Best Electric Furnace Brands, Cost, Efficiency (+ Installation)

The best furnace is the kind you don’t have to think or worry about.

That’s exactly why electric furnaces are so popular.

Convenience and safety are at the core of the best electric furnaces. Every home with access to electricity can safely install an electric heater for the winter season.

The inner working of electric forced-air furnaces is quite easy to understand. It is a simple 2-stage process, similar to a hairdryer:

  1. Electricity heats the heat exchanger (system of metal rods in the unit).
  2. Air is pulled from the indoor air by a modular blower, pushed over the heat exchanger (where it heats up), and is distributed back into your home.

Basically, here is what an electric forced air furnace is in most simple terms:

Electric Furnace = Heat Exchanger + Modular Blower

You don’t have to worry about gas or carbon monoxide leakage (as is the case with gas furnaces). The initial cost of a new electric furnace ($800 to $2,700) is way lower as well. However, electricity is the most expensive heating power source.

That’s why it makes sense to look for reliable electric furnace brands; they produce durable high-efficiency units. To illustrate everything homeowners need to know about electric furnaces, we outlined:

  1. The overall cost of every electric furnace. Encompasses the cost of the device + installation cost + electricity cost.
  2. How we can find high-efficiency electric furnaces.
  3. A list of the best (and most reliable) electric furnace brands.
  4. Installation costs (with recommended HVAC experts who can install an electric furnace).

installation unit and electricity costs for electric furnace

In the end, you’ll find a summary table with the best electric furnaces (brands and specific models) with costs and HVAC experts that can help you out further.

Electric Furnace Cost (New Units)

When we start looking for an electric forced air furnace, we’re usually interested in the price of a new unit. However, we need to keep in mind that the initial price of the furnace represents the smallest of the 3 costs we need to account for when calculating the overall electric furnace cost. Here are the 3 costs:

Total Electric Furnace Cost = Unit Cost + Installation Cost + Electricity Cost

If we look at the average cost of an electric furnace unit alone, we are not doing a complete job. Here are some ranges for the most common 60,000 BTU and 80,000 BTU units (about 20 kW):

  1. Unit cost: $700-$2,700.
  2. Installation cost: $1,000-$4,200 (you can get free estimates from local furnace installers here).
  3. Electricity cost: $1,500-$2,000 per season (720 hours of heating, or 4h over 6 months; the average price of a kilowatt-hour is $0.1319).

In short, the average overall cost of a 20kW electric furnace is:

  • $1,700-$6,900 when we buy and install the unit.
  • $16,700-$26,900 after 10 years (addition of 10-year worth of electricity).
  • $31,700-$44,200 after 20 years (addition of 20-year worth of electricity).

Energy-Efficiency Of Electric Furnaces

As we have seen above, the bigger part of the overall electric furnace cost is electricity. In 20 years, a bigger 25 kW electric furnace can draw as much as $40,000 worth of electricity.

This poses an important question: Are electric furnaces energy-efficient?

In fact, yes, they very much are. The high-efficiency electric furnace will use up to 99.9% of electricity for heating. We’re talking the AFUE rating of 100; for comparison, gas furnaces have an AFUE rating of 70 to 97.

AFUE rating of 100 for electric furnaces means that a furnace will use 100 cents of every 1$ electricity for heating. That’s ideal, right? So why do we have a feeling that we’re paying quite a lot for heating when using an electric furnace?

The reason is not the inefficiency of the electric furnace; it’s the price of electricity. Let’s have a look if it’s cheaper to heat your house with gas or electric furnace:

  • National average price of electricity: $0.1319 per kWh.
  • National average price of natural gas (for residential use): $10.60 per 1000 cubic feet.

How does that translate into heating costs? Here is how much electric and gas furnace use to produce 1,000,000 BTU worth of heat:

  • Electric Furnace (100% efficiency): $38.66 per 1,000,000 BTU.
  • Gas Furnace (80% efficiency): $13.05 per 1,000,000 BTU.

As we can see, we pay almost 200% more for electricity than for natural gas for the same heating output.

Nonetheless, electric furnaces are:

  • Much safer (no gas).
  • Much more convenient (install it and forget it).
  • Last as much as 30 years (vs. maximum of 20 years for gas furnaces).

For an electric furnace to last up to 30 years, you really need a reliable one. That’s why we created a short overview of the most reliable electric furnace brands below:

What Is The Most Reliable Electric Furnace Brand?

When you’re buying a new electric furnace, the general advice is quite broad: Compare BTUs, price, quality of materials, warranties, installation support, and so on.

Here is the best advice that’s simple enough:

Find the most reliable electric furnace brand. With brands having 50+ years of history, all the BTU-price-quality-warranties-support nuances are incorporated into the brand.

