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Undecided? What to Know About Upgrading to an Electric Furnace

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While some prospective buyers actively search for a home with the type of heat they prefer, most just accept the existing system, as long as it is in good working order. Some will even upgrade to a new furnace of the same type, when the original one eventual needs to be replaced. A few homeowners, however, will see the need for a new furnace as their opportunity to finally switch from an existing gas or oil furnace and to an electric one. If you are among this latter group of homeowners, the following information will help you understand the potential benefits and disadvantages of installing a new electric furnace. 

Eliminating Fuel-related Risks

If your home's current furnace uses natural gas, propane, or heating oil as fuel, the most obvious benefits you may notice when switching is the ability to do away with tanks or metered gas connections and the separate bills these fuels create. Homes where fuel is delivered and stored in an on-site tank can also benefit from doing away with delivery issues. Homeowners will also be doing away with concerns about harmful fuel leaks and dangerous fumes such as carbon monoxide, that can be an issue when using petroleum fuels to power heating appliances. 

Possible Costs to Consider

Electric furnaces are also typically less expensive to purchase and may result in additional savings due to a longer average lifespan than comparable gas or oil models. Switching from gas or oil to an electric furnace, however, will mean more electricity usage and homeowners should expect to see a significantly higher power bill during the heating season. Homeowners may also see additional costs related to their decision to switch from their current gas or oil furnace to an electric one. These costs may include upgrading the home's electrical panel and wiring to meet the additional power requirements of an electric furnace. 

Additional Benefits 

Households that have made the change from gas or oil furnaces to an electric one may have experienced additional benefits from their decision. For example, homeowners may notice that fewer moving parts in an electric furnace means a quieter heating system, overall. Homeowners may also notice lower condensation levels in their home because heating with electricity does not create moisture. 

The climate where you live, as well as the availability and price of heating fuels versus electricity should also be considered. Homeowners who would like to install a new electric furnace to take the place of their current gas or oil model, should take time to discuss potential benefits and drawbacks with a reputable furnace installation contractor before making a final decision. 


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