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Deciding on a Furnace: A Comparison and Contrast


by  | Nov 21, 2018 | 

In the past, traditional furnaces relied on firewood or coal. However, most modern furnaces use natural gas or electricity to run. If you are planning to buy a heater for your home to keep yourself warm and comfortable in the winter months, your pick will most likely narrow down to either electric or gas. In this article, we compare and contrast the two types of furnaces and unravel which one is the most beneficial to install at your home this coming winter. But first, let’s look at maintenance tips for home heaters.  

Maintenance for Your Home Heating System

In most cases, heating systems are easy and hassle-free to maintain. To enjoy an efficient heating system, you always need to follow through with the scheduled maintenance routines. Regardless of the kind of heating system you got in your home, there are things that you need to do in order to keep your heating system in top condition all the time. As you will find out once you install and run your heating system for a while, dirt will be the greatest enemy of your heating system. The accumulation of dirt significantly lowers the efficiency and wastes fuel. This means that your electricity bills will be rising unreasonably. In many instances, dirt affects three of the most important components of your heating system. As a result, you will need to prioritize the regular cleaning of your furnace filters, the motor, and the blower. For the efficient running of your heating system, make sure that the motor is running in good condition. You can do this by lubricating the system. Even though most heating systems feature permanently lubricated motors, some come with covered oil ports that you have to refill early. Be keen when doing this, however, to avoid over-lubricating the motor. When lubricating your motor, make sure to check the belts as well and replace worn the ones that are wearing out. A faulty control or thermostat may be the cause of your heating system turning on and off from time to time. Whatever the issues affecting your heating system, however, a regular maintenance of your entire heating system can help thwart them and allow you to have a fully functional heating system in your home.  

Gas Furnaces vs. Electric Furnaces

Whether electricity or gas powered, furnaces perform an important service in your home. Nonetheless, the fact that they serve the same purpose doesn’t mean that they perform it in the same way. When figuring out which heating system you want to install in your home, it is important that you first look at the basic differences between electric and gas heaters. Once you do this, you will quickly see which one meets your needs and budget. Here is what to consider when determining which type of heater is right for your home.  

Initial Setup Cost

Gas furnaces are a favorite to most homeowners across the state. The initial costs of installing the furnace usually tend to be influenced by the brand chosen. On average, however, the upfront cost of fully installing a gas heating system can go up to $4000. The installation of a gas furnace, however, is only ideal where natural gas is readily available. An electric furnace, on the other hand, is a preferred option where natural gas isn’t available. Although this type of furnaces is limited to electricity consumption, having it installed in your home is beneficial because it has a reasonably low initial cost. It is approximated that the upfront expense of installing a common electric heating system can range from $400 to roughly $1000. As you can see, even the most costly installation doesn’t match the cheapest gas furnaces.  

Long-Term Expense Difference

Even though the initial cost of installing a gas heating system is way steeper as compared to the electric type, its long-term operating expenses are the lowest. In fact, the cost of operating an electric furnace is almost twice as high as that of operating the gas furnaces based on their average costs. In fact, the operating cost of an electric system will be magnified if you own a bigger house. Although gas prices tend to fluctuate in the rural areas, the long-term operating cost is still way below that of an electric heating system. It is true that if you are living far from natural gas regions, your choices become limited towards the electric heating system. If you own a smaller house in warmer regions, then the cost of running an electric heating system won’t be as much as if you lived in cold regions. Nonetheless, if you are heating a bigger home in a cold region, you will realize that the operating cost of an electric heater could be too high over a long time.  


Just like the initial and long-term operating expenses of both electric and gas-powered heaters, lifespan ought to be factored in when determining the right heater to buy. An efficient gas heater is likely to serve you for 20 to 25 years. The lifespan of the heater, however, depends on the operating expense and regular maintenance services. This means that installing a furnace is not an investment you could take casually. However, an electric heater is likely to last longer when compared to a gas-powered heater. The fact that it has higher operating expenses means that it needs little or no maintenance services in its entire lifespan. It is imperative, therefore, that you pick the most durable brand regardless of whether you are buying an electric or a gas heater. Being able to find the one that is right for you can be a lasting solution.  

Maintenance Cost

Even though a gas furnace can last up to 25 years, it will need servicing and maintenance to ensure it remains efficient. Additionally, elements like igniters may need replacement on a regular basis to ensure safety. On the other hand, the electric heater not only lasts longer as compared to the gas type but also needs less servicing and maintenance. With no vital components like burners to clean, its maintenance cost is also reduced substantially. Without considering the size of your house and local climate, it is almost impossible to settle on a furnace that is best suited for your home. Even when the houses are similar, they will need different units subject to where they are located geographically. If you are looking to heat your home efficiently at a lower cost, then it’s important to consider the above factors prior to buying.  

