Furnaces are the most popular home heating system type in the country. Among the overarching furnace type, the two most popular subtypes are gas and electric. This leads a lot of customers to ask us about whether a gas or electric furnace is objectively better. The truth is that neither one is objectively better than the other. It all depends on your individual situation. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each, and how they can benefit you.
Gas furnaces are the more popular of the two types. They work by combusting natural gas to generate heat, which is then circulated throughout the house. Natural gas is a great fuel. It’s cheap, plentiful, and generates a good amount of heat compared to the amount burned. This is why most furnace owners choose to use a gas furnace. The biggest downside is that gas furnaces rely on natural gas lines in order to operate. If you don’t have a natural gas line in your home, or don’t have access to a city gas main, you aren’t going to be able to use a gas furnace. Since gas furnaces are combustion systems, they also produce harmful byproducts like carbon monoxide that are released into the atmosphere.
Electric furnaces use a large heating coil to convert electric current into heat. They’re less energy efficient than gas furnaces, as electricity is a more expensive way to generate heat. However, they can work more or less anywhere that there is access to an electrical grid. They are also emissions-free, since they don’t burn any kind of fuel to create heat.
If you’d like to know more, call Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We install and service both gas and electric furnaces throughout Arlington, VA.