That’s why we ask ‘Which is the best electric furnace brand’ much more often than ‘Which eclectic furnace (a specific model) is the best’.

In terms of brand, we have the established ones (such as Winchester and King) that are more reliable but have a higher price point. On the other hand, you have less-known brands such as Goodman that offer quality electric furnaces at lower prices.

Additional note: Many people look for Trane, Carrier, and Lennox electric furnaces. These big brands don’t produce electric furnaces; they are more specialized in the ‘AC’ part of HVAC.

Established Reliable Brands

According to Fixr, “higher-quality furnaces can last 18 to 25 years”. Some of the most reliable models can even last up to 30 years.

Stelpro and York are two brands that do make higher-quality electric furnaces. But is the world of the most reliable electric furnace brands, there are only 2 big ones that are well worth mentioning. These are Winchester and King.

King Electric Furnaces

King is the No. 1 brand when it comes to electric furnaces. It’s no surprise that being so reliable, it also produces the most expensive units.

Currently, they have the 2 best models on the market:

  1. King KF model. The high voltage (480V) electric fan coil unit with 5kW to 34.5 kW heating capacity. The high voltage (you’ll need an electrician for installation) reduces the need for a high current (or amperage).
  2. King KFS ECO2S model. The energy-saving model with ECM motors and 2-sage comfort heating (which can reduce electricity costs by as much as 15%). It’s available from 3kW to 34.5 kW capacities.

Especially the KFS ECO2S model is in high demand (according to electric furnace installers) because those 15% of electricity savings can generate $1,000s saving in 20+ years.

Winchester Electric Furnaces

Winchester is another reputable company producing electric furnaces. They also have a 2-model portfolio, consisting of:

  1. Winchester WE30B4D model. Unit capacities: 10 kW, 12 kW, 15 kW, 20 kW.
  2. Winchester ME16CN21 model. Unit capacities: 10 kW, 12 kW, 15 kW, 20 kW.

New Less-Known Brands

Having a long track-record is important for a brand; they can charge higher prices for electric furnaces. However, the new brands don’t have such a luxury.

That’s why they have to charge lower prices to, primarily, sell their units, and secondarily, to build a lasting brand. These less-known units will last 15 to 20 years, according to Fixr, but the price reduction is substantial.

The new electric furnace brands include:

  • Goodman (best of the new brands). Unit price (est.): $900.
  • Mortex. Unit price (est.): $830.
  • Direct Comfort. Unit price (est.): $850.
  • Revolv (cheapest electric furnace brand). Unit price (est.): $700.

Summary Of Electric Furnace Brands, Unit Costs And Installation Costs (Table)

Here is a quick summary of all the costs for specific electric furnace brands. The prices are for 20 kW (68,200 BTU) units.

Here is the complete table with estimated ballpark figures (installation costs, for example, depends on your current power grid and location):

Electric Furnace Brand 20 kW Unit Cost Installation Costs
King $1,600 $2,900
Winchester $1,500 $2,740
York $1,300 $2,563
Stelpro $1,100 $2,468
Goodman $900 $2,356
Mortex $830 $2,323
Direct Compact $850 $2,215
Revolv $700 $2,104

If you have any questions about electric furnaces, you can use the comment section below.

23 thoughts on “Best Electric Furnace Brands, Cost, Efficiency (+ Installation)”

    • Hello Carolyn, the cost of electric furnaces (units themselves) is considerably lower. However, using propane as fuel can be 2-3 times more cost-efficient. In long run, propane furnaces are more cost-efficient. You can check them here.

    • Hello Patty, no, usually Heating/Cooling companies carry specific brands. They can get better deals with them and so on.

  1. I do not see Intertherm electric furnaces on your list. What is their reputation? Are all parts in all electric furnaces made by the same manufacturer or do better furnaces have better quality parts made by different manufacturers?

    • Hello David, Interherm electric furnaces do have an above-average reputation. Usually, bigger brands make their own parts, especially the heating element. Smaller ones may incorporate more generic parts which are, on average, of lesser quality. But that’s really generally speaking; there is a difference in the quality of parts.

  2. I need to replace my electric furnace in the condo 25+ years old). Do you make inspection and recommendations/estimate?

  3. I apologize ahead of time, this is going to be a long story…

    We live in NY, and have separate heating and cooling systems. Heating is gas, cooling is electric. About 4 years ago, we put solar panels on our home using a state run initiative, and our net electricity use is always negative due to great location and lack of trees. Unfortunately, we are not being paid back for the surplus we “give” back to the grid because, unbeknownst to us at the time, a new policy was established by the electric company that any surplus would be banked to us in “points” that can be applied to our electric use. We NEVER have used the points we’ve accumulated because we generate such great energy from the panels, it easily covers our electricity usage every month of the year, and then some. I don’t see us ever using the points that we earn. And so, we’re giving free energy back to the electric company.

