Heated Debates – The Benefits of Gas Heaters Vs. Electric

So you might be wondering: why on earth would I post an entry during SPRING about HEAT?

Well, about a month ago we had a little issue at our house. The air conditioner stopped working.

Heated Debates - The Benefits of Gas Heaters Vs. Electric Click To Tweet

Let me just say that if the air conditioning stops working in a home in FLORIDA, that’s a cause for concern. Some of our temps have already reached 90 degrees this year, and with no air conditioning to keep the house cool, well. That’s just uncalled for!

As we all know, keeping your home heated during the winter and cool in the summer can translate into high utility bills. A good way to combat the high cost of energy is by properly re-insulating your home routinely. Other ways include a number of energy-saving programs that ask you to sacrifice energy use during peak times of the day in exchange for a lower power bill. And of course, you can always replace old equipment with new energy-efficient devices.

Screen Shot 2018-04-28 at 11.01.15 PM

In the end we had to have a brand new system installed. And one of the reasons why we couldn’t fix the current system instead of replacing everything was due to the type of gas it was running on.

However, in the midst of this discussion is the one related to the benefits of gas heaters versus electric ones. While both have their caveats, experts almost always agree that gas heating is almost always a better choice. In fact, most gas heater services in Melbourne support the use of gas heaters over electric for most homes. Why?

Cost

Typically, electric heaters can cost homeowners anywhere $1100-$1600 while gas heaters cost $6,000-$6700 to install. While the cost to install an electric heater is much less, gas heaters save homeowners money in terms of their monthly bill. Gas heaters cost less to operate because it costs consumers less, and they can heat up a larger space as opposed to electric heaters.

Maintenance

Electric heaters are easier to maintain and are less in maintenance costs because they do not have to be serviced as much as gas heaters do. Conversely, while gas heaters translate into savings every month, they tend to cost more in maintenance costs because they have to be serviced more frequently, at least before every seasonal change.

Installation

Installing gas heaters is more complicated than electric heaters because of the combustibility of natural gas. Usually, these heaters are installed by professionals who are experts at servicing these units. Installing one of these units takes a lot of time, in addition to the fact that special tools have to be used to ensure there are no natural gas leaks. Like gas heaters, DIYers should not undertake the task of installing an electric heater, which involves extensive knowledge and experience with working with voltage and wiring.

Efficiency

Gas heaters are cheaper for the consumer, but they are less efficient than electric ones. Electric heaters operate on an annual fuel utilisation-efficiency (AFUE) rating of as high as 100% as opposed to the rating for gas heaters, which can be anywhere between 55-97%. An integral part of determining energy efficiency is determined by the amount of heat lost through the furnace’s flue, but gas heating efficiency can be addressed by replacing traditional methods of ignition with intermittent, direct spark or hot surface ignition.

Safety

Electric heaters tend to be safer because gas heaters emit small amounts of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere with the heat. However, gas heating is safer for the environment because natural gas is used. Natural gas does not contribute to the greenhouse effect and other pollutants. More importantly, this fuel burns cleaner than the coal used to fuel electricity.

Climate

In terms of one being better than the other, gas and electric heaters can benefit homeowners depending on their geographic location. In warmer climates, electric heaters work fine because the unit does not have to do as much work to heat the home. Conversely, in colder climates, gas heaters work better because they can heat large areas more quickly than electric heaters.

Gas Versus Electric – What’s the Verdict?

In terms of cost-savings, the verdict is in favour of gas heaters, because while they are expensive to install and maintain they save homeowners more money in the long run. For most homeowners, natural gas can save you hundreds of dollars per year. This leaves you more money to invest into other areas of your home and make it the warm, welcoming place you’ve always wanted it to be.

Do you have an air conditioner for your home? What type of heater do you use? Any tips to be cost-effective in these areas you’d like to share with us?

Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *