Natural Gas Heaters vs. Electric Heaters

It’s an age-old debate. Natural gas heaters vs electric heating systems. Which one is better for your home? When the cold winter months come, choosing the right heating system can make all the difference in keeping your family warm.

Deciding on a home heating system can be challenging, especially when comparing gas to electric options. You want to know which option is the most cost effective, or which option has better energy efficiency. No need to worry, the team at HomElectrical is here to help you choose between gas and electric heaters.

Recognizing the Convenience of Electric Heaters

Electric Wall Heater

The operation of an electric heater is as straightforward as it gets. It requires nothing more than a connection to your home’s electrical system. This means easy installation in both older and newer buildings, without the need for extensive pipe work. Electric heating is a cost effective solution, especially in areas with limited access to natural gas.

Electric heaters shine brightly in terms of safety. Many models come equipped with a tip over switch that turns off the unit if it accidentally topples over. Furthermore, their silent operation eliminates the production of dangerous gases. This contributes to an indoor environment that is as safe as it is comfortable.

Electric heaters also exhibit exceptional thermal efficiency, which also makes them useful as garage heaters. Their design allows for specific directionality, focusing the warmth exactly where it is needed.

What are the Different Types of Electric Heaters?

When seeking warmth in winter, electric heaters come in a range of forms, each with their unique advantages:

  1. Baseboard heaters are typically installed along the base of a wall. Operating silently and efficiently, baseboard heaters generate convection currents that circulate warm air around the room.
  2. Floor heating systems provide a luxurious touch of warmth underfoot. Often installed during the construction phase, these systems utilize heated cables beneath the floor surface to distribute heat. However, to ensure effective warming, the heat output must exceed the room’s heat loss.
  3. Electric space heaters are perfect for spot heating. They are typically the cheapest way to heat a room using electricity. The price for a new ceramic heater can range from as low as $20 to over $200, depending on features and capacity.
  4. Heat pumps are another versatile heating option. These units extract heat from the outside air or ground and pump it indoors.
  5. Electric furnaces, much like their gas counterparts, heat air and distribute it throughout the home using ductwork. They operate by heating a series of coils using electricity, with a blower then distributing warm air.
  6. Wall heaters are another heating solution, installed directly into the wall for a sleek, unobtrusive appearance. These fan forced heaters incorporate heating coils and a blower fan to rapidly disperse heat throughout the room.

Understanding Natural Gas Heaters?

Natural Gas Heater

Natural gas heaters, warming millions of North American households, employ heating oil or liquid propane instead of electricity. Frequently cheaper than electric heaters, they’re an economical choice. However, this may not be true in areas with limited access to natural gas.

Gas heaters soldier on even during power outages, providing consistent warmth. Their suitability varies with climate, often competing with electric heat pumps. With higher SEER ratings, they provide better energy efficiency.

Gas heat tends to be less dry and more comforting in the space. Though it may take time to kick on, it will heat large spaces effectively. However, there is a formidable danger – potential carbon monoxide poisoning. Therefore, proper venting is crucial when using gas heaters.

What are Some Different Types of Natural Gas Heaters?

  1. Direct vent heaters draw air from the outside for combustion and then vent the exhaust back outdoors. Since direct vent heaters don’t require ductwork, they’re an economical choice in terms of installation costs.
  2. Wall furnaces are another type of direct vent heater that is permanently mounted onto or into the wall. Wall furnaces are excellent at heating individual rooms or small spaces, providing focused heat where it is needed most.
  3. Vent-free heaters are another significant member of the natural gas heater family. These heaters do not require any ductwork or venting outside. They come in two efficient types: infrared heaters and blue flame heaters.
infrared heater vs blue flame heater

Which Heating System is Right for You?

Choosing the right heating system is a game of balancing costs and performance. In the world of heating, energy is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units), and it’s crucial to keep this in mind.

Generally, gas heaters tend to be more effective than electric heaters, pumping out more BTUs for your buck. However, the cost advantage can change based on your location and the availability of natural gas. In areas where natural gas is scarce, the cost can skyrocket, making electric heaters a more economical choice.

On the other hand, electric heaters are an excellent choice for homes without a natural gas line. Though they cost more to run, their convenience and lesser environmental impact often tip the scales in their favor.

Regardless of your choice, remember that both gas and electric heaters require annual maintenance, including changing the air filter. Maintaining your heater not only ensures its longevity but also keeps it performing at peak efficiency.

To summarize, both natural gas and electric heating systems have their strengths and weaknesses. No matter the type of heater, make sure to invest in a high quality heat exchanger to keep your home warm all season long!

Recommended Reading

Panasonic air conditioners and heat pumps heat or cool your room according to your desired temperature while staying energy efficient. Their wide power output range allows for precise temperature control.

Stelpro heaters keep your space warm while helping you reduce your monthly energy bills. Read our blog to learn about the variety of heater options Stelpro offers and the best application for each of those heaters.

Baseboard heaters make a great alternative to a central heating system. Read our guide to explore the different types of baseboard heaters and their applications.

Falyn Eaden
Falyn Eaden

Working as Project Management Officer at CORL Technologies and armed with a B.S. in English & Professional Communication and an M.S. in Cyber Security, Falyn works to create environments that protects and represents the world around us. He loves life, fast-paced environments, flag football, eating and exploring new things.

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