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Furnace FAQ: Gas or Electric?

furnace-wiringWith temperatures hovering in the mid — and even high — 70’s over the course of the next couple of weeks, it’s safe to say that you are probably not quite ready to pull the plug on your air conditioning system quite yet for the season. That being said, with nighttime temperatures dipping into the 50’s, it won’t be too much longer before the days start to cool off, too. If you are serious about making it through the heating season comfortably, then you may need to replace your heater this year.

If you need a heater for a new home, or if you are replacing one in your existing residence, then you should definitely consider the use of a furnace in Stamford, CT. Furnaces have a lot to offer homeowners, but it is important to remember that you are going to have to narrow your choices down a bit more than just landing on a furnace. There are gas and electric models to consider, with both offering some pros and cons. Here is some information to keep in mind when choosing your new furnace. 

Benefits of the Natural Gas Furnace

Natural gas is a very, very popular fuel source among homeowners. It is very versatile, used for fueling water heaters, heating systems, ovens and ranges, and even clothes dryers. It is largely a domestic product, so it is not really subject to marketplace volatility the way that imported oil is, and it is piped directly onto your property and to the systems using it. That means that you do not have to worry about storing fuel on-site, as you would with oil or propane.

That all being said, the use of natural gas means that you need to have natural gas hookups for having it piped into your home — as well as access to natural gas to begin with. If you are not within proximity to a gas line, or if you don’t want to have the piping required installed in an existing home, using an electric furnace may be worth considering. There are also those homeowners that simply do not want to pipe a combustible fuel into their homes, though modern materials and practices do make the use of natural gas quite safe.

One more point — don’t opt for natural gas because that way you can at least heat your home when the power goes out. Some homeowners have this rationale, but they’ll be sorely disappointed when they realize that, fuel source aside, electricity is still necessary to power the furnace and its fan.

When to Consider Electric Furnaces

As we mentioned above, there are some restrictions to those homes that can access natural gas. If you want to use an electric furnace in your home, we do recommend that you take the cost of doing so into consideration. And no, we aren’t just talking about investing in a highly efficient system.

The fact is that, because electric furnaces don’t lose any heat to flue gases, their efficiency levels are incredible — typically boasting an AFUE between 95 and 100%! Despite this fact, the relatively high cost of electricity when compared to natural gas will generally mean that running an electric furnace will be more expensive. If you really want an all-electric heating system, you may want to consider a heat pump designed for colder climates like ours.

Contact Celco Heating and Air Conditioning with any questions that you have about your home heating options. 

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