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Gas vs. Electric Furnace - Which is Better?

February 22, 2022 | Blog

Winters in Lake Charles are usually mild and short-lived, but one thing we all know about Louisiana is that the weather can be very unpredictable. When an unexpected cold front comes knocking at your door, you will need a furnace that can handle the hit and is ready to go on short notice.

If your heating system hasn’t been cutting it lately and needs repairs often, we can help you explore the best Lake Charles furnace options for your home. Comparing gas and electric furnaces may get overwhelming, but Ace Air Conditioning can guide you along the way.

Differences Between Gas and Electric Furnaces

Electric and gas heating systems each use a blower fan to force heated air through ductwork and into various rooms of a house. Once a room’s temperature falls below the thermostat’s set point, the furnace receives a signal to start heating and continues until the thermostat senses the room has returned to the desired temperature.

Both units effectively heat your home, have various gauges, valves and safety mechanisms, but heat cooled air using different methods before it is blown into the ducts.

Gas Furnace

A gas heater is a combustion appliance fueled by natural gas, which is supplied to it through a connection hose to a gas line. That gas line fuels the pilot light, a small flame that burns 24/7. Within the furnace, there is also a heat exchanger which contains a burner, used to safely extract heat for your home.

When the thermostat signals a gas heating system to start heating, the unit ignites the main burner using the pilot light, activating the heat exchanger. By drawing heat from the burner in the heat exchanger, a gas furnace can then heat air before circulating it in your home.

Although gas units heat homes very quickly because they draw heat directly from a flame, they also require ventilation due to the byproducts of combustion. Other pros and cons of owning a gas heater are listed below:

Pros

  • High heat efficiency (in newer models)
  • Low fuel cost
  • Units can last up to 20 years
  • Lower environmental impact
  • Best for cold climates

Cons

  • Safety concerns from carbon monoxide emissions
  • More expensive to purchase
  • Requires regular maintenance by a skilled professional
  • Complicated, time-consuming installation
  • Creates more noise

Electric Furnace

An electric furnace works similarly to an oven or toaster. It is an air handler that contains heating coils within the unit. When the thermostat sends a signal to an electric heating system to start heating, an electric ignition activates the internal heating elements. It then pushes air through the elements to send warm air through your ducts and circulates it into the rooms of your home.

Despite an electric furnace’s simplicity, there are still many pros and cons to consider before committing to your heating system investment.

Pros

  • Fewer safety concerns
  • Less expensive to purchase
  • Simpler installation
  • Simpler maintenance
  • Units can last up to 30 years
  • Best for warm climates

Cons

  • Fuel cost is higher
  • Lower heat efficiency

Deciding Which Heating System is Best For You

Homeowners in southern states with tame winters, and heating systems that collect dust for nine plus months of the year, benefit from electric furnaces. Although electricity costs much more than natural gas, the lower initial cost of the unit, short-term demand, simpler installation and reduced maintenance mean an electric system is usually more cost-effective in warmer climates. And if your home doesn’t have access to a gas line, an electric furnace makes much more sense.

Colder climates with harsh winters benefit the most from gas heaters. Natural gas is significantly cheaper than electricity, and the heat produced by gas furnaces heats homes much more quickly than an electric furnace would under the same conditions. This makes gas furnaces often the cheaper option for long-term use in northern states.

Contact Ace For Furnace Installation!

Ace Air Conditioning has been dedicated to providing residents in Lake Charles and the surrounding areas with expert HVAC services since 1994. Whether you need a heating system for your new home or are replacing your existing furnace, our skilled team of professionals will help you find the right system and install it as quickly as possible.

Contact us today to learn about our financing options and quality, courteous service!

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