Which is Less Expensive to Run – A Gas Furnace or Electric Baseboard Heat?

Which is cheaper to heat with, a gas furnace or electric baseboard Heat?  When homeowners are researching potential heating systems, these are 2 of the types that are often considered. This guide discusses these heating types and will help you decide which one is right for your home.

Advantages of Electric Baseboard Heat

There are basically 2 advantages of electric baseboard heat.  The first is the cheaper cost of the equipment.  It will probably cost less to outfit your house with baseboard heaters than with a gas furnace.

Secondly, electric baseboard heaters can be shut off room by room so you’re only heating the rooms in use.

Beyond these advantages, electric baseboard heat can be a very expensive to operate.

Advantages of a Gas Furnace

If you decide to use a gas furnace to heat your home, you’ll find a distinct cost advantage over electric baseboard heat.

The cost of natural gas, and even propane, is less than electricity.  Your bills will be significantly lower if you heat with a gas furnace.  You can choose a zoned heating system if you want, to only heat zones you are using in order to reduce energy use and costs.

Depending on electricity costs in your area, most homeowners will pay 2-5 times more in utility costs if they choose electricity over natural gas or propane.  Electric baseboard heating is the most expensive type of heat you can select for your home.

Some might suggest that based on efficiency alone, electric heat is better. After all, electric heat is 100% efficient. All the electricity used goes to make heat while in the most efficient furnaces, only 95-97% of the heat that is made is used. The important thing to keep in mind is that the electricity is made in a plant, often from fossil fuels.  It costs more to make that electricity and therefore it is more expensive.

If you plan to live in your home for any length of time, it will be worth it to pay the extra cost of a gas furnace versus the cost of the equipment for electric baseboard heat.

In addition, even if you do sell your home in the next 1-3 years, a gas furnace might be a better choice.  Smart home buyers know that electric baseboard heat is very expensive.  If they see that’s what you are heating with, you can expect a lower offer on your home or the potential buyer may simply look elsewhere.  When it comes to resale value, an efficient gas furnace is far superior to electric baseboard heat.

A Gas Furnace Costs Less to Operate than Electric Baseboard Heat

For the vast majority of homeowners, a gas furnace is a more cost effective choice than electric baseboard heat.  Keep this information in mind as you consider the next heating system for your home.



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