While many people prefer natural gas for heating or other appliances, there are many reasons to switch from natural gas back to electricity. For example, you may have purchased a new home and want to reduce your overall carbon footprint. You might also be facing rising or unpredictable natural gas prices in your area, reducing the benefit of using it for heat.
Whatever the case, converting from a gas furnace to an electric one is somewhat more straightforward than doing the process in reverse. If you're considering this switch, here are three things you should know before you get started.
1. You Still Need a Certified Installer
Although your new furnace won't rely on gas for fuel, you still need to deal with the gas lines connecting to your old furnace. Most areas require plumbers and HVAC technicians that work with gas to be appropriately licensed and certified. You should rely on these qualified professionals whenever you're doing anything in your home that requires dealing with your gas lines.
In the case of gas to electric furnace conversion, your installer will need to disconnect your old furnace and correctly cap off the gas lines. Depending on your local regulations, an inspector may need to check the gas modifications to ensure they meet local codes. A qualified local installer can also discuss these regulations with you and explain the requirements for your area.
2. You Can't Convert Your Existing Furnace
You may have heard about conversions between gas and propane furnaces. These conversions work because the internal components are relatively similar, and you can use reasonably straightforward conversion kits to alter the fuel source. However, similar kits don't exist to convert a gas-powered furnace to electric power.
If you want to switch your home to electric heating, you'll need a new furnace to do it. When selecting a new furnace, make sure your installer conducts a full heating load analysis on your home so you can choose an appropriate capacity to keep your house warm all winter long.
3. You May Want to Consider a Heat Pump
Heat pumps are an alternative to traditional furnaces that work on similar principles to air conditioners. You may even have heard heat pumps referred to as "reversible" air conditioning systems. These appliances can heat your home in the winter while providing air conditioning during the summer. Since they move heat rather than produce it, they tend to be more efficient than electric furnaces.
Heat pumps work for many climates but may not offer sufficient efficiency in frigid environments. Your installer can discuss the pros and cons of a heat pump system with you, potentially providing a more efficient alternative to replacing your gas furnace with an electric one.
If you need a new furnace, reach out to an HVAC company, such as Allied Mechanical & Electrical, Inc.