Electric furnaces are typically a bit cheaper than comparable gas furnaces, and they are generally easier to install. However, their operating costs tend to be significantly higher than gas furnaces.
Gas furnaces use combustion to draw heat from natural gas, and this heat is used to warm the air. While electric furnaces have higher efficiency ratings, power plants must convert the energy in fuel to electricity, which is less efficient. Power lines also lead to the loss of energy. However, fluctuations in the natural gas market and changes in electricity prices can sway the equation. Some homeowners also prefer the simplicity of electric heating units.