    Meanwhile, our gas bills for heating range from under $100 in the summer and over $300 in the winter. It’s frustrating to pay this gas bill when we GIVE so much back in electric energy. What’s the best solution for us? We were thinking that installing an electric furnace could utilize the surplus electric points we gain from using our solar panels. Can an electric furnace be used with the same baseboard heaters we already have throughout our home for the current gas heat? Is it just a matter of connecting a new furnace to the existing system?

    When I mention electric furnaces to anyone in our area, no one seems to be at all familiar with them, so I really don’t know who to ask for advice. Gas and oil are the predominant methods for heating here. We are real newbies, but learning every day. Thanks for any information you can give!

    • Hello J., thanks for explaining the situation. It’s nice to have free electricity but I get you; you have surplus electricity that you could use for free and instead you’re paying for gas. Can you exchange the gas furnace with an electric furnace? Of course. Electric furnaces are much easier to install since they don’t require venting. If you’re interested, you can read more about electric furnaces here.

      The reason why everybody has gas and oil furnaces is because gas and natural oil are cheaper than electricity (about 3-times cheaper, in fact). Now, if you have surplus electricity, you can of course use it to power an electric furnace and reduce your gas bills. The only thing you pretty much have to figure out if you have enough surplus electricity to run an electric furnace. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay electricity bills. About installation, it’s best you can these guys here (HVAC installers).

      Thanks for the insight and thank you for installing the solar panels. It does help the environment and reduces our carbon footprint.

  4. For eco-conscious homeowners who want a lower upfront furnace cost, an electric furnace could be a good option. It’s also a great alternative to gas or oil furnaces since it doesn’t require cleaning or other maintenance related to the ash or soot from burning fuel. As the cheapest option, electric furnaces usually cost between $1,600 and $6,200, which includes installation costs.

  5. Can you get an all electric hvac system?
    Do you have to get a separate AC system? If so, do they interfere with each other in any way?
    I have a big enough solar array to go all electric and I would prefer to do it all in one system.
    Thank you.

    • Hello Greg, of course, if your solar panels generate a sufficient amount of electricity, it’s only natural to go for an all-electric HVAC system. You can get a separate AC, or find a furnace that facilitates air conditioning as well. As far as we know, there should be no interference between AC and an electric furnace. Hope this helps.

  6. Very inexperienced- will I need to determine the size of my condominium (2000 square feet) to purchase the appropriate electric furnace unit?

    • Hello Deb, the square footage is the No. 1 factor you need to determine your heating needs, and thus electric furnace size. So, in short, yes, you need the square footage.

  7. If electric furnaces are 100% efficient, is there any reason to replace a properly sized, fully functioning electric furnace with a newer model simply because the existing unit is 25 years old?

    • Hello Irwin, not at all. Every electric furnace converts electricity to heat with 100% efficiency (or there about) – that’s true for the newest and for the oldest furnace. You are correct; you don’t need to replace it. Just keep the one you have. In the following years it might break down and you will have to replace it; but until then, there is no need for replacing an electric furnace.

  8. In the process of buying a house. 1375 Square Feet. Built in 1999. Located in Southern Oregon low alpine country east of Klamath Falls, so real weather happens there. Saw exterior 2 days ago and will walk through interior tomorrow afternoon. Looking at Winchester to replace existing electric furnace. It is sold by Home Depot but customer reviews are scant. I am concerned about installation. If this decision pans out, can you recommend installers? Grateful to have found your website.

    • Hello Joyce, moving to a new area without having your ‘HVAC guy’ there is not pleasant at all. You can fill out this form here and you will get 4 free quotes from local HVAC guys in Southern Oregon that can help you out. Hope it helps.

  9. Hello, new construction in southwest Colorado, we do obviously get a winter. Where we are building there is no natural gas, and if we get a propane tank it Has to be buried, the propane tank alone (500gal) is $5000. If everything else in our house is going to be electric would it be more cost-effective just to go with in electric furnace and AC? Or would it be more cost-effective for propane even though I have to pay the extra money for the tank and to bury it? Thx Joe

    • Hi Joseph, propane usually has a much lower yearly cost than electricity but the initial investment is a lot to swallow. Given that heating is the most energy-hungry function, using propane is generally a more financially viable solution in the long term (10+ years). An air-to-air heat pump with an electric furnace could be a good idea if you would live in a milder climate. It’s really hard to say for sure in this case.


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