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Is a Gas Furnace Always the Best Way to Heat a Home?

gas-furnace

Gas furnaces are the most common type of central heating systems for homes across the United States. How many homes? Almost 48% of homes use natural gas for heating, and the Pacific Northwest is one of the regions where this type of heating is the most prominent. So, the logic goes, gas furnaces must be the best way to heat a home.

But that’s actually not logic, only an assumption. The truth is that there is no “best” way to heat a home because homes are different. There may be more gas furnaces because gas furnaces have significant advantages. But not every home can enjoy those advantages. The obvious example is any home that doesn’t have a natural gas connection, which accounts for 37% of households. 

Let’s Go Deeper: What’s Great About Gas Furnaces?

To help clarify what kind of heating system might be best for your home, let’s see what accounts for the general popularity of natural gas furnaces. They have several advantages:

  • They can heat a home faster than almost any other type of system, raising the temperature much faster than an electric furnace or heat pump. 
  • They have high heating output, which is useful in places with extremely cold winters or for older homes that don’t have enough insulation.
  • Natural gas is a convenient energy source that is piped into homes, where furnaces that run from propane or oil must have their fuel delivered regularly and can run out. 
  • The cost of natural gas is often lower than the cost of electricity or propane, making a gas furnace one of the more cost-effective to run over its lifetime. 

In general, if a house has a natural gas line connection, then a gas furnace is likely its best option for central heating.

What Are the Drawbacks of a Gas Furnace?

Now let’s flip the picture over and see why a gas furnace may not be the right choice for some homes. 

  • No gas line, no gas furnace! Homes that rely on electricity must either use an electric furnace, a propane/oil furnace, or a heat pump. 
  • Natural gas can present some hazards for homes because of combustion dangers or gas leaks. Although gas furnaces are not inherently dangerous, some people prefer not to use gas in their homes at all, even if it’s an option. 
  • A gas furnace may provide too much heat for a home that doesn’t rely on its heater that often. A heat pump or a dual fuel system (a heat pump with a gas furnace as a backup) may be sufficient for these homes.
  • Natural gas furnaces cost more to install than electric furnaces. 

Making the Choice

If you are looking for a heating system installation for your house, we recommend that you work with our professionals to help you decide what type of heater is right for your needs. We offer furnace service in Lake Oswego, OR for both gas and electric furnaces, and we also work with heat pumps, ductless mini splits, and dual fuel systems. We’ll guide you to the ideal heating system. 

Rely on Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning when you need furnace or other heating services in Greater Portland. “Connecting People to Comfort!”

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