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Choosing Between a Natural Gas or Electric Furnace

blue-question-markFurnaces are, without a doubt, one of the most reliable heating systems on the market. There’s no shortage of homeowners requesting them, and it’s rare to find an HVAC contractor who doesn’t offer furnace installation services.

But even when talking about furnaces, you must break them down into two separate categories: natural gas furnaces and electric furnaces. Both of them have their own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Natural Gas Furnaces

These are one of the most popular kinds of furnaces in the country—and for good reason. Many homeowners may have moved into homes with furnaces already in place and may already be familiar with them. They burn gas in order to create warm air, which is then blown through your home via a series of ducts.

Little has changed in furnace technology over the years because they are quite reliable when installed by a professional.

Pros:

  • Fast Heating: Gas furnaces warm up quickly and will deliver hot air when you need it.
  • Cost Effective: Natural gas happens to be an inexpensive source of fuel, allowing you to run your heater guilt-free.
  • Useful in Any Climate: Gas furnaces are used everywhere, from sunny California to the coldest states in the nation.

Cons:

  • Expensive Installation: If you don’t already have a gas line, expect a costlier installation. Even then, not all homes are capable of receiving gas lines.
  • Safety Hazards: Although rare, gas-burning appliances welcome the risk of carbon monoxide and gas leaks.

Electric Furnace

Electric furnaces work nearly the same as gas-powered furnaces, but they use electrical heating elements instead of gas burners. One way to think of an electric furnace is by comparing it to the operation of a hairdryer. Room temperature air comes in, gets heated by the heat exchanger, and out comes the warm air.

Although these furnaces are often over-shadowed by gas furnaces, the home with particular needs can greatly benefit from this system.

Pros:

  • Versatile: As long as your home uses electricity, it can use an electric furnace. They’re also smaller than natural gas furnaces, helping them fit into smaller homes.
  • Cost of Installation: They are cheaper to install than gas furnaces.
  • Safe: Since there’s no combustible fuel, there’s no risk of carbon monoxide leaks or gas problems.

Cons:

  • Slower: It takes more time to warm up the heating components of an electric furnace than it does through burning gas.
  • Fuel Costs: Electric furnaces are actually more efficient than gas furnaces, but the cost of electricity in may regions cancels out this benefit.

The Bottom Line

Whether or not you need a gas or electric furnace will have to do with your heating habits, the type of home you live in, and whether you have access to natural gas.

Sometimes, deciding on one or the other isn’t as straightforward as it would seem. That’s why we recommend always consulting with a professional of heater installation in Whittier, CA before making any decisions. After all, both types of furnaces are rated to last between 10 and 15 years—you don’t want to be stuck with the wrong one!

To find the best heating system for your home, speak with a professional of HVAC. Contact Greenleaf Heating & Cooling today!

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