There is a lot to consider when looking at furnace efficiency. You will want to look at cost, effectiveness, and ease of maintenance, among other things. Natural gas is the most popular fuel, and it is readily available. This means it is also cheaper than electricity. However, when it comes to the cost of installation, the electric furnace will be cheaper. Read on for more factors to consider when comparing the efficiency of the two furnaces.
Natural Gas Furnace
According to most reviews, the cost of running an electric furnace is cheaper than that of running a natural gas furnace. However, people tend to go for natural gas furnaces because of the abundance of natural gas. That doesn’t necessarily mean that natural gas furnaces are more efficient. In fact, electric furnaces are said to be almost 100 percent efficient due to the fact that they don’t have emissions.
Electric furnaces use a resistance heating mechanism to warm the air that heats your home. Research also shows that they are more efficient than gas furnaces, and they are cheaper to buy. However, the cost of running an electric furnace is higher because electricity costs more than gas. This means that you are more likely to spend more money on an electric furnace in the long run.
Heat and Energy Efficiency
Research shows that an electric furnace is way more efficient than a gas furnace. The annual fuel-utilization-efficiency rating of electric furnaces can be as much as 100%. On the other hand, gas furnaces only have a rating of 55 to 97 percent. However, there will be variations based on the type of unit you are using.
Energy efficiency when it comes to furnaces refers to the amount of energy that is turned into heat. Using that definition, it would be clear that electric furnaces are more efficient since they convert all their energy to heat. However, when it comes to the rate at which the furnace is able to heat your home, gas furnaces take the lead. A gas furnace will be able to heat a home faster than an electric furnace.
There are other types of gas furnaces that are more efficient than conventional ones. These types of furnaces utilize an intermittent, direct spark, or hot surface ignition. These furnaces are more expensive. However, the high cost of installation is usually offset by the cheaper fuel.
Maintenance and Safety
Electric furnaces are cheaper and easier to maintain. Also, they require less professional attention than gas furnaces. For instance, electric furnaces do not use a burner. Also, there will be no need to clean the system. This makes an electric furnace easier and cheaper to maintain over its lifetime.
If you have a gas furnace, there will be a need to have regular maintenance by an HVAC professional. This is the only way to keep it efficient and safe. Also, you will need to have the furnace cleaned and inspected annually. You must also have it checked to see that no condensation is building up below it. If this happens, the furnace will be corroded over time.
When it comes to energy efficiency, electric furnaces are more efficient. However, they can be a bit expensive to run because of the cost of electricity. Also, electric furnaces last twice as long as gas furnaces. This is probably due to the same reasons that gas furnaces need regular maintenance. The gas burner will produce small particles, and these accumulate in the furnace over time. Also, gas furnaces are more prone to corrosion, which limits their lifespan as well. Electric furnaces are not affected by the same problems.