Gas vs Electric Furnace: Pros and Cons

The electric furnace is a popular heating facility in many homes. Some homeowners, however, prefer to use a gas furnace. Both furnace types perform an essential service in household heating needs. Perhaps you’re wondering which makes a better choice for you. Below are the pros and cons of the electric and gas furnace.

Pros of Electric Furnace

Furnaces that are powered by electricity are generally more affordable to acquire than the gas variety. A wide range is available in the market. Pricing tends to be within the reach of most people. This makes the electric powered furnace a viable option for most. It is convenient and quiet to have in the house. It is also more durable than the gas furnace. The lifespan, 20 to 30 years, is usually double that of the gas furnace.

Most electric powered furnaces are small or of manageable size. This makes them convenient for household installation. Installation is a lot easier and quicker than is the case with the gas furnace. Not many prerequisites have to be met unlike gas furnaces. Maintenance for electric furnaces isn’t as involved as for the gas furnace. In many cases, you can troubleshoot problems and apply corrective measures. This saves you some money. There’s also less risk associated with furnaces powered by electricity.


Furnaces that utilize electricity for operations tend to have higher running costs than those fueled by gas. They also rate lower on energy efficiency than gas furnaces. This is partly because they use energy while heating up to a sufficient temperature. Ultimately, you have to meet higher utility bills.

Pros of Gas Furnace

The gas furnace is a better option especially in areas of freezing temperatures. It is more effective in heating than electricity. This is because a gas furnace heats up to higher temperatures than electricity. The gas furnace is also more energy efficient than the electric model. It begins to heat as soon as you turn it on unlike electricity which takes a while to become hot enough. Gas generally costs less than electricity. This makes a gas furnace an economical option for heating needs.


Gas furnaces cost more than the electric model. Initial purchase price may be a deterrent to acquisition. The gas furnace has a shorter lifespan than that powered by electricity. It can be noisy to have in the house especially if not well maintained. Installation involves considerable technical skills and specialized tools. It is best that a qualified engineer installs the furnace which adds to your overall costs. Installation is also dependent on the availability of the necessary gas infrastructure in your neighborhood. You’ll have to meet gas hook-up costs as well as purchase necessary gas fittings to support the furnace. Venting must also be done for your house. Maintenance is best undertaken by a professional. This pushes your overall costs upwards. More risk is attached to a gas furnace. Accidental fires, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning may arise if not properly handled.