The Difference Between Gas Furnace Repair and Electric Furnace Repair

Furnaces are a common means of keeping homes warm in our part of the world: they’re inexpensive to operate and very effective, which leaves few downsides. Furnaces are divided into two basic categories: gas furnaces which use burners fueled by natural gas pipes into the home, and electric furnaces which use warmers powered by your home’s electrical grid.

No one likes to think about having to get their furnace repaired, whichever of those two categories it might fall into. You can help prevent that with regular maintenance sessions for your furnace (and if you haven’t scheduled such a session in the past 12 months, now is an excellent time to do so). But breakdowns can affect any system, and when yours is in need of repair, you want a service that can treat the gas or the electric furnace specifically. Both systems have surprisingly different needs on that front.


Gas furnaces are most often found in towns and cities, where civic gas lines provide them with fuel. The gas feeds burners which in turn warm a heat exchanger (usually just a piece of shaped metal) which can evenly transfer the heat to the air. When the air is warmed, it can then be blown into your home with a fan.

Problems with gas furnaces can include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Clogged burners or issues with the gas lines, preventing the burners from working.
  • Ignition issues which keep the heater from functioning. (Most systems these days use electric ignition switches, though very old furnaces still use a pilot light.)
  • Fan motor problems which can prevent the blower from running. (Similar issues can include trouble with the fan belt, and bent or broken fan blades.)
  • Problems with the venting pipes, such as clogs or breaches. This is particularly concerning because it could mean that toxic gasses remain in your home.


Electric furnaces cost more to run than gas furnaces since electricity is more expensive than natural gas. They’re often used in homes that are off the civic grid, where gas lines can’t reach. By using power from your home’s electrical grid, they provide an easy solution to the problem of heating such homes.

They actually resemble a giant hair dryer in many ways. Electric coils provide the heat instead of gas burners, which gives it some benefits over a gas model. There’s no toxic byproduct the way there is with gas furnaces, and no need to deal with gas lines and the problems they present. Electric furnaces have the benefit of experiencing less wear and tear than gas furnaces because of that, and while many of the issues cited above take place in electric furnaces as well, they tend to be less frequent as a result.

Repair services need to be aware of these differences and trained in both gas furnace and electric furnace repair in order to provide the most efficient service. For quality heating repair services of all variety here in Newburg, OR, call on Western Heating & Cooling today.