House and Home

Types of Electric Furnaces

If you’re thinking about updating your heating system or installing one for the first time, an electric furnace should not be ruled out. Modern electric furnaces are descendants of the arc furnace, which was invented in 1879 by German-born British inventor Sir William Siemens. They are simple, long-lasting, and less expensive upfront than other heating solutions.

What Are Electric Furnaces

An electric furnace is a type of heating device that consists of a metal box containing an electric heating element and a blower fan.

Electric furnaces are thermostatically controlled forced-air units that switch on when the temperature drops below a set point. The heating element is turned on and the internal blower fan turns on as well. This blows air over the heating element and distributes the heated air through a network duct to the areas that are needed. The heating element and blower fan are turned off when the temperature has been reached.

Electric Furnace Cost

  • Electric furnaces cost between $685 and $1,100. The cost of installation varies from $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the size and complexity of the unit.
  • Electric furnaces are roughly 300 percent more expensive to operate than gas furnaces.
  • A typical electric furnace costs $32 per million BTUs to operate, compared to about $10 to $12 per million BTUs for a typical gas furnace, based on the current average cost of energy in the United States of $0.13 per kilowatt-hour.
  • Electric furnaces are more compact than other types of furnaces, and they can be combined with a cooling coil to offer air conditioning during the summer.
  • Electric furnaces are thought to be safer and more environmentally friendly than gas and oil-burning furnaces because they produce no emissions and do not involve any combustion.
  • Electric furnaces are, on average, more expensive to run than baseboard or wall heaters.
  • The majority of low-cost electric furnaces endure 15 to 20 years, whereas higher-quality units last 18 to 25 years on average.

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