With temperatures stubbornly clinging to the 80s throughout most of October and into November, it’s tough to begin thinking about heating season. But residential heating and cooling is one of our favorite topics, so we think about it a lot around here.

Then again, maybe heating is on your mind. Perhaps you recently gave your home furnace or aging boiler a pre-heating season test run and it didn’t go quite as well as you would have liked. If that’s the case, you’ve probably been losing a little sleep and asking yourself, “I wonder if I should I have a gas or electric furnace installed?” If so, rest assured, you’re in the right place. We have the answers you’re looking for.

While we understand that replacing a furnace may not be your idea of fun, we see it as a great opportunity to select the best, most efficient and reliable heating system for your home. Replacing an old, inefficient (and potentially dangerous) furnace in your home with a new, energy-efficient model can dramatically reduce your energy consumption, lower your utility bill, and create less pollution — all while making your home more comfortable. Feeling better about installing a new furnace? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of selecting a gas or an electric furnace for your home.

Benefits (and Disadvantages) of a Gas Furnace for Your Home

The most common fuel for heating American homes is natural gas and 57% of households reported using it to heat their home (Energy.gov). Gas is the fuel of choice for so many Americans because it’s much less expensive to operate than an electric furnace. Gas is a cheaper energy source than electric and a relatively clean-burning fossil fuel. Gas furnaces also heat your home faster and more efficiently than most electric units, keeping you and your loved ones toasty throughout winter’s coldest and darkest nights.

Most gas furnace manufacturers offer similar features, depending on price and may include variable speed blowers, variable heat output, air filtration, dual heat exchangers, advanced ignition systems, and zoned heating options.

As gas furnaces are more complex than electric systems, however, and they are more expensive to install and require routine maintenance and safety inspections.

Benefits (and Disadvantages) of an Electric Furnace for Your Home

Although gas is where it’s at for most homeowners, if gas isn’t an available in your neighborhood or region, or you’re looking to save on initial installation costs, then you may want to consider an electric furnace. Electric furnaces are quiet, durable, and easy to install.

Maintenance of an electric furnace is easy and straightforward. Most homeowners and renters are able to fix any issues that may occur. Finally, electric heaters may pose a lower risk to you and your family members because unlike gas units, which emit very low levels of carbon monoxide and require routine inspections and maintenance, electric furnaces are largely worry-free.

However, many homeowners report that electric doesn’t heat their home as comfortably as gas, and the monthly cost of running an electric system can be dramatically higher. Energy.gov notes that space heating accounts for 45% of energy bills in some U.S. households and SFGate reports, “Despite the relatively high efficiency of most electric heaters, electric heating is inherently inefficient. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, most electricity is produced using techniques that are only 30 percent efficient.”

For more help determining whether a new gas or electric furnace is right for your home or property, contact Parthenon Plumbing,  HVAC professionals.