Gas vs Electric Furnaces: A Side By Side Comparison (Pros & Cons)

When it comes to heating your home, there are several options to choose from, but two of the most common are electric and gas furnaces. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and deciding between them can be a crucial decision for homeowners.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key differences between electric furnace vs gas furnace systems, discussing:

  • Their pros and cons
  • Cost considerations
  • Longevity
  • How to make an informed decision to ensure your home stays warm and comfortable

Pros and Cons of Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their simplicity and ease of installation. Here are some of the pros and cons associated with electric furnaces:

✅ Pros:

  • Efficiency: Electric furnaces are highly efficient at converting energy into heat, making them a cost-effective option in areas with low electricity rates.
  • Clean Burning: Electric furnaces produce no emissions during operation, making them environmentally friendly and suitable for homes without access to natural gas.
  • Safety: Electric furnaces have fewer safety concerns compared to gas furnaces because they don’t involve combustion. There is no risk of carbon monoxide (CO) leaks, and they do not require a flue or chimney.
  • Low Maintenance: Electric furnaces are relatively low maintenance, with fewer parts that can break down or wear out compared to gas furnaces.
  • Quiet Operation: Electric furnaces tend to operate more quietly than their gas counterparts, providing a quieter and more comfortable living environment.

❌ Cons:

  • Operating Cost: Electric furnaces can be more expensive to operate in regions with high electricity rates, as they rely on electricity for heat generation.
  • Limited Heating Capacity: Electric furnaces may struggle to provide sufficient heat in extremely cold climates, which could result in higher energy consumption and utility bills.
  • Initial Cost: The upfront cost of purchasing and installing an electric furnace can be higher compared to gas furnaces, especially if your home doesn’t already have the necessary electrical infrastructure.
  • Dependency on Electricity: In the event of a power outage, electric furnaces will not work, leaving your home without heat during critical times.

Pros and Cons of Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces, on the other hand, have been a traditional choice for heating homes for many years. Let’s take a closer look at their advantages and disadvantages:

✅ Pros:

  • Lower Operating Cost: Gas furnaces are generally more cost-effective to operate in areas with affordable natural gas rates, making them a preferred choice in regions with colder climates.
  • Faster Heating: Gas furnaces can provide rapid and consistent heating, making them ideal for homes that require quick temperature adjustments.
  • High Heating Capacity: Gas furnaces are capable of providing substantial heat output, making them suitable for large homes or those in colder regions.
  • Energy Independence: Gas furnaces can operate during power outages, ensuring your home stays warm even when electricity is unavailable.

❌ Cons:

  • Emissions: Gas furnaces produce CO and other emissions during combustion, posing potential health risks if not properly maintained or vented. Regular maintenance and ventilation are essential to minimize these risks.
  • Higher Maintenance: Gas furnaces require more frequent maintenance due to the combustion process and the presence of more complex components, such as burners and pilot lights.
  • Safety Concerns: Gas furnaces have a higher risk of gas leaks or CO emissions, which can be dangerous if not promptly addressed. Adequate ventilation and carbon monoxide detectors are essential for safety.
  • Installation Challenges: Installing a gas furnace may require a gas line installation if one doesn’t already exist, adding to the initial cost and complexity of the installation.

Cost Differences

One of the most significant factors in choosing between an electric and gas furnace is the cost, which can encompass both initial purchase and ongoing operating expenses.

Initial Cost:

Electric furnaces tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to gas furnaces. The installation of an electric furnace may also require upgrades to your home’s electrical system, further increasing the initial investment. In contrast, gas furnaces often have a lower initial cost, but this can vary depending on whether you already have a gas line in place.

Operating Cost:

The operating cost of an electric furnace depends largely on your electricity rates, with higher rates resulting in higher monthly bills. Gas furnaces are typically cheaper to operate in areas with lower natural gas prices. However, keep in mind that gas furnaces require periodic maintenance and the potential added cost of gas line installation.

It’s essential to consider both the initial cost and long-term operating expenses when making your decision. Calculating potential energy savings over the life of the furnace can help you determine the most cost-effective option for your specific circumstances.

Longevity of Gas and Electric Furnaces

The longevity of a furnace is another critical factor to consider when making your choice. On average, both electric and gas furnaces can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years with proper maintenance. However, the specific lifespan can vary based on factors such as brand, quality, and maintenance practices.

