Should I get a gas or an electric furnace?

Comfortable home

Should I get a gas or an electric furnace?

Comfortable home

Every day there are more and more furnace options available to consumers in Redwood City and throughout the Bay Area. These delivery varied levels of comfort, price and fuel.

Furnaces run primarily on either gas or electricity. There are pros and cons to both kinds of heating system.


The first furnace installation question you need to answer is whether you should get a gas or an electric furnace. If your home doesn’t have a gas connection, then you may want to consider an electric furnace. Getting a new gas line into your home can be expensive.


As part of the heating process, gas furnaces release carbon monoxide and other toxic gases. The State of California requires that homes with gas furnaces have a carbon monoxide detector. The gas furnace installation needs a ventilation system to safely direct these gases outside. Consequently, installation of a gas furnace can be more expensive than an electric furnace.

If you have a gas furnace, make sure that you have an automatic gas shutoff that will turn off the gas during an earthquake. Your HVAC contractor can do this for you.


The average cost of a gas furnace is around $1200 plus $2400 for installation.

Electric furnaces are slightly cheaper. The average cost of an electric furnace is around $670 plus an average installation charge of $2000. With an electric furnace (heat pump), you also get an AC.

Gas furnaces are generally more efficient and cost significantly less to heat the home than electric furnaces.

In remote areas that are not served by a local gas company (such as PG&E), it is common to use propane to make the home comfortable. It would be best for such homes to convert to a heat pump powered by propane. With the heat pump, you can both cool and heat your home.

So the question for you is: Do you want to spend up-front on your heating system and pay less over the years in ongoing furnace costs, or spend less on your furnace in the beginning and spread it out over the coming years?


Both types of furnaces need to be maintained professionally to make sure that they are safe, efficient and are working as intended. Gas furnaces require regular maintenance to ensure that the ventilation system is working well. Both types of heating system require replacement of their filters at regular intervals.


Gas furnaces last about 20 years on heat exchangers and electric furnaces can last almost 15 years. Electric furnaces have a lower lifespan because they work as both AC and furnace and get used all year round.

We will help you pick your furnace!

If you are in the market for a new furnace, Redwood City’s best HVAC contractor will help you evaluate the best furnace for your needs and home. We perform maintenance, repairs, and installations of new heating and air conditioning systems. Homeowners in Redwood City and throughout the Bay Area count on us for all their heating and air conditioning needs. Call us today at (650) 575-3915.