Summer is a phenomenal time to install a new furnace. If your old heating system has reached the end of its lifespan, then replacing it in the summer gives you plenty of time to research your options without the stress of going without heat. For many homeowners, there's always one critical decision to make: gas or electrical?
Unfortunately, there's not always a clear-cut best answer for every household. You'll need to consider your climate, budget, and priorities when choosing between these two heating methods. It's easy to look up utility rates for your area, so this article will instead focus on three variables you might not have considered when selecting a fuel source for your next furnace.
1. Your Home's Carbon Footprint
If you want to go green, then reducing your carbon footprint is the way to do it. By producing fewer greenhouse gases, you'll reduce your overall impact on the planet. Your furnace is one way to achieve a lower carbon footprint, but the best option isn't always straightforward. To find out how this might play out for you, you can use the EPA's power profiler to find your local fuel mix for electricity.
Natural gas is a highly efficient and generally clean option for power, but it still produces carbon dioxide emissions. If you live in an area where renewable methods supply all or most of your energy, then an electric furnace might be the greener option. On the other hand, a natural gas furnace might win out in areas with a fossil fuel-heavy power mix.
2. Additional Appliances
Installing a new gas line just for a furnace might seem like an unnecessary expense. While the math might not work out for heating alone, bringing natural gas to your home offers other potential benefits. You can enjoy better energy efficiency with natural gas from other appliances, such as your stove, water heater, and clothes dryer.
Even if you don't plan on replacing any of these devices soon, bringing natural gas to your home might pay dividends in the future. If you're thinking about buying into natural gas, a furnace replacement might be the perfect opportunity to get started.
The simplicity of electric furnaces means that they are typically highly reliable and easy to service. Electric furnaces also tend to last longer, sometimes by a decade or more. These benefits might outweigh some of the efficiency gains realized from a natural gas furnace, so electric heating is worth considering if you're looking to save some money on your initial heating costs.
Remember that no one option is correct for every home. The best way to make a heating decision for your home is to discuss these variables and any other factors you're concerned about with a professional. Contact a heating contractor for more information.