Furnace Filters

Filters are among the most delicate components of a heating system. However, a high-quality filter unit is effective and will prove to be significantly advantageous in your home when it comes to health and comfort. As such, you will need to replace it regularly in order to ensure it is always in top condition to allow only the high-quality air into your home. Here is a number of heating system filters that you need to know about.

Fiberglass Air Filter

Fiberglass filter is one of the cheapest filters available on the market. It features sheets that are held closely together on the top by either plastic or wooden frames. Although it protects your heating system, it is not effective at cleaning air due to its low filtration proficiency.  

Pleated Media Air Filter

This type is mostly used with HEPA filters owing to its appearance. Like the fiberglass air filter, it is medium sized and it is manufactured from a disposable pleated polyester filter. It is effective at trapping dust, dirt, and other airborne particles. It comes at a lower cost but is rated at the same level as HEPA.  

HEPA Air Filters

This type is considered one of the top-rated air control filter owing to its efficient blocking abilities. In fact, HEPA can assure you of up to 99.97 percent of filtration in all unwanted particles that accompany air into your heater. As such, the quality of air coming into your home is of high-quality.  

Washable Air Filter

Basically, this filter is made from plastic mesh or nylon weave that is reusable. It is durable because it can last up to 3 years. This, however, makes it a bit expensive. In order to enhance its efficiency, it is recommendable that you wash it after about five to six months of use. It is the material’s longevity that makes it washable as well as recyclable. When it comes to choosing heater filters, it is important to seek professional suggestions if you don’t understand the type of filter that fits your unit. Now that you know the types of heater filters available on the market, let’s compare and contrast the various brands available for you  

Goodman Furnace

Goodman has established its reputation by producing and supplying high-quality affordable heating systems across North America and across the world. When it comes to indoor air quality, Goodman offers high-quality heater filters designed to fit all Goodman heating systems. Whether it is a heater, an air conditioner, or any other Goodman air system, their filters will just fit to allow you to enjoy a high-quality healthier air. Goodman furnace filters are available in two varieties: pleated electrostatic medial filters and impregnated carbon filters. They are housed in a strong frame that contains gasketing foam that prevents air bypass. Moreover, the filters are designed to provide high-quality air, durability, and an efficient performance.

American Standard

For over 100 years, American Standard has provided high-quality air solutions by constructing highly efficient heating as well as cooling systems. As such, it has been known to be a reliable and efficient brand when it comes to manufacturing filters for heating systems. After manufacturing heating systems for many years, the firm understands that a high-quality heating system requires an equally high-quality air filter. That is why their heater filters are specially engineered from greatly proficient filtration media. These filters combine electrostatic filtration, pleated designs, higher dust-holding capacities, as well as a sturdy construction to remove indoor air pollutants seamlessly while protecting your heating system to enhance its longevity. The brand not only manufactures electrostatic filters for healthier breathing but also produces carbon filters to provide a fresher and healthier air. In fact, when you buy American Standard filters, you are likely to get more than you paid for.  

York Furnace

York is a company that is well established in the manufacturing of high-quality home comfort products that aim at making your home comfortable and healthier through proper and efficient air circulation. The products that they manufacture include heaters, air conditioners, cooling systems, and many others. York furnace filters are purposely designed to keep your indoor air as clean as possible while keeping your York furnace and the entire heating system running smoothly and efficiently. Even though they are replacement filters, they are designed with high-quality filtration media that includes impregnated carbon and pleated electrostatic filters. As such, these filters will offer you a high-quality air filtration and a better performance of your air heating system.  

Lennox Furnace

Lennox is among the leading companies that offer consumers high-end energy efficient heating systems not only in the USA but also across the world. The firm not only produces high-quality heating systems, such as a Lennox furnace, but also high-quality air filters for its products. In fact, Lennox has curved its own path when it comes to improving indoor air quality through high-quality filters. Just like other brands, Lennox filters are engineered and designed out of top rated filtration media such as impregnated carbon and pleated electrostatic filters. This makes a Lennox filters one of the most preferred heating filters across the world.  


As you can see from the above discussion, there is much to consider when deciding which heating system is right for installation in your home. Certainly, there is much more to look at than just the cost. Moreover, you will want to evaluate its longevity, effectiveness, and feasibility of owning that particular heating system. Other components such as air filters also play a greater role when deciding the kind of heating system you will want to install. So, take time to assess all the factors before settling for the right heating system. After all, the last thing you will wish for is to be left out in the cold once winter months kick in.  

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