If you’re in need of a new furnace, you may be wondering whether you should get a gas or an electric system.
Most homeowners in Colorado choose gas furnaces because they are less expensive to operate than electric furnaces. However, there may be some instances where an electric furnace (or another type of electric heating system) is better for your home.
Choosing between the two types depends on factors such as:
- The fuel source available to you
- Your budget for the installation
- How much you’d like to save in the long run
Let’s look at each of these factors in more detail to help you get a better understanding of which furnace could be best for your home. We’ll also discuss some other energy-efficient heating options to consider in addition to furnaces.
Want a professional to help you pick the right furnace? Our heating specialists give detailed recommendations and honest pricing on the cost to install a furnace in your home.
Factor #1: The fuel source available to you
If your home already has access to natural gas, we recommend choosing a gas furnace over an electric furnace.
Here’s why: While gas furnaces have a higher upfront cost than electric furnaces, gas furnaces can save you money in the long run in the form of lower monthly energy expenses.
On the other hand, if your home doesn’t already have access to natural gas, you may be better off with an electric furnace. Adding gas lines can increase the cost of your furnace by thousands of dollars, so installing a gas furnace for the first time may exceed your budget.
Factor #2: Your budget for the installation
As we mentioned in the section above, gas furnaces are more expensive to install than electric furnaces. The reason gas furnaces have higher installation costs is because they require ventilation to remove combustion gases outside of your home.
Electric furnaces don’t require that ventilation, which lowers their upfront cost. On average, electric furnaces cost $500 to $1,500 less to install than their gas-powered counterparts.
If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford the higher cost of a gas furnace, an electric furnace may be your best option. In that situation, we’d also recommend that you consider another, more energy-efficient heating system called a heat pump. We’ll explain what a heat pump is in more detail towards the end of this blog.
Factor #3: How much you’d like to save in the long run
You’ll save more in the long run by choosing a gas furnace over an electric unit because natural gas is a less expensive fuel source than electricity in our area.
If you’re wanting the most long-term savings, we recommend a dual-fuel system, which we’ll explain below.
Interested in the most long-term savings? Consider these heating system options
As you shop for a new heating system, you may also want to consider a heat pump or a dual-fuel system for your home.
If you only have access to electricity in your home, we would definitely recommend that you consider a heat pump over an electric furnace. A heat pump is an electric heating system that transfers heat from outside air into your home. Because a heat pump moves hot air instead of creating it from scratch like a furnace, a heat pump is highly energy efficient. In fact, a heat pump can be up to 50% more efficient than an electric furnace.
Another benefit of a heat pump is that it’s capable of both heating and cooling your home, so if you choose a heat pump, you will not have to purchase an air conditioner.
If your home has access to natural gas, you may want a dual-fuel system to get the benefits of both a furnace and heat pump. A dual-fuel system is the combination of a gas furnace with a heat pump. Installing a dual-fuel system is more expensive than installing a stand-alone furnace, but it can save you a significant amount of money over time because it is very energy efficient.
A dual-fuel system can help you save money because the operating costs of a gas furnace are cheaper than an electric furnace. Plus, a heat pump is the most efficient type of heating system in moderate temperatures (from 32° to 65° F). When temperatures drop below freezing, a heat pump starts to lose efficiency, which is when the gas furnace in a dual-fuel system will turn on to help warm your home. Because you’re using the two most efficient heating systems, you’ll have higher energy savings during winter if you choose a dual-fuel system.
To see which heating system will work best for your family’s heating needs and budget, we recommend consulting with a trusted HVAC contractor. A professional will have the knowledge and tools to help you calculate the potential long-term energy savings of a particular heating system, which will help you determine if that system makes sense for your situation.
Want a Colorado professional to help you pick the right heating system for your home?
With multiple heating systems to choose from, it can be confusing knowing which one will serve you best. When you consult with one of our heating specialists, you can count on honest recommendations and upfront pricing to help make your decision easier.
Luke Cooper is the General Manager of the Cooper Green team and son of Gary Cooper, owner and CEO of Cooper HVAC. After years in the field, Luke took his talents to management and has helped thousands of Colorado homeowners during hot summers and frigid winters. His decade of experience in the field and guiding the company makes him one of the most knowledgeable individuals in Colorado on HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other home services.