Many homeowners rely on a furnace to keep their household cozy and warm throughout the cold winter months. Depending on the model you choose, furnaces can run on a variety of energy sources. If you currently have a gas furnace and would rather have an electric one, you might wonder if it’s possible to convert your existing furnace.

Furnace Conversions

When we talk about furnace conversions, we are talking about using the same furnace you already have but with a different energy source. While all these heating systems fall underneath the general name of a furnace, they have different internal components depending on the type of fuel they use to heat your home.

For example, a natural gas furnace will have a burner, pilot light, combustion chamber, and gas valve inside that is responsible for burning up the natural gas that’s fed into the furnace to create heat. On the other hand, an electric furnace will have built-in heating coils that are powered by electricity to create heat. When the internal components needed for your preferred fuel do not exist in the current furnace that you have in your home, then you can’t do a conversion.

A natural gas furnace does not have the same internal components as an electric furnace, so there is no way to do a conversion between the two. However, a natural gas furnace has similar components to that of a propane furnace, which means that type of conversion is possible with a few minor adjustments.

Upgrading to a New Electric Furnace

If you have decided that you no longer want to have gas as the primary source of fuel for your furnace, then you’ll need to purchase a brand-new electric furnace. A licensed professional will need to handle switching the old furnace for the new one.

First, they will need to cap off the existing natural gas line and likely add additional wiring for your new all-electric furnace. If your existing natural gas furnace is nearing the end of its lifespan, you will have a convenient opportunity to invest in the electric furnace you prefer.

Benefits of an Electric Furnace

While natural gas furnaces tend to be the most commonly used furnaces throughout the country, you can enjoy many great benefits from upgrading to an all-electric furnace. One of the most obvious benefits when you first start pricing furnaces is that electric furnaces are so much cheaper than natural gas furnaces. Even better, electric furnaces tend to have a longer lifespan, lasting between 20 and 30 years.

Because electric furnaces do not burn actual fuel to create heat, they require much less cleaning and maintenance than other types of furnaces on the market today. The risk of carbon monoxide is zero since your furnace will run on electricity. You’ll also never have to worry about ensuring that you have a supply of heating oil, propane, or natural gas on site. Even more, electric furnaces tend to be smaller than other types of furnaces, which makes them easier to accommodate.

An electric furnace will also use 100% of its energy. A gas furnace can only convert anywhere between 80% to 96% of its fuel into actual heat for your home. Additionally, you can easily access electricity no matter where you are while other options like gas or heating oil are only available in certain areas.

With gas and oil furnaces, you’ll need to have a special vent installed to discharge the combustion gases outdoors, but electric furnaces need no such venting, which can be costly and time-consuming to install. Since all-electric furnaces don’t burn fuel, you can rest assured that you’re not expanding your carbon footprint. In fact, they’re a very eco-friendly heating option for any family.

Get Help From the Pros

Island Heating & Air Conditioning is more than happy to assist customers throughout Oak Harbor, WA and the surrounding areas with all of their furnace needs. We can also help with all of your cooling, mini-split, heat pump, heating, indoor air quality, and ductwork needs. Be sure to contact our office today to schedule your next appointment with one of our highly experienced HVAC technicians for repairs, maintenance, or installation.

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February 15, 2024 4:36 pm