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The Unexpected Truths of Gas & Electric Heaters

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Heating systems use a combination of gas and electricity to power up. Forced air ventilation pushes through duct channels and vents into the rooms throughout the home. Whether electric or gas, air conditioning is one component of a home’s overall HVAC system and operates interchangeably with the heating system.

All electric HVAC systems use electricity only for both heating and cooling. An electric furnace and outdoor condenser are used in all electric heating systems. Many homes use a “split” system, where the furnace is fueled by either gas or oil.

In a split system, warm air is extracted from indoors in the summer and transferred outdoors. In the wintertime, the reverse occurs, warming the air instead of cooling it. A duct system distributes the air and provides a controlled path for the air to circulate through the house.

Ducted Systems

ventDucted systems are one of the most common ways of heating. They send heat to the entire house. Once the air has been heated from the main unit, it is pushed through the ducts into the home through a series of vents in the ceiling or floor.

Gas ducted heating is an economical way to heat, especially in freezing climates. However, when both heating and cooling are required, things get a little complicated. You want to receive the benefits of both gas ducted heating as well as reverse cycle cooling, but how?

Gas Vs. Electric Heating Systems

costIn colder climates, you can count on your furnace to provide comfort indoors. Electric heat, on the other hand, is your best option if you live in a warmer climate or in an area where gas is not available.

Low maintenance and a long lifespan mean you don’t have to worry about your heating system. Take a look at electric heat pumps for energy efficiency with an electricity-powered system. These systems do double duty as an air conditioner in the summer and heater in winter.

Gas heating is less expensive, and it also heats the home faster than electric heat. However, gas furnaces are more expensive than electric ones, and installation is more involved due to venting requirements.

Energy Efficiency of Gas vs. Electric Systems

usageGas and electricity costs will vary by region. In general, gas furnaces cost less to operate than electric systems, but electric systems often cost more to run. When you compare a gas furnace to electric heat, consider the upfront and running expense of each, and also how each system affects the environment.

The environmental impact of each of these heating systems should be considered as well. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), electricity is generated using methods that are only thirty percent efficient. Natural gas releases greenhouse gas emissions and other contaminants, but it burns cleaner than coal, thereby contributing less harm to our ecosystem.

Want to know more about the differences between gas and electric systems? Call Gene Johnson Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical Seattle, WA to speak to an HVAC expert. They will be happy to address any questions and concerns you may have regarding heating vs. electric HVAC systems.