Our ancestors had only one energy source to heat their homes: fire. Today’s options for keeping your home comfortable are a bit more refined. If you’re like many people, a central heating system is the most economical option. In this category, you have two main choices of fuel: electricity and natural gas. The more you understand about the differences between these two options, the easier it will be to decide which is right for you.
Direct Versus Indirect Heating
In an electric furnace, the electric coils heat the air directly. These coils are made from a resistive metal that slows down the flow of electricity, heating the coils in the process. As the blower moves air over these coils, it is heated and then sent through the ducts to the rest of the home.
In a gas furnace, the flames fueled by the natural gas don’t directly heat the air. Instead, the flames heat a heat exchanger, a large metal component with tubes inside to circulate heat. The heat exchanger has a larger surface area than the flames, which means it’s more efficient at heating the air that passes through.
Similar to a gas stove that is at the peak temperature the moment you turn it on, a gas furnace reaches its peak temperature quite rapidly. This means that air can be warmed more quickly, allowing your home to attain the desired temperature in less time.
When it comes to an electric furnace, the resistive coils need some time to heat up as the electricity flows through them. This means an electric furnace will have to run longer to achieve the same temperature. Additionally, if the weather is especially cold, an electric furnace will be less efficient than a gas furnace since the internal components will start out colder.
What’s Right for You?
Ultimately, a properly functioning furnace of either type is far better than an old furnace that’s on its last legs. For expert advice or assistance with any repair, replacement or maintenance of your heating or cooling equipment, rely on the technicians at A/C Care Heat and Air in Stuart. Call us today.