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Heating and cooling your home can be one of the biggest expenses you face as a homeowner, especially if you live in a climate that experiences extreme temperature ranges throughout the year. For those freezing winters, you’re going to want a furnace that is reliable, cost-effective, and efficient. There are a few products to choose between, the main two being gas and electric. Understanding the pros and cons of each are vital to making a well-informed decision that you’ll be happy with when the snow starts to fall.
- Cost: Gas furnaces are more expensive at the outset, but electric furnaces can cost you more in the long run. Natural gas is a cheaper utility compared to electricity; in fact, the cost of electricity has actually increased in the past few years.
- Efficiency: Gas furnaces are required by law to function at above 78% efficiency, but many achieve 97% — almost total efficiency. Electric heating is inherently inefficient. Surprisingly, electricity comes from the burning of coal and other fossil fuels. Compared to natural gas, which is considered one of the cleanest-burning fossil fuels, coal is much more detrimental to the environment.
- Lifespan/Maintenance: Gas furnaces have a lifespan of between 10 and 20 years, while electric furnaces can last between 20 and 30. Additionally, maintenance is virtually nonexistent with electric furnaces — many problems can be solved through simple troubleshooting without the aid of a professional.
- Safety: Electric furnaces are inherently safer to have in the home due to the fact that they don’t produce dangerous emissions. Gas furnaces require the use of a carbon monoxide meter that must be constantly checked to ensure homeowners don’t suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Heating and cooling your home doesn’t have to an arduous, complicated process. If you do your research ahead of time, you can balance the benefits and detriments according to your personal preferences. If money is your concern, opt for a gas furnace. If you’re interested in safety, or simply want a furnace that you can purchase and then leave alone for a few decades, electric is the choice for you. After you’ve done all that work, finding a contractor to manage the installation is the easy part! Don’t spend another winter freezing and buried under the weight of a hefty heating bill; find your perfect furnace today.