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A Head-to-Head Comparison of Electric vs. Gas Furnaces

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When the time comes to replace your furnace, you’ll probably have a decision to make: should you replace it with a gas-burning unit or should you go with an all-electric option? Both gas and electric-powered furnaces are found throughout Southern California, and each type has their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. However, if you don’t know what it is you’re looking for and what each type of unit is capable of, it’s easy to become confused or overwhelmed by this decision.

If this sounds like the situation you find yourself in, then this blog is for you. We’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of gas and electric powered furnace units and help you figure out which type of unit is the best for you.

Gas-Burning Furnaces

A gas-burning furnace produces heat by (you guessed it) burning natural gas. The unit receives a supply of fuel from a natural gas connection, which it then burns to create heat. That heat is then pushed around your home by your blower fan. Think of it sort of like lighting a fire in your fireplace, only the heat is spread throughout your home via your duct network, the fire is continually fed with fuel automatically, and fire itself is significantly safer as it’s completely contained.

Gas-powered furnaces have a number of advantages in California. For starters, natural gas is significantly cheaper as a fuel source than electricity is, and that means you won’t cringe quite so hard from running your furnace as you do when you run your air conditioning all summer long. This makes them a great choice for larger homes which need a significant amount of heat that would cost a fortune to produce with electricity. Gas furnaces are also generally inexpensive and have great longevity

However, there is a downside to gas furnaces: they are significantly less efficient than electric units. Whereas the best gas-burning furnaces on the market these days are roughly around 95 percent efficient, electric-powered furnaces have been shown time and time again to produce far more energy per unit of fuel, which means that those who are concerned about their energy consumption may be put off by them. Likewise, gas-burning units also need to have a gas connection, and those who are switching from an electric unit which doesn’t already have a gas line will have to pay to install one in order to make the switch happen. This adds a pretty steep cost to the investment.

Electric-Powered Furnaces

Electric furnaces use the power of electricity to produce heat. These units run electricity through a high-resistance coil, which causes the coil to heat up. That heat is then sent throughout your home via your blower fan and duct network.

As you can imagine, an electric-powered furnace is going to use significantly more electricity than a gas-burning unit, and with surging electricity costs showing no signs of slowing down, that’s a rather unpalatable prospect for some people. Depending on the size of your home and how often you run your furnace, you could wind up spending quite a bit more for energy than you would with a gas furnace. However, you’ll have to make that determination for yourself as every home is different.

Electric furnaces have a number of advantages over their gas-burning counterparts. For starters, they have no moving parts beyond the standard blower fan, and that makes them generally pretty reliable. They rarely break down and can last for decades with nothing more than simple preventative maintenance work. Likewise, because they don’t burn any fuel, they don’t pollute. Whereas gas burning furnaces will need an exhaust connection to let out the fumes from burned fuel, electric furnaces don’t produce any harmful waste that could pollute the atmosphere. Finally, because they only require an electrical connection, they can be installed in virtually any home.

Do you need a new furnace? Talk to the Los Angeles furnace installation team at H.L. Moe Co., Inc. by calling (818) 396-8002 today and learn more about which option is right for you.

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