20 Questions for Missoula Residential HVAC Systems: Electric VS Gas Furnaces

Whether you are replacing your furnace or trying to decide on a method of heating your new build, it is good to know the difference between a gas and an oil furnace.  Ensuring your home has the best HVAC system to meet our needs can require a lot of effort.   Let’s get started comparing Electric Furnaces with Gas Furnaces.

Missoula Residential HVAC Contractors Explain How Furnaces Work

We have to start with the premise that furnaces heat air.  This air is sent through a maze of ducts that go throughout the house.  The warm air is dispersed throughout the home to heat the space.  Because the forced air model of heating directly heats the air in the home, the warmth is felt almost immediately.  Because warm air rises, many people with tall ceilings will use ceiling fans in the winter to push the warm air back down.  Now that we know the basics about all furnaces, let’s compare gas and electric furnaces.

20 Questions to Compare Oil and Gas Furnaces for Missoula Residential HVAC Consumers

1.       If I don’t have a gas line, am I limited to an electric furnace?

This question can have a complicated answer.  While some regions do not already have gas lines laid out to specific homes, it is not necessarily a complicated, time-consuming project to have one put in to supply your home.  If it is a near impossibility or you simply do not want one installed, gas furnaces are still not out of reach. Gas furnaces can be fitted to run off propane, which can be delivered in a large tank to your property.  So even without gas lines, you still have both oil and electric furnaces as available options.

2.       Which is more environmentally friendly?

This answer is determined by where your residence receives its electricity.  Many power plants burn coal, while others can function off of wind or solar power. Natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels.  While gas furnaces do create harmful emissions, it is often a smaller amount than most powerplant emissions.  Because this answer can vary so widely depending on the source of the electric power, we’ll call this one a tie.

3.       Which is the more efficient residential HVAC method?

Gas furnaces are more efficient than electric furnaces overall.

4.       Which will heat my home faster and warmer?

A gas furnace will heat your Missoula residence much faster and can get a space warmer than an electrical furnace.

5.       Which Furnace system will last longer?

Gas furnaces can last 15 to 20 years, while electric furnaces can last 20 to 30 years. 

6.       Which Missoula HVAC system is cheaper to install?

Electric Furnaces are much cheaper to install gas furnaces.

7.       Which method will give me a cheaper heating bill year after year?

Gas furnaces are cheaper to operate than electric furnaces.

8.       Which will be cheaper to repair and maintain year after year?

Electric furnaces are generally cheaper to repair because they are less complicated. 

9.       Which will be simpler and easier to repair and maintain?

Electric furnaces are simpler to maintain.

10.   Can I replace my gas furnace with an electric furnace?

Yes. You would need to disconnect from the gas line and upgrade some electrical lines.  Electrical Furnace for the point.

11.   Can I replace my electric furnace with a gas furnace?

The big consideration here is gas lines.  If your home can access city gas lines fairly easily, you can switch to a gas furnace with no problem. In some places, it could be hard to impossible to have gas lines laid anytime soon.  Because it is not a resounding yes to a possible replacement, this question will award no points.

12.   Can either HVAC Method both heat and cool my space?

While neither a gas nor an electrical furnace cools your home, the ductwork can be utilized in a central air conditioning system.  This is a tie.

13.   Which HVAC system is better in rural locations?

If you are out in the country, it is unlikely that gas lines will run out to your property.  This would make electric furnaces your way to go. If you are truly trying to be off-grid, a gas furnace fitted to use propane that you can have delivered will get you that freedom. Since the vast majority of rural homes have electrical power, this answer is going to count for the electrical furnace.

14.   Which will reduce my family’s risk of carbon monoxide exposure?

Burning gas is what brings the carbon monoxide.  Electrical furnaces are free of this so they are safer from carbon monoxide exposure.

15.   Which has a lower risk of an electrical fire?

While gas furnaces use a small amount of electricity for the blower, it is substantially less than electric furnaces. Gas furnaces get the point for this question.

16.   Which has a lower risk of explosion?

Gas furnaces ignite gas every time they kick on. Explosions are rare but can happen anytime igniting fuel.  In this case, electric furnaces are safer.

17.   Which is better in colder climates?

Gas furnaces can better maintain a comfortable indoor temperature in colder climates.

18.   I have radiant in-floor heating installed in my bathroom.  Will an electric or gas furnace be a better main source of heat for my home?

For use with an auxiliary heating system, preference can vary widely!  Some say to have one be gas and the other electric as a failsafe.  Other people will argue about the efficiency of using the same heat source.  This question will be a tie.

19.   Which system can be installed in my home the soonest?

A gas furnace installation can be held up if natural gas lines need to be laid.  Electric Furnaces can generally be installed straight away. 

20.   Which can Garden City Plumbing and Heating install on my property?

Garden City Plumbing and Heating have experienced technicians ready to install or upgrade both gas and electric HVAC system.  Give us a call or contact us online to see which system will work best as your new Missoula residential HVAC system.