House heating concept

During the wintertime, we only care that our heater works well enough to warm our homes. But, do you have a basic understanding of how your heater warms your home? Is your heater gas or electric?


If you don’t, that’s okay, few do. At McCullough Air Conditioning and Heating, we’re here to tell you the differences between them. We’ll also explain the benefits and the best fit for your home.

What’s The Difference Between Gas And Electric Heaters?

Electric heater:

  1. Produces heat using electricity
  2. The air is then blown into a cabinet and goes through the heat exchanger
  3. The air spreads to the rooms through the duct works

Gas heater

  1. Produces heat by burning gas
  2. Once the thermostat is on, the gas furnace produces heat by using a flame that burns gas.
  3. The air pushes through the heat exchanger. This warms the air.
  4. The air spreads to the rooms through the duct works.

What Kind Of Heater Do You Have?

The simple question to get started is asking yourself whether your heater has a flame or not. Inspect your HVAC system and see if there’s a flame. If there is and if it’s blue, you have a gas heater. If there is a flame, but it’s yellow or orange, there is a problem with your pilot light and you should call a heater repair company.

Another way to see if you have a gas heater is if there’s a little window for your flame. This is the only version of the HVAC system to have a window that covers the flame. Electric heaters don’t have a flame or a window on their system.

You can also get a professional technician to check on your heating system. They’ll tell you what kind of heater you have. It’s a good idea because they can tell you the precautions and how to take care of your heater.

After you know what heater you have, you may wonder what’s the benefit of the other heater. It’s good to have the information to find which heater best fits your home.

Pros And Cons of Gas Heater

Now that you know how to identify if you have a gas heater, what are the pros and cons of having one?

  • The cost of a gas furnace is usually higher than the electric furnace. Despite that, natural gas fuel is cheaper than electricity.
  • It‘s bulky and complicated so you would need a professional installation. Your home must have a chimney or some sort to vent out the emission from the combustion. If you don’t have that, you would have to add it.
  • The average lifespan of a gas heater can range from 10-20 years.
  • If you have regular maintenance performed at least twice a year, your furnace’s life will be extended.
  • There’s a potential risk of a carbon monoxide leak. Install a carbon monoxide detector near the furnace to alert you.

Pros and Cons of Electric Heater

Electric heaters are the other option when you are selecting a heater. Here are the pros and cons:

  • Cheaper than a gas furnace, though the electricity bill will be high.
  • The installation process is easier than a gas furnace and is less costly than gas furnace installation.
  • Electric heaters have a lifespan of 20-30 years.
  • Regular maintenance can be done yourself.
  • There are hardly any hazards except for bad wiring and high usage of electricity that can be a fire hazard.


Have more questions about what kind of heater is best for your home? Contact McCullough Air Conditioning and Heating. We’re happy to help! We offer services such as heating installation and replacement in the Fort Walton Beach area.