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Riley Heating & Air Blog

Is an Electric Furnace a Good Option for Winter Heating?


Winter is not that far off, and you may have a dilemma in your home: you don’t have a central heating system but you definitely want one. Using space heaters just isn’t a useful option for a home your size, and you want the convenience of having warmth sent to all the rooms.

Good news: it’s easy to add central heating to your home if you already have existing ductwork for your air conditioner. If this is the situation you’re in, then an electric furnace is one of your options for heating.

But is it a good option?

If you have an all-electric home, the answer is “yes”

The most common type of heating system found in homes is the natural gas-powered furnace. But not all homes have a natural gas connection to power a gas furnace, and some homeowners prefer not to use gas at all because of safety concerns. In these situations, an electric furnace is a good choice to provide winter comfort, especially in Georgia.

The main drawbacks you’ll hear when it comes to electric furnaces are that they cost more to run than gas furnaces and don’t have as high a capacity. Although true, the impact of these drawbacks is negligible in our climate. You won’t need to run your furnace every single day through most of the winter the way homeowners in more northern states do. You’ll use the heater sporadically, and the difference in cost between running an electric furnace and a gas furnace won’t amount to much. As for heating capacity, an electric furnace has no trouble handling the coldest Georgia days: the amount of heating output is what you need to stay warm.

What about a heat pump?

This is another option for heating for an electric home, and it’s a good one to consider—but only if you also plan to replace your air conditioning system at the same time. A heat pump costs much more than an electric furnace, so if you plan to add a heat pump to your house (easy for our technicians to do if there’s already ductwork for an AC), you’ll need to have it replace the air conditioner as well for the cost to be worthwhile. If your current air conditioner still has several years of service left in it, it’s more cost-effective to have an electric furnace put in.

What if I don’t have ductwork?

We have a solution for that as well: ductless mini split heat pumps. These are heat pumps that operate through a series of wall-mounted indoor units, each of which connects to an outdoor unit. The wall units send heated or cooled air directly into rooms without requiring an inch of ductwork. With a ductless mini split system installed, you not only have your heating needs taken care of, you can also get rid of those ugly and inefficient window air conditioners.

Need help with your home heating?

Whether you’re interested in a ductless mini split, a heat pump, or an electric furnace in Columbus, GA, we’re the team to work with for the best results. We’ll help you find your ideal heating system.

You can Rely on Riley! Contact Riley Heating & Air today to learn more about your heating options for the coming winter.

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