As a new homeowner, you might need help understanding your appliances better. Or you may wonder why your utility bill is so high. Your main concerns can be: Does air conditioning use gas or electricity? Is my HVAC cost-effective for the summer season?

This is a major concern when understanding and managing your home’s energy consumption expenses.

Additionally, knowing your AC’s energy source helps you make environmentally and budget-friendly choices for your household.

This blog will share how you can determine your air conditioner’s energy source and the significant differences between an electric and gas-powered air conditioning system.

Here at The Bee Heat & AC, we pride ourselves on delivering excellent air conditioner installation, repair & replacement, maintenance, and many other services.

Today, book a free call consultation or annual maintenance as a first customer reward.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

Firstly, let’s see how an air conditioner operates on either source. An air conditioner takes full advantage of chemicals known as refrigerants. These chemicals can condense and evaporate with changing pressure and temperature.

The process involves an evaporator, condenser, and expansion valve as the heat moves from inside your home to the outside.

The refrigerants used, such as R290 or R32 in the evaporator, absorb heat from inside and cool it down, which then travels to the compressor and then moves to the condenser.

The refrigerant transforms from gas to liquid, which cools down again while passing through the expansion valve, ready to absorb indoor heat.

Throughout the cycle, the components like the compressor and fan motor take power from electricity.

Traditional central heating and cooling systems utilize electricity to cool and heat your home, but some systems, such as gas-powered or propane air conditioning, use gas.

The gas can be natural gas or propane as part of the heating process in a split system.

Does Air Conditioning Use Gas?

Well, now is the time to clear the confusion. When referring to AC units, most people think about the heat exchanger that uses refrigerant, as explained above.

Air conditioning refers to a furnace that warms the air and an air conditioner that cools down the hot air. A furnace burns oil or gas to heat the air expelled from the ductwork.

So technically, no, air conditioners do not use gas. However, you may have a furnace that uses natural gas or propane for heating.

Differences between Electric Vs Gas Powered Air Conditioning:

Understanding the major differences between electric and gas-powered conditioning is necessary to understand their pros and cons. It helps with making an informed decision about a major home investment.

So, let’s uncover some major information about how it is different when HVAC uses gas or electricity.

1: Upfront costs

Considering the upfront costs before deciding on the electric or gas-powered HVAC, gas-powered ACs are more expensive.

Moreover, it depends on your choice of spending your money at once or less.

Electric-powered ACs require repairs more frequently and are more commonly available. Moreover, comparatively fewer companies work on gas-powered ACs than electric ones.

2: Efficiency

Efficiency is crucial when comparing electric vs. gas heating and cooling systems.

A gas-powered HVAC is sometimes more effective for heating purposes, but this is not always the case. However, an electric HVAC Heat Pump can sometimes outperform gas in efficiency.

Additionally, note that a unit’s efficiency influences your comfort and utility bills. Hence, consider the efficiency of your preferred power source before making a final decision.

3: Power source

An HVAC system harnesses electric power to turn on the compressor for refrigerant gas compression.

Electric power turns on the compressor in the outdoor unit, which releases heat and cools down.

This condensation of cold gas into a liquid leads to the production of cool air. This cooled-down liquid absorbs heat from the environment, producing cool air.

The electricity source provided makes it the safest and most efficient choice for homeowners.

The air conditioners’ recycling approach makes them a popular and convenient choice among users.

On the other hand, gas-powered heating and AC often refer to propane or natural gas air conditioners that use gas as fuel for the heating element.

Additionally, in a split system, the cooling is handled by an electrically powered air conditioner while the heating is managed by gas.

4: Maintenance

Maintenance is essential to every cooling and heating system that requires every homeowner’s attention for the next season.

Whether your heating and cooling power is gas or electricity, you will want to schedule the seasonal maintenance.

Costs to perform these services remain similar unless you require some additional systems.

5: Operational cost

Traditional natural gas has been more affordable than electricity, depending on the locality. However, natural gas prices can fluctuate significantly due to various factors.

Depending on your location, a gas furnace is more reliable than an electric heat pump.

An electric heating pump is considered very cheap to install if you already have the AC ductwork, as it works like an air conditioner.

6: Energy Cost

One last thing is that the energy bill depends on which system you choose for the particular function.

For instance, if you purchase an electric-powered unit, the bill will reflect the electricity cost.

Moreover, your geographical location also affects your bill areas. It depends on the electricity or gas unit cost and varies for different locations.

The only way to decide which air conditioner or heating system is best for you is through research.

Make sure to complete your research, consult it with an HVAC consultant, discuss your options, and then make an informed decision.

The Bottom Line:

Depending on your factors, an ideal HVAC system for your home can be any. It can be an electric, propane air conditioning, or natural gas unit. These factors include safety, upfront costs, efficiency, and potential energy supply disruptions.


Does air conditioning use a lot of gas?

ACs installed in homes don’t require gas to run. Most air conditioning systems are electricity-dependent and use refrigerants. The air conditioner systems installed in cars use gas, reducing fuel efficiency to 20%.

Does AC require gas?

Unlike cars, home air conditioning systems don’t require gas or petrol. They are closed systems that cool the indoor air by a cycle of compression, condensation, expansion, and evaporation.

Does AC need a gas refill every year?

The gas in the air conditioners only runs out if it is prone to some leakage due to any repairs or cracks in the system. An AC operates well for 8-10 years without needing a gas refill.

How often should home AC gas be refilled?

Unless there is a leak in the system, there is no need to refill or recharge the gas in the home AC. Low gas levels result in no or very little cooling, which homeowners and HVAC professionals can easily detect.