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Gas vs Electric Furnaces

Ever wonder about the differences between a gas and electric furnace? Are you in the market for a new furnace and are looking for the pros and cons of each? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Most of the time an electric furnace’s upfront cost can be cheaper to purchase. The price can make them a more affordable option for families to have a new furnace installed. The technology of an electric heater is pretty basic. It has tightly wound coils that are positioned directly inside the air handler box. Electric resistance current creates heat, which is pushed through the ductwork by a blower fan. The coils are inexpensive compared to the burners, ignition system and heat exchanger you’d find in a gas furnace, so you should expect to spend anywhere from 25-50% less on an electric furnace than a comparable gas model.

Electric furnaces can be easier for the technician to install. With an electric furnace install there are not as many prerequisites as a gas furnace install. (Think gas lines, venting, tools, fittings etc.) Basic components and an easier install means less cost.

An electric furnace tends to be quiet and has a long life if maintained correctly. And since the basic upkeep on them is pretty easy, they should in turn last a long time. Electric furnaces are highly efficient, like 100% efficient. Sounds pretty great, right? Right, but don’t confuse efficiency with economics. Electricity is a lot more expensive than gas right now. In fact, it is 3-4x more expensive, so to run your electric furnace it’ll cost you 3-4x more than a comparable gas furnace. Yikes! Watch out for that utility bill!

After that utility bill scare, gas furnaces may seem like the way to go now, but in some areas, gas is not even a feasible choice. The neighborhood or region you live in may not have the infrastructure for it.

As we pointed out earlier, your initial cost for a gas furnace is going to be more than an electric furnace. The equipment and its parts cost more and installing it can be more complicated. In a gas furnace, the igniter lights a burner inside the combustion chamber. The heat created is then pushed into the heat exchanger and the air is heated to whatever temperature you have preset on your thermostat. This newly heated air is then pushed through the ductwork and into the house. The combustion gases used to create the heat are vented through a flue. Venting your unit is imperative because you are using gas. With gas there are fumes, such as carbon monoxide, that off can off gas from the furnace into your home. The good news is that proper installation, venting and maintaining the upkeep on your gas furnace can keep you and your family safe. Oh, and always have carbon monoxide detectors in your home, no matter what type of furnace you have.

You must also make sure your equipment is properly maintained for it to run as efficiently as possible. Because a gas furnace has more complicated parts, you will need regular tunes ups by a trained HVAC technician to check your gas furnace and make sure everything is running properly.

Although a gas furnace is not 100% efficient, like an electric furnace is, models these days are usually around 95% efficient. Despite the electric furnace being more efficient, the gas furnace still wins the contest when the utility bill shows up. Like we said before, efficiency is not the same as fuel cost and right now electricity is 3-4x more expensive than gas. This adds up, month after month, year after year.

No matter what type of furnace you choose, make sure that one of Godby’s trained HVAC technicians installs it for you. Once you have that new, high quality, efficient furnace in, make sure you keep it in tip top shape by changing the filters and getting it tuned up before the cold season. Is maintaining your furnace the chore you often forget about? Join Club Godby and leave it to the experts! We will remind you to get your furnace tuned up before the cold season. If something should happen to your furnace, you’d receive 20% your services as well.

Why not call the team that is locally owned and operated and let Godby help keep your home comfortable for everyone. The Godby name has been serving Indianapolis and the surrounding areas for over 40 years! When it comes to your HVAC needs, remember, It’s Gotta be Godby.



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