Gas Heat & Electric Heat: What's the Difference?

home in winter

If you’re building a home, renovating, or just realizing that it’s time to get a new heating system, you’re going to see that your options are between gas and electric. If both heat your homes, how are they different? Well, that’s about where the similarities stop. 

Gas heat and electric heat do, indeed, heat your home and keep you warm and cozy during those cold winter months, but there are several differences between the two systems that you should know about before choosing which heating system is best for your home. 

How Heating Systems Work

If you don’t know how heating systems work, here are the simplest explanations for both gas heat and electric heating systems. 

Gas heat uses a small flame called a pilot light that is ignited to start the heating process of the natural gas. The thermostat triggers the pilot light when the thermostat gets below a specific set temperature. 

Electric heat kicks on using an electrical unit instead of a pilot light. Again, it is triggered by the thermostat. 

After the two systems have started, the HVAC unit will push the warmed air throughout the home. 

Cost of Electric or Gas Heat 

Another difference between the two heating systems is the cost.  If they both do the same, wouldn’t the costs be similar? Actually, no. The installation, lifespan, and monthly energy bills can make all the difference between choosing a gas heat or an electric heat system. 

Gas heat systems have a higher upfront cost for installation compared to electric heat installation. 

Gas heat systems last about 20 years with regular heat maintenance, and electric systems have a lifespan of about 30 years with regular heater maintenance

Now, you may think that electric heating has won your choice with the lower installation cost and longer lifespan, but gas heat systems are actually cheaper month-to-month than electrical units! 

Even though electric heating units are super-efficient and boast that one of the system's pros is the high efficiency, natural gas is less expensive and will cost you less to run on a monthly basis. 

It all depends on the climate you live in and how much you’ll run your system that may be the determining factor. 

If you live in an area with milder climates and mild winters, you may want to consider electric heat. However, if you live in an area with harsh winters and long periods of cold weather, gas heat would be a better option. 

The best advice would be to consult with a professional HVAC company, like us, Valley Heating & Cooling

Stay Warm With Valley Heating & Cooling

If you’re in the market for a new heating system and live in the Madison, Alabama area, you don’t have to search for “heating services near me” anymore! Instead, give us a call today to discuss what heating system is right for your home and schedule your installation! 

We don’t just install HVAC systems, we offer emergency services, heating, and cooling inspection and maintenance as well as air quality services, and more. 

Connect with us today to keep your home warm and comfortable through the winter!