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How Do I Know if My Heating is Gas or Electric?

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Stephen Plumbing

February 10, 2021

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How Do I Know if My Heating is Gas or Electric?

Most houses these days rely on forced hot air (aka central heat) to warm their spaces. But their heating sources aren’t always the same. Some forced air systems use gas furnaces while others use electric furnaces. There are many reasons why someone would choose one over the other and it is important to know which heating system you have in your own home.

Gas heaters are cheaper to run and work faster and more efficiently. However, electric heaters are cheaper to install, last longer, and are safer than gas furnaces. But ultimately, the choice comes down to availability. If natural gas isn’t widely available in your area, electric may be the way to go.

But how do you know if your heating is gas or electric? Follow this guide to find out which kind of furnace your home has.

Check with Your Utility Company

That pesky bill you pay every month could indicate if you have a gas furnace. Some statements may list your natural gas usage separately from your electricity. If it isn’t clear, you can call them to ask. However, gas lines can also be connected to stoves and laundry dryers so this may only serve as a clue. If you do pay for natural gas, it’s likely that your furnace is gas-powered but you may need to take additional steps to confirm.

Inspect the Unit

The best way to tell if your heating system is gas or electric is by inspecting the unit. Even though both systems look similar and use a fan to push hot air through ducts, their furnaces will have distinct differences. A gas heater will have a heat exchanger and burner while an electric heater will have an electrical element. Take these steps to discover which one you have.

Step 1: Turn on the Heat

You’ll need your heater to be active while you inspect it. Warm air needs to be circulating in order for you to tell if your heater is gas or electric.

Step 2: Locate the Heating Unit

Search for a utility closet or check the laundry room, basement, or garage. You should see metal ducts going in and out of it. Once you locate the heating unit, you can investigate.

Step 3: Read the Labels

Sometimes it’s as easy as just reading the label on the furnace. If you’re lucky, it will clearly say if it is a gas-powered or electric-powered heater.

Step 4: Look and Listen

If the label is missing or isn’t clear, you can use your senses to figure it out – look and listen! If there is a glass window with a blue flame inside, you’re looking at a gas furnace. A gas heater will also produce a sound. Electric heaters are silent and don’t have a window.

Stephens Plumbing Will Know if Your Heating is Gas or Electric

When in doubt, Stephens Plumbing will help you out. Our trained staff can easily distinguish between a gas and electric furnace and will recommend which heater services you may need to keep it well maintained. And if you aren’t happy with your current furnace, Stephens Plumbing can install the best heating and cooling system for your needs and budget.

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