Gas Furnace vs. Electric Heater: What’s the Cost Difference?

Gas Furnace vs. Electric Heater: What's the Cost Difference?If you’re in the market for a new heating system, then chances are you’ll want to know how much it’ll cost to not only install, but to operate your system over the long run. Read on to learn more about the installation and operating costs of two popular heating choices — gas furnaces and electric furnaces.

Equipment Costs

When it comes to buying heating equipment, electric furnaces have the upper hand. The average electric furnace costs less to purchase than a gas furnace. Electric furnaces also do away with the added cost of accommodating natural gas or propane fuel hookups and ventilation of exhaust gases, which can drive up the cost of installation.

Heating Costs

It’s more expensive to purchase and install a gas furnace, but operating one is much cheaper than operating an electric furnace. According to the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average gas furnace costs $12.96 per million BTUs of heat to operate. Keep in mind that 100,000 BTUs of heat is equivalent to one therm of natural gas.

In comparison, an electric furnace offering 100 percent efficiency will cost approximately $34.32 per million BTUs of heat to operate. A single KWH of electricity is the equivalent of 3,412 BTUs of heat. The average electric furnace uses approximately 15,000 KWH of energy per month.

Influencing Factors

Keep in mind there are plenty of factors that can sway your decision to install either a clean-burning natural gas furnace or a reliable and economical electric furnace in your Terre Haute home:

  • Overall cost of fuel and electricity in your area
  • Availability of natural gas or propane service
  • Overall heating system efficiency

Fuel prices can make either option an attractive choice in the short term, but long-term considerations should be considered when choosing both heating systems.

For more information about home heating options, contact Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning. We been serving the heating and air conditioning needs of Terre Haute residents since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ipatov/Shutterstock”

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 24, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Heating units using natural gas as its fuel is known to work fast and last long.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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