How to Tell if Forced Warm Air Heating Is Gas or Electric

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Forced warm air heating can operate using gas or electricity. Gas-powered systems use a heat exchanger and burner to produce heat while electric-powered systems use an electric element, similar to an electric radiator. Both systems use a fan to force air through the heat exchanger or electric element, which heats up as it passes through. The hot air then travels through a series of ducts and enters rooms in your home via vents. You can determine if your forced warm air heating is gas or electric by checking the heating unit.

  • Turn on your forced warm air heating system and turn up the thermostat. You need the warm air circulating so you can check if it’s powered by gas or electric.

  • Open the door or cupboard in your home where the heating unit for your forced warm air system is located. You can see several metal ducts that go in and out of the heating unit.

  • Check the front of the heating unit to determine whether it is powered by gas or electric. A gas heat exchanger uses a burner to produce heat. There is a small window on the front of the heater where you can see a blue flame glowing. You can also hear the noise of the gas burner. Electric-powered systems don’t have a glass access window or make any noise.

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