Electric Furnaces: Is it Time for a Replacement?

As winter approaches, many families turn toward their furnace as their primary heat source. But what kind of furnace is best for your family? Electric furnaces are gaining popularity across Charlotte, NC, because they are eco-friendly and energy-efficient.

Furthermore, electric furnaces improve the overall safety of your home and are considerably less expensive to purchase than many other heating systems.

If your home has a gas furnace and you’re looking for other options, you can use this guide to see if an electric furnace is right for you.

How Does an Electric Furnace Work?

Electric furnaces use electricity to produce heat instead of the gas used in gas furnaces. As such, an electric furnace acts much like a hairdryer.

Your furnace draws air into its system and through a heat exchanger, where electric heating elements will heat the air.

An electric furnace typically contains three to six electric-resistance heating elements between 3 to 7 kW each. If you’ve seen how a toaster works, these heating elements work similarly.

The heating elements consist of long metal wires that are spun into coils. Heat is produced when electrically charged particles move through the metal wires. Then, the warm air is pushed into the ductwork in your home and distributed throughout each room.

Electric Furnace Components

Electric furnaces are equipped with various parts that allow them to function correctly, such as:

  • A thermostat to regulate temperature
  • A heat chamber where heat is generated
  • A blower that forces hot air into air ducts
  • Filters to stop dust and dirt from entering the furnace
  • A plenum, a small chamber that helps circulate heat
  • A transformer to regulate voltage
  • A sequencer to control the different heating elements
  • Return air ducts to pull in cool air from the room

Each of these components is vital to help your electric furnace function. If you have more questions, your local HVAC professional will be happy to explain how your furnace works.

How Much Does an Electric Furnace Cost?

The total cost of a new electric furnace and furnace installation can vary widely. A standard electric furnace costs between $700 and $3,000. Furnace installation may cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

Usually, the purchase and installation of an electric furnace are about $1,000 to $3,000 lower than a gas furnace. If you also need to install a natural gas line in your home, you could pay even more.

Your local HVAC professional will walk you through the best solution for your home and offer you a free quote on your new furnace installation.

5 Benefits of Electric Furnaces

Although natural gas is the most popular fuel source, the required piping infrastructure isn’t available in all areas around Charlotte, NC. However, fuel availability isn’t the only reason to choose an electric furnace.

Here are five reasons to choose an electric furnace over a gas furnace:

1. Improved Safety

Since electric furnaces don’t use oil or gas, there won’t be any of the potentially dangerous leaks seen in gas furnaces. Furthermore, electric furnaces do not produce carbon monoxide, keeping your family safe from unseen toxins. In addition, the risk of a fire caused by an electric furnace is low.

2. Easy Installation and Maintenance

Electric furnaces are much easier to install and require less maintenance than gas furnaces. Contacting your local HVAC professional is always recommended when you are ready to install your electric furnace. 

3. Low Initial Investment

On average, electric furnaces cost half the price of gas furnaces for the unit itself. This allows you to save money during the initial installation.

4. Longer Lifespan

The lifespan of well-maintained electric furnaces ranges from 20 to 30 years. On the other hand, gas furnaces typically need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years.

5. Readily Available Fuel Source

Electricity is widely available in Charlotte, NC, or wherever you’re located. Some areas of the United States have less access to oil or might not have natural gas hookups, making a gas furnace challenging to install and run.

If you’re not sure whether your home has a natural gas hookup, contact a local HVAC professional to help.

Electric Furnace vs. Gas Furnace

Although electric furnaces are more affordable to purchase and install, electricity is often more expensive per unit than natural gas. So the lifetime cost of your electric furnace could be higher than that of a gas furnace.

Furthermore, gas furnaces heat up faster than electric furnaces since the heat produced by gas furnaces is generally hotter.

However, every heating situation is unique. The best furnace for your home depends on the size of your home, what fuel sources are available, and what furnace you currently have.

Your local HVAC professional will help you determine the best furnace for your home.

Call Your Local HVAC Professional Today

At Air Care Heating and Cooling, we love saving homeowners time, energy, and money when it comes to powering their homes. Covering all of Charlotte, NC, and the surrounding areas, we’ll find the best electric furnace for your home and handle the entire furnace installation.

Call us today or visit us online to chat with one of our team members about your electric furnace replacement needs!