Gas vs. Electric Heating

Picking out if you are going to use electric or gas heating in your home can be difficult. Gas vs. Electric heating can be a pain to compare, that is why we are going to do it for you. There are a few things one needs to look at when comparing gas vs. electric heating. Heaters use BTU’s to measure the output of energy they use, so to lessen confusion, we are going to use 1,000,000 BTU’s for both comparisons. This may seem like a lot but the average home uses 25-50 million BTU’s each winter. So now that you have a little more knowledge on the subject, lets get started.

Gas vs. Electric Heating –  Comparison >> Electric.

When comparing gas vs. electric heating devices, we must first look at the efficiency of each. Gas heaters are extremely efficient, however that does not meant that they cost less. While an electric heater may be 95-100% efficient, the price of electrical in the state of Arizona can be quite high.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average cost per kilowatt hour in Arizona in October 2014 was $.1199, which is about 11.99 cents.  A kilowatt hour delivers roughly 3400 BTU’s.

Therefore, it costs about $35.26 per 1,000,000 BTU’s with an electric heater.

Gas vs. Electric Heating –  Comparison >> Gas.

Comparing gas vs. electric heating gets interesting when looking at the gas side of things. Now gas powered heaters are much less efficient than electric heaters, roughly 80-95% efficient. However, even though it is much less efficent, lets do some calculations and see why we recommend gas when comparing gas vs. electric heating systems.

In 2013, according the the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average cost per therm (enough gas to produce 100,000 BTU’s) in the state of Arizona was $1.36. Now considering a minimum of 80% efficiency, we will calculate the total cost for 1,000,000 BTU’s.

It would cost, at 80% efficiency, roughly $16.89 per 1,000,000 BTU’s with a gas heater.

Gas vs. Electric Heating –  Comparison >> Other Considerations.

When comparing gas vs. electric heating devices, it seems obvious that one should go with a gas heater. However, there are other things that one needs to consider before making this decision. The first is heat pumps. Heat pumps, even the low end, can product three times the amount of heat then the electricity being used. This means that one could possibly get their electric bill down to $14.68 per 1,000,000 BTU’s. However, heat pumps do cost, and that is something that you will have to price into your cost analysis sheet when comparing gas vs. electric heating systems. So with the right tools and gear, you could make your electric heater more efficient than a gas heater.

Another factor to consider, is that with either one of these heating systems, you can save more than what is listed above by regularaly checking your heater, turning it off when it is not needed, and buying little gadgets to make it more efficient. If you want to learn more about bringing your heating bill down, check out our recent blog post about doing so.


Making the decision of gas vs. electric heating can be difficult. We hope that the information above helped narrow your selection down. If you still have any questions regarding the information above, or to see our specials, please do not hesitate to call us today at (602) 920-1600 or contact us via our Contact Page – we are always here to help.

Gas vs. Electric Heating

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