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Electric Furnace VS Gas Furnace

Your home can heat up in several ways that will keep you and your family warm during the winter season. Most homeowners have two choices – electric or gas furnaces. Electric furnaces are different from heat pumps which offer both heating and cooling. Both types of furnaces produce heat, but they do so in different ways.

How a Furnace Works

To understand how these two units differ, you have to understand how a furnace works with your HVAC system to heat your home. Irrespective of the fuel source, the unit remains idle till the thermostat detects the air temperature is lower than the current setting. When that happens, it signals the furnace to heat the exchanger.

When the temperature reaches the set level, the blower turns on, at which point hot air displaces cold air, and the former spreads through your home via ducts. That is how your HVAC system uses the furnace to heat your home and make you and your family toasty warm during the winter.

What an Electric & Gas Furnace Have In Common

Both electric and gas furnaces use forced air to heat your home and both turn on when the thermostat signals them.

When a gas unit receives a signal, it turns on the pilot light, igniting the heat exchanger’s main burner. This is a tiny flame that is always burning. The heat is drawn from the main burner and circulates through your home. When an electric furnace receives a signal, on the other hand, it activates heating elements in the furnace.

In both cases, a fan blows heated air around the house through the ductwork, and cooler air returns to the furnace to be heated. The furnaces shut off when the thermostat reaches the set temperature. The leftover heated air dissipates, and the fan shuts off.

Safety and Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, electric furnaces come out on top. Since these don’t have burners that must be cleaned and inspected, they do not require as much maintenance. It is one of the main reasons why electric furnaces are more cost-efficient than their gas counterparts.

A gas furnace requires yearly maintenance to ensure it runs smoothly. It has to be checked for condensation so it doesn’t rust before its time. These furnaces depend on combustion heating which is notorious for carbon monoxide emissions.

Only HVAC professionals have the appropriate equipment and knowledge to ensure that the system is cleaned and working properly. A hack job can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s the main reason why people who own gas furnaces also installed CO2 detectors with the system.


Compared to electric furnaces, which can last for two to three decades, gas furnaces typically last for 20 years, and the reason comes down to maintenance frequency. The burner in a gas furnace emits particles that can build up and need to be cleaned out. If cleanup is delayed, the furnace can break down. Plus, the heat exchanger is also prone to corrosion. Electric furnaces don’t need as much maintenance, so they last longer.


Both gas and electric furnaces emit some noise while they operate. Gas furnaces are slightly louder than their electric counterparts because they have a complex design, more parts, and a burner, which makes a loud rushing sound as it turns on.

Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to costs, you are better off with a gas-fueled one than an electrical one which consumes costly units of electricity. You should also consider the size you need, the fuel you have access to, and the type of heating system you have before choosing between the two.

Choose a gas furnace if:

●You have access to natural gas via a pipeline.
●You live in a cold climate or run your heating system seven months at a stretch.
●You want to reduce your energy costs.

Choose an electric furnace if:

●Your home is not near any gas lines.
●You live in a place where the climate is mild, and it doesn’t snow.
●You don’t want to splurge for yearly maintenance.

These were just some of the similarities and differences between a gas and an electric furnace. No one can give better advice than professionals who have years of experience in repairing, maintaining, and installing these units. So if you are in the market for a new furnace, HVAC system, or need quotes for a maintenance plan, get in touch with the people at King Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing.

Contact Us for Furnace Installation & Repair

Whether you choose an electric or a gas furnace, it should meet your energy and comfort needs. Allow King professional installers to install your unit for you. We can also help you choose the best brand that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.

We offer 24/7 furnace installation and repair services, so you can count on us to be there when you need it most. As one of the most trusted heating companies in the area, we can offer guarantees that no other service can. Call us and find out why.

Sign up for our King Royal Treatment Plan, and whether you have an electric or a gas furnace, you can count on the fact it will run smoothly for decades. We also offer regular discounts for tune-ups, repairs, and installations for our loyal clients.