
The benefits of electric heaters include a lower upfront investment. Installation is much simpler than with a gas heater, but if there’s a high demand, you’ll incur high costs for electricity. Electric furnaces are therefore better in warm climates. They don’t need venting, so installation is typically quick and non-disruptive, while an electric furnace is easier to maintain. Malfunctions are rare and less likely to affect the health of your household; still, annual inspections are recommended.
Electric Heater Disadvantages
An electric furnace takes a longer time to provide heating. The heating element must power up before the system can start warming your home, so adjusting the thermostat doesn’t yield instant results. Although nearly 100% efficient, electric furnaces do incur a higher lifetime cost than a gas system, given the same operating conditions.
How to Choose
Gas heaters are better suited for larger homes in colder climates. If you live in a smaller home, in a warmer climate, and/or natural gas isn’t available, electric heat is more economical. Electric heat pumps are the most efficient, and can even be used for summer cooling.
Express Electrical Services serves all of Southern California, including Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County & Ventura County. Our electricians offer a variety of electrical services & home safety services and we have a 60-90* minute response time on most services.
We guarantee same day response time for requests for emergency electrical services received before noon,
Monday through Saturday; our service within 60 minutes guarantee is subject to availability of electricians, and unless we have advised you at the time of the service call of a delay, if we do not arrive within 60 minutes of the end of our call with the Customer, the initial service call fee will be waived. We cannot guarantee same-day service or service within one hour on Sundays, but will do our best to respond to emergency service calls on Sundays, subject to electrician availability; there will be no waiver of the initial service call fee on Sundays. License: #992260