You may have heard about the benefits of natural gas and wonder if it’s really as great as all that. Is there a reason that “cooking with gas” has become a cliched saying? Should you convert to a gas furnace?
The Benefits of Gas Heating
Natural gas provides convincing advantages when it comes to heating your home.
Gas is cheaper than electricity
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price of heating your home with natural gas in 2020 was only $572, while the average for electric was $1,209.
Natural gas heat works faster
Electric elements take time to reach full temperature, while gas heat provides hot air immediately. That means that gas performs better in cold climates, like Pennsylvania.
Gas is more reliable
With no electrical lines to get disrupted by winter storms, gas heat performs more reliably in even the harshest winters.
Gas heat is more environmentally friendly
The high efficiency of natural gas means that it makes less impact on the environment. Natural gas also produces less carbon dioxide than electricity.
Some Downsides to Converting to Gas
While natural gas heat has obvious advantages, it can present a few obstacles:
Not widely available
While there are few homes that don’t have access to electricity, natural gas is not always an option for homeowners.
Cost of installation
If you’re not currently using natural gas in your home, making the conversion will require significant investment. If you don’t already have access to natural gas, you’ll need to make modifications to access it.
And while you may make up the difference in cost over time, electric furnaces are also less expensive and easier to install than gas furnaces.
Cost of upkeep
Gas furnaces require regular maintenance for safety reasons and may not enjoy the same long lifespan of an electric furnace.
And finally, with natural gas lines, there is the potential for gas leaks, including carbon monoxide poisoning. Proper maintenance can prevent these issues, but they deserve a mention.
Is Conversion to a Gas Furnace Right for You?
Ask yourself the following questions to make the decision easier:
Do you already have gas installed? If you already use gas for cooking, switching to a gas furnace is a no-brainer for saving money and reducing your carbon footprint.
Does your neighborhood have access to gas lines? If so, you may want to consider how long you plan to live in your home to weigh the cost to value.
Are there energy rebates or tax incentives available? Check for rebates to install energy-efficient upgrades.