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What's the BEST way to tell difference between Electric and Gas Furnace

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Tiffany123

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Maryland
I need help!!!

I need to know the BEST way to tell the difference between Electric and Gas Furnace.
It is what confusing sometimes and I have different people telling me all sorts of things.
I need the experienced appraiser to teach me.

I thank you everyone in advance for your help.
 

Mr Rex

Elite Member
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Jan 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
A gas line might be a sign of a gas fired appliance.
 

G-man

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Feb 4, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
Look for the pipe.

Typically, gas furnaces have a black cast iron pipe connecting the furnace to the natural gas supply. Some newer furnaces have a yellow, plastic type hose connection. Electric furnaces have a heavy gauge wiring covered by flexible metal, sometimes called romex. The outside of the furnace may also state what type of furnace it is.
I would imagine in the almost ten years I've been appraising, I've mis-labled a furnace or two. You should try to be accurate, but you cannot be perfect. Welcome to the forum.
 

Ken B

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Feb 18, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I would think the exhaust vent would be a pretty good indicator.
 

Mr Rex

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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Some of the newer high efficiency condensing units will have a 2" PVC pipe as exhaust . Also to add to G-mans post, LP gas is often a 1/2 inch copper line that looks like a water line.
 

Doug Meyer

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Sep 13, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
Lack of a gas meter on the outside of the home is also usually a good indicator that gas is not available to the residence....
 

leelansford

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Mar 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
"What's the BEST way...?"

Well, this would not be the best way, but one way:

Take a hacksaw and cut through the power source to the furnace. If you get electrocuted, there's a good chance the power source is electric.

If you don't receive some sort of an electric shock, and are still uncertain after having made the cut in the power source, strike a match...no, better not do that.
 

DTB

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
"What's the BEST way...?"

Well, this would not be the best way, but one way:

Take a hacksaw and cut through the power source to the furnace. If you get electrocuted, there's a good chance the power source is electric.

If you don't receive some sort of an electric shock, and are still uncertain after having made the cut in the power source, strike a match...no, better not do that.

Why Lee, I believe that's your feistiest post to date. :beer:
 

TC

Elite Member
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Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I always get stumped whether it's a hot water or steam heat boiler.

TC
 

Joker

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Joined
May 28, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Ohio
Two things:
A gas line (could be threaded black pipe or could be copper tubing).
An exhaust vent to the outside (could be galvanized metal, aluminumized metal, or white pvc).

A gas meter is not an indicator. One can have gas appliances but other heat source. You can also have natural gas without a gas meter.

Next lesson:
The difference between gas and fuel oil furnaces. It's a little tougher to tell these apart.
 
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