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Does HVAC Use Gas or Electricity: Understanding HVAC Systems

Finding an HVAC system that suits your home can seem overwhelming. Eliminate the stress with Green Energy Mechanical’s excellent HVAC services at 781-236-3421.

Does HVAC use gas or electricity? The answer depends on the system you choose. HVAC systems come in many forms and can use one or a combination of energy sources.

As Canton’s reliable AC installation company, our team has the answers you need. Learn more about how HVAC systems work and how they receive power below. 

What Is an HVAC System?

An HVAC system is an appliance or a combination of appliances that cool and heat your home according to your thermostat settings. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Similarly, HVAC systems consist of the main components listed in its acronym.

Heating refers to the method used to warm a building. A ventilation system transfers conditioned air throughout the building. Air conditioning refers to the process that cools the air.  

How Does an HVAC System Work?

The way an HVAC system works depends on the type of system used. It mainly functions to receive air from a source outside of the house. The main unit or components then condition the air before distributing it throughout each room in a building.

The ventilation system both disperses and removes air within a building. When the return vent removes air, it uses an air filter to clean it before returning it back into the home. Once your thermostat indicates that the system reached the desired temperature, the HVAC system stops cycling.  

Types of HVAC Systems

Does HVAC use gas or electricity? That depends on the type of system installed in a building. Most HVAC systems rely primarily on electricity. However, some furnaces use gas to heat air and warm a home.

For example, some systems use a separate heating unit and air conditioning unit. The heating unit requires separate thermostat settings and manual startup and can use gas or electricity. The air conditioning unit only uses electricity to cool a home.

An HVAC system with separate units relies on two different sources of energy. Therefore, they can incur higher energy bills. Although their usage of fossil fuels presents a less eco-friendly option, they often work better for cold climates and larger homes.

Other systems combine heating and air. These systems typically run on electricity and offer more energy-efficient options for homeowners. Their efficiency and singular power source reduce energy costs and simplify usage. 

Important HVAC Components

HVAC systems contain an intricate series of components working together in harmony. The process starts with the thermostat, which communicates with the rest of the system. It tells the units when to cycle and adjust the temperature.

Once the units receive the signal, various parts will start working together to reach your desired temperature. It often starts with a capacitor to jumpstart the system with a jolt of energy. Then, the units process the intake and output of conditioned air using other various parts, including:

  • An evaporator coil to cool down its air intake
  • A condensing unit to collect the liquified refrigerant
  • Refrigerant to remove and release heat as directed
  • Furnace or heating unit to heat air before output 
  • Ductwork to transfer conditioned air into each room
  • A compressor for refrigerant regulation

The parts included in your system will depend on the model and manufacturer. Some systems are less complex and require fewer parts to function. Other more complicated systems include more components to reach a home’s optimal temperature. 

Does HVAC Use Gas or Electricity? 

Almost all HVAC systems use electricity for the cooling function. Some systems use gas to power their heating efforts. Other systems rely on electricity alone for both cooling and heating capabilities.

For example, a heat pump is a system that relies on one unit to heat and cool a home. A heat pump uses electricity for both functions. On the other hand, a dual-fuel system relies primarily on a heat pump while employing a gas-powered furnace for extremely cold temperatures or power outages.

Another example is central heating and air systems. Most moderate to large homes use this system. The air conditioner uses electricity while the heating unit often relies on natural gasses. 

Let Green Energy Mechanical, Inc. Assist You in Making a Decision

Does HVAC use gas or electricity? It can use both, depending on the type. Discover answers to other pertinent HVAC questions with our team at Green Energy Mechanical, Inc., including “Do new AC units come with refrigerants?”

You can also explore our HVAC services by calling us at 781-236-3421.

Author Bio:

Jonathan Neves

Worked in the HVAC industry since he was 17. He started as an HVAC service technician for commercial buildings and eventually came into the residential market because of his love of working with people. He believes that what really sets Green Energy Mechanical apart is how long they stand behind their work and how compassionate his employees are for their clients.


My furnace was not working this morning. I called Green Energy and within a few hours Terry was here and quickly took care of the problem. Terry has been here before and is very professional and friendly.
Ginny C.
Satisfied Customer
Very professional operation. Great technicians. Follow COVID protocol. Leave your house and property very clear with no trace that work had been done.
Susan G.
Satisfied Customer
Quinn was really nice, professional, and answered all my questions in a clear and easy manner. The woman I spoke with on the phone was also very kind, so I will definitely use this company again.
Peter T.
Satisfied Customer
Green Energy Mechanical is a pleasure to work. We had both air conditioning and heating installed. During both jobs, GEM was thorough and professional from start to finish.
Sussane P.
Satisfied Customer
I could not be more pleased with the service provided. We have upgraded our water heater to a tank less. We are also getting our heat and ac installed by them. They care for your home like you would
Bryan G.
Satisfied Customer

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