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Meyers Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Choosing Between a Gas or Electric Furnace

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If it’s almost time for a new heater, you may be researching your options. Aside from different types of heaters, you also have to consider gas and electricity as your source of energy. Two of the most popular types of heaters for homeowners are gas furnaces and electric furnaces.

Heating in Boulder, CO is a serious business because we get some frigid temperatures on the coldest days of winter. You want to make sure you have a system that offers reliable heat and energy efficiency–no compromises! Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of each type of heater. 

How Heaters Work

No matter what type of heater you have, it functions similarly. You set a temperature on your thermostat and when it gets cool enough inside your home, the thermostat signals the heater to turn on. If you have a gas heater, the thermostat signals your pilot light to ignite and a burner turns on to heat your air. If you have an electric heater, then the burner turns on with electrical ignition. Then warm air gets blown into the ductwork and through vents into your home. 

Pros of a Gas Furnace

It usually costs less to heat your home with a gas furnace because gas offers more efficient heat and doesn’t require as much energy. Additionally, natural gas costs less on average than electricity. Gas furnaces also create heat faster than their electric counterparts. That means that your home gets warmer faster when you turn on the heater. 

A gas heater offers the added benefit of reliability if you lose power. Even when the electricity goes out, gas lines are usually unaffected. You should still be able to heat your home if you lose power with a natural gas furnace.

Cons of a Gas Furnace

Gas furnaces tend to wear out faster, so you may have to replace the system sooner than if you had an electric heater. That being said, you can expect your gas heater to last for up to 20 years, which is a long time. But your gas furnace will only last that long if you keep up with annual maintenance and repairs. 

Gas furnaces can also be more expensive. The system is more complicated and so repairs cost more when you do need to make them. Plus the initial installation costs can be more. Of course, you do recoup some of these costs over the life of the unit in energy savings. 

Gas is also considered more dangerous than electricity. Natural gas is highly combustible, which makes it great for heating, but it can also pose fire hazards. Although gas leaks are rare, they are possible, but the risks are minimized through regular maintenance.

Pros of an Electric Furnace

An electric furnace costs less to purchase and install upfront. They’re also easier to maintain so you can save money over the life of the unit on maintenance and repairs.

If you take care of your electric heater, you can expect it to last up to 30 years. Keep in mind that this estimate only applies when you keep up with maintenance and take care of your system. It’s a safer option because you don’t have to worry about the flammability of natural gas. 

Cons of an Electric Furnace

Any heater that uses electricity will cost more to run. Electricity doesn’t create heat as efficiently as gas, so the system may have to work harder and use more energy. This means that it can also take longer for your home to get warm when you do turn on the heat. 

Contact Meyers Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

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