Electric furnaces often have fewer components that canwear out or break down, potentially resulting in a longer lifespan. Gas furnaces may require more maintenance due to combustion-related components, but regular servicing can extend their longevity.

Ultimately, proper care and regular maintenance are essential for maximizing the lifespan of your furnace, regardless of the type you choose.

How to Choose the Right Furnace for Your Home

Selecting the right furnace for your home involves considering various factors, including your location, budget, and heating needs. Here are some steps to help you make an informed decision:

  • Evaluate Your Location: Consider your geographic location and climate. If you live in a region with harsh winters, a gas furnace may be more suitable due to its higher heating capacity. Conversely, if you reside in an area with low electricity rates or environmental concerns, an electric furnace might be a better choice.
  • Assess Your Budget: Determine your budget for both the initial purchase and ongoing operating expenses. Factor in installation costs, potential electrical or gas line upgrades, and monthly utility bills.
  • Calculate Operating Costs: Research the current electricity and natural gas rates in your area and estimate the annual operating costs for each type of furnace. Consider your expected heating needs and climate conditions when making these calculations.
  • Consider Safety: Safety should be a top priority. Ensure your chosen furnace type meets all safety standards and codes. Install carbon monoxide detectors if you opt for a gas furnace, and schedule regular maintenance to prevent potential safety issues.
  • Consult with Professionals: Seek guidance from HVAC professionals who can assess your home’s heating requirements and provide recommendations based on your specific situation. They can help you determine the right size and type of furnace for your needs.
  • Environmental Impact: If environmental concerns are a priority, consider the carbon footprint of each furnace type. Electric furnaces produce no direct emissions during operation, while gas furnaces emit CO and other pollutants. However, the environmental impact can vary depending on your local electricity generation mix.
  • Long-Term Planning: Think about your long-term plans for your home. If you plan to stay in your current residence for many years, investing in a more energy-efficient furnace may pay off in the long run.

Get the Heating System That’s Right For You

Choosing between an electric furnace and a gas furnace involves careful consideration of factors such as cost, efficiency, safety, and environmental impact. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the right choice depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. By assessing your heating needs, budget, and location and consulting with HVAC professionals, you can make an informed decision that ensures your home stays warm and comfortable for years to come.

Ready to switch to either an electric or gas furnace system? Aquarius can help. Contact us today to get started!

