If you need a new furnace in your home, then you have several options available to you. While most people choose natural gas units, propane and heating oil varieties are still somewhat popular. Electric devices are an option as well. While most people do not choose electric furnaces because they believe they are inefficient, electric furnaces actually have many advantages. Keep reading to learn about a few so you consider whether or not an electric furnace is a good option for you.
They Are Safer
Electric furnaces work differently than models that use burned fuels to create heat. While an electric furnace will work in a similar manner as a gas furnace, there is no burner and there is also no fire. In many ways, the furnace works like a large hair dryer with electric heating elements that line the upper part of the unit. A blower sits on the bottom part of the system and forces air up and over the heating elements. The air is warmed and the heat is moved up through your heating ducts.
The main advantage to this type of system is the fact that it does not create a fire hazard, since there is no flame. Also, since fuel is not burned, no exhaust is created. This means that carbon monoxide does not have an opportunity to leak from the system. In turn, poisoning concerns are completely eliminated. Also, since the unit does not contain a flame, there is no risk of a fire starting in your home. While this is true, most furnaces do have temperature sensors that turn off the furnace if heat in the unit rises too much. Most sensors are located near the plenum and keep the unit off until temperatures return to normal.
They Cost Less
If you are concerned about installing an expensive furnace in your home, then electric heaters have the benefit of being cheaper to begin with. An average unit is about $1,700, and high-efficiency devices range from about $2,500 to $4,000. When it comes to installation, you are likely to pay between about $400 and $600. While this may seem high, a natural gas furnace costs an average of $3,900 to be installed. The cost of the furnace itself is likely to cost $1,200 on average. The remaining cost is the expense you will pay for installation. When the unit is installed, you will not need to worry about things like vents or chimneys. If you do not already have an installation on your home that deals with exhaust, then this can cause your costs to skyrocket.
If you do opt for a high efficiency model, then the device will have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) between 90% and 98.5%. Many electric units are on the higher end of the scale for efficiency. This means that your energy costs may not end up being as high as you think they will be.
They Require Less Maintenance
Since electric furnaces are extremely simple, they do not require nearly as much maintenance as other types of heaters. They should be inspected once a year, like other types of heaters. During the inspection, the blower, motor, belts, and the electric elements will all be inspected. These parts will generally be looked over fairly quickly for signs of extreme wear and tear.
Outside of the regular inspections, you should make sure to change the filter often. You also may need to clean the motor and the air blower. A quick look at the motor belts should occur on occasion a well. However, this is typically all you will need to do to keep the furnace in good working order. For more information, contact a company like Sullivan Super Service.