Homes in the Lake Elsinore area often rely on a furnace to keep the interior warm during the winter. Not all furnaces generate heat from the same fuel source. Although natural gas furnaces are quite popular, many homes utilize electric furnaces. If you’re a homeowner looking to upgrade your current furnace, we can help you review the differences between gas and electric models to determine which will work best in your situation.

The Heat Source and Design Difference

The most apparent difference between gas and electric furnaces is the power sources indicated in their names. A gas furnace connects to gas lines that deliver the fuel to the home. With an electric furnace, there’s no need for any complex connections to gas lines since the power source is electricity.

Both systems use a blower to send warm air through the ducts. A gas furnace heats the air with a gas flame, whereas electric furnaces rely on heated coils.

Carbon Monoxide Issues

Gas furnaces produce carbon monoxide, and leaks could create a dangerous situation inside the home. If a gas furnace gets too hot and the high-limit switch does not shut the unit off, the heat exchanger could crack, creating the potential for a deadly carbon monoxide leak. That could not happen with an electric furnace because electric units do not produce carbon monoxide.


No furnace lasts forever. Gas furnaces usually last 15-20 years, while an electric furnace typically lasts 20 years or more. An inappropriately sized furnace or one that was not correctly installed will have a shorter lifespan. Although a furnace may function past its expected lifespan, the model could be so outdated that upgrading to a more efficient one seems prudent. Regardless of the type of furnace, regular maintenance from the professionals at Polar Express Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning will significantly maximize your system’s lifespan.

Wear-and-Tear and Maintenance

A gas furnace relies on significantly more complex parts than an electric system. That means a gas furnace will likely require more routine maintenance. They are also prone to breaking down more, which may add to the cost associated with owning one.

An electric furnace might be the default choice when a home is not near a gas grid. Further, some areas are banning gas appliances due to their release of greenhouse gases.

Installation Considerations

Maintenance and repair costs are not the only expenses associated with furnaces. Anyone who purchases a new furnace has to cover the cost of installation. A gas furnace will be more expensive to install than an electric one since the gas model must connect to the gas grid. An improper installation can lead to catastrophic results, so it should only be performed by a professional. Lake Elsinore residents can contact Polar Express Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to inquire about furnace repair and installation work.

Monthly Expenses

Installation, repair, and maintenance are not the only costs associated with owning and running a furnace. The monthly utility bills also factor in how much a homeowner will spend on the unit. A gas furnace may be the preferred choice for those interested in reducing costs. Electricity can cost more than natural gas, adding to an electric furnace’s overall expenses, but this may vary regionally.

Also, a gas furnace might be the better option in an environment where the winter lasts longer and delivers low and extremely low temperatures. Electric furnaces may prove too costly to operate in regions with freezing weather that lasts for months.

Speed and Efficiency

Some homeowners find the efficiency of a gas-powered furnace appealing. Namely, a furnace that uses natural gas could heat a home to the preferred temperature faster than an electric one. This benefit does more than provide additional convenience. Sometimes, people rely on an appropriate temperature for more than comfort. Safety issues may arise, and reaching a desirable level as fast as possible supports safety.

The reliance on coils causes the electric furnaces to take longer to perform the desired task. Since the speed derives from design and manufacturing elements, there’s no process available to increase an electric furnace’s ability to heat rooms to that of a gas-powered one.

The team at Polar Express Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning is available for a wide range of heating and air conditioning work. Our team also handles air duct, humidification, and air purification services. Don’t hesitate to call our customer service desk to schedule an appointment.

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Anthony Dieringer
Anthony Dieringer

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