Electric Heat Pros and Cons
- Low unit cost: Electric furnaces are less expensive than gas furnaces. They also are easier to install, making them an excellent choice if you are not in colder climates.
- Easy installation: Electric furnaces are easy to install and do not need to be vented to the outside. This gives the advantage of installation in just about any part of the home. Also, there will need to be less construction because of the smaller requirements for installation.
- Worry-free maintenance: All furnaces should be checked every year. However, there is little concern for your electric furnace having a malfunction that is detrimental to your family.
- Higher overall cost: Operating under the same conditions over the lifetime of the units, electric heaters cost more. The higher cost of electricity as opposed to natural gas means that even with the lower cost of the units themselves, you end up paying more – especially if you live in a region that is cold more of the year than not.
- Slower heating: Electric heaters have a heating element that has to be warmed up before the system can actually warm the air. This causes a much slower heating process and can cause a burst of cold air from the outlets right after the system is started.
Gas Heat Pros and Cons
- Natural gas is cheap: Natural gas is widely available and considerably cheaper than electricity.
- Faster heating: Gas heaters tend to heat the home faster. The system is producing a flame and running air over a heat exchange. A flame is immediately hot instead of the electric element’s slow startup.
- Expensive installation: With higher costs per unit and the need to vent the system, the system tends to have a higher upfront cost.
- Shorter lifespan: You can expect a gas furnace to last 10 to 20 years. This is due to the creation of an actual flame. Often, repairs can be as easy as replacing the heat exchanger.
- More maintenance requirements: Because they run natural gas, gas furnaces need to be maintained yearly to ensure safe, efficient operation. Skipping regular maintenance could put your family at risk of exposure to carbon monoxide gas.