Electric vs Natural Gas furnace

Has anyone done the math on whether an electric or natural gas furnace is most cost effective? I live in a 1500SF multiunit condo bldg and deciding whether to replace my current gas furnace with another gas furnace or electric. We don't know what our winter heating bill will be like since we only moved in a couple months ago. The place has been quite warm thus far. Even today when it's been in the 50s we had our windows open and it was in the 70s indoors, so there is some indication that the unit will be relatively warm.

2 Replies

  • Sorry that I didn't thoroughly read the OP's initial post more closely and went off-topic - they clearly defined their parameters (1500 sf condo that tends to stay warm due to common walls with neighbors). I understand now why weighing electric vs. a new furnace in this circumstance is an attractive thought-exercise. The result is the same: that you can buy more btu's of heat with gas than you can with electric with the same number of dollars in most places, but since their heating requirements are less, the break-even of buying a new furnace will take more time to realize. One thing to consider is their condo rules may require them to maintain a functioning HVAC system of the same specs as the original, I don't know. Another is that their unit may not be set up for electric heat (not a large enough electric panel to handle the additional load of heaters). It sure would make for an interesting experiment, to buy some inexpensive, 115V electric heaters and see how many KWH's (and dollars) it takes to keep their unit warm with electric as they approach winter. My guess is they would end up replacing the furnace before January, LOL. Since this was posted in the Chicago forum, their unit costs will be roughly the same as my own, with the exception being that my 1960's, 1400 sf unattached house (plus basement) requires a lot more heat energy to stay comfortable vs. their condo. I'd bet that sweatshirts and Huggies are cheaper than paying the Big Bucks to Nicor and ComEd, how Spartan are you willing to go this winter? The Winnebago Indians that used to inhabit this area only had fallen tree branches to burn for heat, and they were here for a lot longer than "we" have been. But the next family that buys your condo is going to want to have a working furnace, I'd bet on it.
  • I can understand that. When I decided to put a stove in my house, I went through this question too, but in the end I chose an electric stove. I absolutely don't regret taking it, it's good when you have friends who have already experienced it and one of them just told me that it's much better than electricity. I should add that I am also very happy that I am not the cause of so much pollution, I am on the side of nature! If I could suggest something, I would recommend a www.thefurnaceoutlet.com/.../electric-furnaces.html that a friend of mine gave me, and I can say that it's nice from personal experience. good luck in choosing the best for yourself.
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