Electric furnaces are fairly rare and occur more often with geothermal heating. However, if an oil furnace does not seem feasible or you live in an area where natural gas is not available, electrical furnaces are a good alternative option with low up-front prices but more expensive long-term heating costs. Electric furnaces consist primarily of a resistor unit, which works like the burner of an electric stove, converting electrical energy to thermal energy. The heat warms air in the furnace, and travels through the ductwork of the house.
Generally, electric furnace prices are low initially–the heater is cheap to buy, in other words–but will cost more in the long run than other fuel combustion heaters because of the high cost of electricity.
Electric Furnace Advantages
Electric furnaces are compact and easy to install, capable of fitting into nearly any space with low installation prices. Electrical furnaces don’t use pilot lights to ignite dangerous gases or chemicals, and thus are safer than traditional furnaces. Electric furnaces are also known to have a lifespan of 20-30 years and an 80 to 90 percent annual fuel utilization efficiency.
Electric Furnace Disadvantages
The main disadvantage is that electric furnace prices are high long-term because of electricity costs far more as a fuel source than gas and oil. If the furnace is running constantly, a lot of electricity is going to be consumed and your electric bill will swell.
It is also important to consider that if bad weather knocks out the electricity, electric furnaces are not going to work at a time when you need heat the most.
Electric Furnace Prices
The average electric furnace prices are $1,000-$1,500. It’s far lower than other fuel combustion heaters because, unlike other heating systems, there is no piping, fuel storage, or ducting to install. Additional costs of installation can reach $1,000-$2,000, but the overall installation and electric furnace prices are still lower than other heating systems because of the limited equipment dependencies.