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If you’re a commercial business owner, then you probably already know: the debate over using gas or electric heating systems is starting to become a hard one. Which costs less to install? Which is more efficient? Which is safer?

At General Mechanical, we’ve done the research, checked the facts, and compiled what we found into the following easy-to-follow guide that should let you make an intelligent, well-informed decision which heating system is best for your business.

Concerning Purchasing and Installing Gas or Electric Heating

While of course the cost of a gas or electric heating system is going to vary considerably based on factors like the square footage of your structure, your heating needs, number of employees/expected clients, and plenty of other variables, we can say a few definitive things regarding these system types.

In most cases, the initial purchase of a new heating system will be cheaper overall if the system is electrical as opposed to gas, assuming all other things are equal (no additional accessories, automated systems, handler equipment, etc.). However don’t start calling in for an electric heating system right away, because we are just getting started.

The Costs of Operation

This is arguably the most important point to be made. The challenge is that natural gas is billed in very different units from electricity: therms versus kilowatt hours. This makes comparing the two somewhat challenging, but we can get a better look by converting them to BTUs (British Thermal Units). A single therm converts to 100,000 BTU when rounded up slightly, and so converting the same amount of BTU for electricity we would say a “therm of electricity” is equal to 29 kilowatt hours, or roughly 98,000 BTU.

With this lined up, we can say a million BTU is a fair enough comparison point. So, let’s look at it like this: $34.32 is the average cost of electric heating per million BTU in a United States household (we’re using houses because they tend to be a more static size than businesses). However, a million BTU worth of natural gas heat will run you an average of around $10-15.

In a nutshell, for each BTU of heat the gas system produces, the same amount of heat in electricity will cost considerably more; an average of roughly three times or twice as much according to current unit prices offered by the EIA. This is both because natural gas is cheaper overall, and because gas heating systems tend to hold higher efficiency ratings, meaning they can put out more heat with less fuel.

Environmental Information

If your business is looking to go green or to reduce your carbon footprint, the choice is fairly simple. In the majority of cases (with solar and wind power being the exceptions and clear winners) natural gas is more efficient, burns cleaner than coal, and overall has a far lower impact on our environment.

Electric and Natural Gas Industrial Heating Services in Chicago, IL

Is your business seeking heating in the Chicago area? If so, General Mechanical can help you match your needs with the perfect system! Contact us online to find out more or dial (224) 407-5835 to speak with a heating expert today!