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Identifying Gas vs. Electric Furnaces in Your Home

Understanding a few basic things about your home’s heating and air system can be quite valuable, and this often begins with a few basic questions. A common one, particularly among people moving into a home for the first time: Is my furnace gas or electric?

At Thompson’s Comfort Connection, we’re here to offer a wide range of both AC and furnace installation and repair services to clients around Sandy, Midvale, Draper, Cottonwood Heights, Riverton and nearby areas. We also regularly assist clients with basic questions like these, plus with identifying their basic heating and air components for everything from peace of mind to future maintenance and more. Here are some varying approaches to determining whether your home’s furnace is gas or electric on your own – but always feel free to call our experts for help if you’re having trouble or need assistance.

Why Knowing Furnace Fuel Source Matters

Before we dig into some methods for determining whether your furnace is gas or electric, our team wants to emphasize why this matters in the first place. For one, these are two completely different systems that require specific types of maintenance and repair – attempting to perform an activity meant for a gas furnace on an electric one, or vice versa, could lead to major issues and expenses down the line.

In addition, knowing your furnace’s fuel source can also affect energy efficiency and cost. Gas furnaces tend to be more efficient than electric ones, but may have higher upfront costs due to installation requirements. On the other hand, electric furnaces may have lower initial costs, but could result in higher energy bills over time. Understanding your furnace’s fuel source can help you make informed decisions about maintenance and upgrades.

So, how do you determine whether your furnace is gas or electric? Here are a few methods to try:

Look at the Label

In many cases, the simplest method is to look at the label on your furnace itself. This label will typically provide information about the make and model of the furnace, as well as its specifications and fuel source. If you’re lucky, it may even explicitly state “gas” or “electric.”

If you can’t find this label, try checking inside or behind the furnace’s front panel – many furnaces have labels hidden in these areas.

Utility Bill Check

If you can’t find a label on the furnace, another option is to check your utility bill. Depending on your energy provider and billing practices, you may see a line item for either “natural gas” or “electricity.” This will give you a clue as to which type of furnace your home has.

Look at the Fuel Source

From a practical standpoint, any gas furnace will require a gas supply line that provides natural gas to the unit. Visually inspect your furnace and see if you can locate a gas supply line leading into it – this will indicate that the furnace is likely gas-powered.

For an electric furnace, on the other hand, you’ll want to look for a large power cable or cord that connects to the unit. This will typically be plugged into a nearby outlet or hardwired into the home’s electrical system.

Heating Element

Another way to determine your furnace’s fuel source is to look at the heating element itself. Gas furnaces will typically have a blue or orange flame coming from the burners, while electric furnaces will use heating coils or a heat pump.

Check Your Thermostat

If you’re not having any luck with the other methods, you can also try checking your thermostat. Some thermostats will list the type of system they are connected to on their display or inside their housing.

This is especially true if you have a modern smart thermostat, which often allows you to select the type of system during setup. If in doubt, consult your thermostat’s user manual or contact the manufacturer for assistance.

Still Unsure? Contact Us

If none of these methods are helping you determine whether your furnace is gas or electric, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Thompson’s Comfort Connection. We have years of experience installing and repairing both types of furnaces and can quickly identify your system’s fuel source. Plus, we’re always happy to answer any other questions you may have about your home’s heating and air system – that’s what we’re here for! So give us a call today and let us help you keep your home comfortable year-round, whether you’re in Sandy, Midvale, Draper, Cottonwood Heights, Riverton or any nearby area.


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