Gas vs. electric furnace: Which is better in Kansas City?

If you’re in the market for a new furnace, you may be wondering which fuel source is best: gas or electricity.

When it comes to choosing one or the other, this is what we recommend for Kansas City homeowners:

  • If you have access to natural gas (most Kansas City homes do), then go with gas furnace because it’s cheaper to operate than an electric furnace.
  • Don’t have access to natural gas? Then you may consider an electric furnace because it will be less expensive to install upfront.

In this article we’ll go into the pros and cons of each fuel type to help point you in the right direction.

Want an accurate furnace recommendation for your home?

Note: The only way to get an accurate furnace recommendation is to contact an HVAC specialist. They’ll help you choose which furnace fuel source makes the most sense for your home, and they can also help you pick the correct furnace size.

Gas furnaces: The pros and cons

Gas furnaces are the most common in the Kansas City area. The bottom line is if you have access to natural gas, you’re better off sticking with a gas furnace because you’ll spend less on your monthly energy bills.

Let’s go into the pros and cons of a gas furnace…

The pros

  • Lower monthly operating cost: Natural gas is less expensive than electricity as a fuel source.
  • Faster heating: Gas furnaces tend to heat up the home faster than electric furnaces because a gas furnace produces maximum heat as soon as the burners fire on. Electric furnaces take a little longer at first because they have to power the heating element before it can start to heat your home.

The cons

  • Higher upfront installation cost: Natural gas furnaces typically cost $1,000–$2,000+ more upfront than electric furnaces. That’s because gas furnaces have additional venting requirements that make the installation more complicated. If you don’t already have access to natural gas in your Kansas City home, you’ll need to add one. Adding a gas line can add $1,000+ to the cost of the installation, which makes switching from electric to gas even more expensive.
  • Safety concerns: During the combustion process, gas furnaces emit dangerous gases like carbon monoxide. Under normal operation, these gases safety exit your home via the exhaust flue. However, if something breaks (like the exhaust flue or heat exchanger), those poisonous gases could easily enter your home’s air. If you go with a gas furnace, make sure to have it maintained regularly to catch any issues before they become serious.

Electric furnaces: The pros and cons

If you don’t have access to natural gas in your area, an electric furnace is probably your best option.

The pros

  • Lower upfront install cost: Electric furnaces are cheaper to install than gas furnaces because they are simpler to install (no ventilation is needed).
  • Clean operation: Electric furnaces don’t emit any gases, so you don’t have to worry about carbon monoxide leaks coming from your furnace.

The cons

  • Higher monthly energy bills: Electricity is a more expensive fuel source than natural gas in the Kansas City area, which means your monthly energy bills will be higher.
  • Slower heating: Like we mentioned above, some electric furnaces take longer to power up than gas furnaces, which means they take a little longer to heat your home.

The best of both fuel types: A dual-fuel system

If you want the most savings on your winter energy bills, we recommend pairing an electric heat pump with a gas furnace.

Here’s why: Electric heat pumps heat your home when the outside temperature is around 40° F or higher. When temperatures drop below 40° F, your gas furnace will kick in to heat your home.

Since your furnace is using gas instead of electricity, you’ll save money (compared to an electric furnace) and you’ll get the highest levels of comfort.

Plus, heat pumps use far less energy than electric furnaces—up to 50% less. That means you’ll use less energy than you would with an electric furnace.

Want a FREE furnace install quote?

We’ll send over one of our trusted techs to give you an honest furnace recommendation and a free quote to install it in your Kansas City home.