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Everything to Know About Electric Furnaces

If you need a new furnace, you may be weighing the pros and cons of different options. In particular, you may be wondering how an electric furnace stacks up against a gas furnace. The good news is, electric furnaces have a lot of great benefits. 

They are very easy to install and maintain. If you’re interested in having an electric furnace installed in your home before the next fall and winter seasons arrive, give our team a call. In the meantime, you can keep reading to learn more about the benefits of an electric furnace, as well as how they work. 

Producing Heat

Your electric furnace creates heat using electric burners instead of a gas igniter. There is a contactor inside that controls the electricity to your entire furnace, including the heating elements. Your thermostat signals to the contactor when it’s time to heat your home again.

Your furnace also has a sequencer that turns your heating elements on and off during heating cycles. Your furnace has more than one heating element that produces heat for your home. They can’t all power up at once or there will be a surge of too much electricity. The sequencer does just as the name implies. It turns on the heating elements in a sequence so that they heat up one at a time.

The third important component that aids in heating is the transformer that provides power to your electric furnace to control circuits for the thermostat sequencers and contactors. The transformer helps to move electricity between each of the circuits. This component is required anytime there are multiple circuits so that energy levels stay consistent and smooth instead of spiking in one place.

Pros and Cons of an Electric Furnace 

An electric furnace has a lot of benefits when it comes to how it operates. Because it does not use any gas, it is safer than a gas furnace that uses combustion to create heat for your home. In addition, electricity is considered 100% efficient when it comes to the amount of energy that it takes to create heat. When you have a gas furnace, some of the energy gets lost in the combustion process. This means that not all of the energy used goes toward heat output. 

Even so, there is one downside to an electric furnace and that is the cost of energy. Even though some energy gets wasted during the combustion process, a gas heater is still more efficient at creating heat and so operating costs are lower. An electric furnace has to work harder to produce heat, so you could end up spending more on your energy bills.

Maintenance expectations are about the same for both gas and electric furnaces. You’ll need to schedule maintenance once per year. However, a little more work is required when it comes to maintaining a gas furnace since there is usually buildup around the igniter that needs to be cleaned off, as well as residue from the gas on the inside of the unit. You don’t have the same problem with an electric furnace, ultimately simplifying that maintenance process. 

Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning is your trusted resource for Chicagoland area home services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for heater service!

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