If you're considering replacing your natural gas or propane furnace with its electric counterpart, you're probably looking forward to certain advantages involved in opting for an electric furnace. Even though natural gas and propane furnaces are extremely safe, they still have the potential to emit dangerous fumes that can result in harm to household residents if the unit is not functioning as it should. For instance, fuel combustion leaks in furnaces fueled by natural gas often result in the emission of carbon monoxide, which can be highly harmful to human health and may have tragic consequences if left unchecked. Another major advantage of opting for an electric furnace is that you won't be dependent on fuel deliveries for it to function. The following includes four more things you should know about having an electric furnace installed.
Electric Furnaces Are Relatively Easy to Troubleshoot
Although you shouldn't have any issues with a brand-new electric furnace for a number of years, it's still good to know that they're relatively easy to troubleshoot. If your furnace stops working, the first thing you should do is check the circuit breaker to ensure that it didn't somehow get blown. If your furnace is running but just doesn't seem to be doing the same job it has in the past, check the filters -- dirty or clogged filters can interfere with the ability of your unit to properly heat the air.
If the circuits are all in order, check the thermostat to make sure that it's set properly and that the battery hasn't gone dead. Digital thermostats are often battery-powered. If you've got a mechanical thermostat, make sure that the fan switch is on the "on" setting.
Electric Furnaces Are Less Expensive to Purchase Than Gas or Propane Options
Electric furnaces are usually less expensive than their gas and propane counterparts. Along with coming with a more pleasant sticker price, their installation costs are also less than for other types of furnaces because they don't involve having to have a separate fuel combustion systems installed -- all they need is to be wired into the existing household wiring.
Electric Furnaces May Come With Higher Utility Costs
In most parts of the country, electricity comes with a higher price tag than natural gas or propane. Although it's less expensive per unit than gas or propane, this is deceptive because it takes more energy for electricity to produce the necessary heat. You may be able to help offset these costs significantly by purchasing a certified low-energy furnace, having a smart thermostat installed, and taking common-sense measures such as applying caulking around doors and windows in order to cut down on drafts.
Electric Furnaces Usually Need Less Maintenance Than Gas or Propane
Electric furnaces also require less maintenance than others, which will also help keep costs down. They don't have pilot lights or some other components necessary for gas or propane furnaces, so any repair or maintenance they need is pretty simple and straightforward. However, it's important to keep in mind that even though electric furnaces, on average, don't require as many repairs, those repairs may be more expensive than for other kinds of furnaces. This is because those who work on electric furnaces are required by law to have an electrician's license.
No matter what type of furnace system you ultimately decide on, scheduling regular maintenance visits from a qualified professional will help keep your furnace running efficiently, which translates into fewer scenarios requiring emergency repairs. Furnaces that are running efficiently also tend to use less energy than their neglected counterparts, which will help keep utility bills at reasonable levels.
For more information on your heating options, contact an HVAC contractor.