John Reuter
John Reuter
1719011907
I was scheduled for Thursday appointment in the morning. After waiting ALL day Thursday, at 3:30 pm I was informed that the technition was not going to be coming that day, I rescheduled for Friday after 10:00 and had to wait until almost 12:00 (noon) for the technition to arrive. The technician took only about 15 minutes to complete the job. To add insult to injury, he then charged us $292.40 which I feel was (is) excessive.
Laura Wardell
Laura Wardell
1718985974
Jack O
Jack O
1718934864
Ethan was here today for our A/C check-up. He was very thorough and professional. Explained everything did an excellent job. Thanks
Arif Ali
Arif Ali
1718907329
Good communication, prompt reply to my inquiry.Professional, knowledgeable and courteous technician, Josiah, who came to the site to perform the work. Our heater was leaking. The root cause was identified and corrected immediately at the spot. Thank you.
Kent Toft
Kent Toft
1718901229
I use this business every time!!They are 10 stars great!!!!!!I can go on and onThey are the best!!!Riley is my main guyHe is polite, courteous,and very thorough!!He explains everything!!!When he us done everything is clean & perfectGGGRREAT guy. Compliment to your business and to himselfI will always go with Aquarius and ALWAYS WITH RILEYThank everyone at Aquarius!!!Kent and Kim Toft. Blaine,MN
David Campbell
David Campbell
1718892842
Very professional. Thank you!
00
00
1718858125
This place was amazing. I called before 8 AM today and I was asked how they could make me smile today!! I thought I had the wrong number. Nope. I told them if they could get my central air working, I would smile. 😀Shortly after the call I received a text message with a brief bio about the technician Mike, with years of experience, stating he was on his way. If I wanted to track his location, I could click the link. Once Mike arrived it didn’t take him long to figure out what was going on with my central air unit. He described everything in detail about what was wrong with it and he took the time to answer several questions I had. Mike also cleaned the unit when he was done. I am very pleased with all aspects of this company and will definitely be using them again!
Mike (Just Mike)
Mike (Just Mike)
1718846047
Always a good experience!
David Tingstad
David Tingstad
1718834301
Nate and A. J. did some electrical work at my house. They were both knowledgeable and professional as well as personable. The finished work looks excellent. I would highly recommend them and Aquarius for any work you need done.
John Meyers
John Meyers
1718830702
Brandon was here to inspect our A/C. He did a wonderful job and suggested a couple items that might need replacing down the road. This was a very good experience and I highly recommend Aquarius.
Wendy Page
Wendy Page
1718821885
Ethan is an excellent tech and Aquarius associate. Very knowledgeable, very thorough, answered all of my questions and is respectful. Provided helpful HVAC information.
Ronald Kath
Ronald Kath
1718759245
Riley took time to explain all the services and answerd all my questions. He is very professional and knowledgeable. I feel my HVAC is working at top efficiency with the suggested preventive maintenance services. Those prevented maintenance services will help to avoid a future breakdown. He is personable. I will definitely be requesting Riley for my next scheduled service.
G ROSS
G ROSS
1718740363
Nicole Eggan
Nicole Eggan
1718736861
Everything went as planned. Installers were friendly and informative.
Ginger Murray
Ginger Murray
1718735936
We really like Aquarius' professional and friendly service. They always respond quickly when we have an issue, and we like being on their service plans for water, heating, and AC.
Debra Larsen
Debra Larsen
1718674439
Wow!! Talk about over and above in customer service! As a homeowner I highly recommend Aquarius. They were incredibly thorough and also took the time to do “extras” for me that I didn’t expect. They found and fixed problems that other companies would have walked away from. I have owned my home for 28 years and I am thrilled and just blown away by the level of excellence and customer service I received. I am going to use Aquarius for absolutely everything. Everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
Alan Wetzel
Alan Wetzel
1718657730
Micah was thorough, efficient, and explained things while servicing the water heater. Also he is a pleasant person to be with during the service call.
Ben Nelson
Ben Nelson
1718647531
Great experience. Thanks for getting our A/C back on so quickly.
Terry Bilse -Kraft
Terry Bilse -Kraft
1718637426
Mike was very professional, polite and did a very good job of letting me know the condition of our AC unit.
Cherie. Skildum
Cherie. Skildum
1718633975
While the plumber was the nicest guy, I truly felt that the service was very slow. Installing 2 faucets and a shower head and simple control should never take 4 1/2 hours!! And our plumbing was up to code! A pretty big bill for a little work.
Chuck
Chuck
1718544944
Nick is awesome…figured out the recurring issue instantly. I can’t thank him enough for getting us up and running promptly and efficiently. Super positive attitude even after a long day, would request him for any future work.
Bill Sherck
Bill Sherck
1718471827
AC not working and Nicholas got to us on the weekend and problem-solved the blown fuses. No charge as warranty work. Professional. Thank goodness before excessive heat warbing! Thanks Aquarius!
Pat Alexander
Pat Alexander
1718405710
The most thorough AC check up I have EVER had in the 18 years I have owned my house. And I get AC and furnace check up done EVERY year.
Ileana Essig
Ileana Essig
1718398249
Ethan was friendly and very informative. When he arrived, I made it clear that I was not interested in additional services, just the tuneup/inspection of my HVAC system. He went over the results and answered my questions with thorough explanations without trying to upsell me via a list of ’recommendations’, which I sincerely appreciated.
Richard Pierson
Richard Pierson
1718388233
Michael Brandt
Michael Brandt
