Which should I choose: gas or electric heating?

man in a coat turning on the thermostat

The Heat is On

Even in the southern part of California, the nights can get chilly. While it may not be used as much as in the states in the far north, homeowners here in the Riverside area still need and want the best home heater for their homes and their budget. So, which is better for them, electric heat vs gas heat? 

There are several states across the country that are currently placing a ban on gas heaters. For now, heating installation is a homeowner’s choice. So, we’re going to review the differences between the two power sources for home heaters and answer a couple of common questions: 

How does electric heat work? 

There are various types of furnaces when it comes to home heaters, each working in a different way, and each having its pros and cons. Electric home heaters are unique, operating similar to a hairdryer. Electric home heaters and hair dryers both pull air in through a heat exchanger. From there, the electric heating elements warm the air that is pushed by the blower. With electric home heaters, that warm air is blown into the ductwork where that warmed air is distributed throughout your home.

Electric home heaters have several heating elements that work like those in a toaster. Heating elements consist of long coil wounded wires that are mounted inside electric home heaters. There are electrically charged particles that move through metal wires, producing heat. Other important components of electric home heaters include: 

  • Contactor – Tells the thermostat when to turn the heat on.
  • Sequencer – Turns the heating elements off and on. 
  • Transformer – Provides electric home heaters power that controls the contractor, sequencer, and thermostat by transferring the electrical energy from circuit to circuit. 

What are the benefits of electric heat? 

As we stated earlier, there are various types of home heaters, and depending on where you live and your home’s layout, one type of home heater may be better than another. If you choose electric powered home heaters, here are three benefits that you can enjoy: 

  • Safe and Reliable

Electric home heaters don’t burn any materials or use combustible gas that can create noxious fumes. This makes electric home heaters one of the safest heating solutions. With few moving parts, there is less opportunity of breaking down, providing a long-lasting heating system.

  • Affordable and Efficient

The cost of operating electric home heaters has remained stable the past few years, and with electricity being the lowest cost option for heating, experts predict that it will remain that way for many more years. Most electric home heaters are inexpensive, and installation is easy. They also have a longer lifespan than other methods of home heaters. Electric home heaters are easier to repair, keeping maintenance costs minimal.

  • Environmentally Friendly

Because electric home heaters do not rely on other materials for burning, there isn’t any carbon dioxide released. Electric home heaters preserve our natural resources and without creating any emissions, there are no risks like gas home heaters can experience, such as gas leaks.

What are the benefits of gas heat?

Natural gas is one of the most reliable fuel sources we have today. With gas-powered home heaters, there are several benefits to be enjoyed.


Factors that are to be considered are the efficiency and cost of fuel; natural gas has typically been the more affordable option compared to electricity or oil. The gas home heaters on the market today are highly efficient for reducing monthly energy bills.

Why is gas cheaper than electricity? You can save as much as $350 a year with gas-powered home heaters versus electric home heaters. Electricity is developed from a variety of sources, even natural gas. When homes are heated with gas-powered home heaters, the majority of that energy is heating the home.

Electrically powered home heaters burn fuel in other places, converting that power to electricity, which is distributed to homes. That entire process has inefficiencies using that energy. Considering the cost of system maintenance, it costs more for electrically powered home heaters. 


Natural gas is the cleanest option for home heaters today. The emissions from gas home heaters consist mainly of water vapor and 45 percent less carbon dioxide than coal-powered home heaters and 30 percent less carbon dioxide than using wood for home heating. Using natural gas, homes are heated cleaner and leave a small carbon footprint.


Natural gas is dependable for home heaters, with the gas lines running underground, they are protected from outdoor elements compared to highline wires that electric home heaters during storms. Natural gas is in constant supply compared to oil or propane that must be delivered. 


Gas home heaters make for a cozy, warm home, heating the home faster than electric home heaters. 

Home Value

Home values increase where home heaters are powered by natural gas. More potential home buyers are appealing, giving you a faster sell for more money. 

woman in a blanket shivering on a sofa

Closing Words of Concern

Are you still wondering, “Should I change to electric heating, or is it cheaper to heat a room with gas or electric?” This is an important decision for any homeowners, and if you have a choice with a new build, or are in the process of converting your existing one. 

To help you make the decision, schedule a home visit with your local professional heating company that offers both electrical power and gas power home heaters. They can inspect your home and provide you with statistics showing you the best option.