1718382329
Nick and Marcus were knowledgeable, efficient, and friendly. Great service call.
Nathan McCauley
Nathan McCauley
1718325023
Ethan did a great job servicing our A/C unit and went above and beyond the call of duty by removing the mice that had taken up residence in the unit.Thank you.
LA Paul
LA Paul
1718317846
Nicholas and Marcus went over everything in detail and explained what should be prioritized. Even tolerated the cat that wanted to supervise their work. Great employees for Aquarius, always responsive and professional. Ended up scheduling another appointment for some electrical repair. Great company to work with.
John Stiehl
John Stiehl
1718316855
Anson MacFarlane
Anson MacFarlane
1718314204
Great service!
Joel DeMarais
Joel DeMarais
1718222835
Completely satisfied with the work Chris, Nick and Matt did installing a new Furnace and A/C system. They were very thorough, courteous and professional!
Ted ALLISON
Ted ALLISON
1718216675
Raymond Cruz
Raymond Cruz
1718192723
RayVery satisfied and impressed!Thanks to Travis, David, Adam & EricFriendly, professional and knowledgeableThey arrived explained what was going to happen and kept me updated on the process.Answered my many questions.As they finished cleaning everything up. They again insured that I had no other questions before leaving.GREAT JOB!!
Patty George
Patty George
1718150859
Brandon was great! He gave great advice, had attention to details, was helpful and trustworthy. I love that I can be in a service program with Aquarius to help me remember the updates and cleanings during the year, especially when I have too many things to remember to do. ☺️
Bryce Chu
Bryce Chu
1718148665
Nick and his partner were incredibly thorough in their inspection of my AC and furnace unit. They clearly pointed out areas of concern as well as what working properly both inside and outside. They presented clear options for repair or intervention. I felt was given all the information I needed and had all my questions answered in simple direct language that most laymen unfamiliar with jargon could understand. Highly recommend.
Dale and Carol Tilden
Dale and Carol Tilden
1718131763
Aquarius takes excellent care of my water softening and heating as well as my furnace and air conditioning systems. Also just had a new electric panel installed (needed updating).
Debra Klejeski
Debra Klejeski
1718055650
Jon answered our questions and explained everything on the checklist. He was very professional and courteous!
Jeff Peterson
Jeff Peterson
1718055086
Wally Lee
Wally Lee
1718044949
Brandon did a great job for us with our A/C general maintenance check. Very knowledgeable, and was professional and efficient.
Joe Capistrant
Joe Capistrant
1718042522
Nate is wonderful. Knows his stuff. Resolved a troublesome problem. Very pleasant, enjoyable fellow.
Cindy Rae Dainsberg
Cindy Rae Dainsberg
1718034743
Brandon was exceptional. Professional. Knowledgeable. Efficient. Kind. Caring. Remembers the client from previous visits. An excellent example of what Customer Service should be to keep customers coming back.
Gary Smith
Gary Smith
1718030176
Excellent technician. Nick is an outstanding young man and very knowledgeable. I felt like he was giving me an honest assessment of my system.
mary bond
mary bond
1717801266
Our water heater went out on Fri evening. We called Aquarius early Sat morning and they said earliest they could get out was Mon. On Sun I received a text confirming our Mon appointment but on Mon morning they called and said the earliest they could get to us was the following week !We should be without hot water till then ? We are not a new customer…. 5 months previously we had a new furnace and air conditioner installed at quite an expense. I am appalled at their service or rather lack there of ! As an established customer they felt waiting approximately 10days without water was acceptable Bad, Bad, Bad !Two weeks later…The air conditioner Aquarius installed in Dec failed to cool when we turned it on on our 1st warm days. After the poor experience I had had with them I didn’t want to deal with them again but since it was under warranty I had to. We were told we would have a technician out Wed morning. After waiting at home all day they called and canceled at 4pm. We were rescheduled for Fri morning. We had several calls during the day with updates At 5:22 pm we received a cal the tech would be here at 6pm. We cancelled our dinner reservation and are awaiting his arrival.I realize our air conditioning is not an emergency but we have spent 2days waiting for our scheduled service. This is in addition to the 10days they wanted us to wait for a new water heater(which I do think is an emergency) I feel bad for the tech who I’m sure has had a long day and must now come at 6 on a Fri evening. Once again I repeat Aquarius has failed us again !!
Todd Schull
Todd Schull
1717795955
Riley was the tech that performed our membership maintenance check-up. He did an outstanding job explaining what was included in the maintenance check-up. After his inspection, he was very detailed, using pictures, to help describe what he found and he made recommendations on what should be addressed now and what could wait until our next membership maintenance check-up. He was very thorough doing the repairs, cleaning impeccably both our furnace and air conditioner. We are going to request Riley for all our member maintenance check-ups going forward.
Gary Winkel
Gary Winkel
1717786300
John Keller
John Keller
1717778469
Gordy replaced my lawn faucet once it was clear that it could not be repaired. He explained the problem and the process to fix it in a clear and professional manner. The cost were what I expected for such a job.
Robert McDivitt
Robert McDivitt
1717771730
Great service from Ethan. Very helpful and professional.
Frank Potocnik
Frank Potocnik
1717721504
Service Tech Nick was great. Thank you
Anthony Mielzarek
Anthony Mielzarek
1717713912
Riley is always a professional when coming to the house for HVAC services. He is always a pleasure to deal with! Even my dogs like him!
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