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Types of Furnaces: Breaking Down the Best Option for Your Home

Types of Furnaces Benefits and Drawbacks

If you’re shopping for a new furnace, you may find that the jargon that’s used to describe the different furnace types confusing. We’ll keep it simple by explaining what the most common types of furnaces are and the benefits and drawbacks of each. Keep in mind that the type of furnace that you buy should depend upon what type of energy is cheapest in your area, and what part of the country you live in. For instance, if you live in a rural area, natural gas may not be available or may be prohibitively expensive.

Types of Furnaces

Natural Gas Furnaces

How it Works: a natural gas furnace is a forced-air, central heating solution. This means that natural gas furnaces use air ducts to force warm air through your entire home. These types of furnaces use natural gas as a fuel and tend to be very efficient.

Why People Like Gas Furnaces: natural gas furnaces are the most popular type of furnace sold today. People like natural gas furnaces because they deliver even heat and operate very quietly.

Natural Gas Furnaces Work Best for People Who:

  • Have ductwork in their home
  • Have access to affordable natural gas
  • Are looking for a quiet, efficient and reliable heating solution.

Oil Furnaces

Why People Like Oil Furnaces: oil furnaces were a popular heating solution in mid-twentieth century America but fell out of vogue due to rising oil prices. The oil furnaces that are sold today can be very energy efficient but tend to be the most expensive type of furnace to purchase and install. 

Oil Furnaces are Best for People Who:

  • Have access to affordable oil 

Drawbacks to Oil Furnaces: take a look at oil prices in your area because fuel for this type of furnace can be expensive.

High Efficiency Furnace

How it Works: high efficiency furnaces are gas or oil furnaces that are at least 92% fuel efficient. High efficiency furnaces must also be able to operate without a chimney. The small amount of waste gas and heat that they generate can be ventilated through PVC pipes that vent through the side or roof of a house.

Why People Like High Efficiency Furnaces: 92% of the fuel it uses is converted into usable heat.

Propane Furnace

How it Works: according to the Energy Information Administration, approximately 5% of American households use propane furnaces. Propane furnaces run on propane fuel, so check for the availability and cost of propane in your area before deciding if a propane furnace is right for you. 

Propane Furnaces are Best for People Who:

  • Live in rural areas and cannot easily be hooked up to an oil or natural gas line

Drawbacks to Propane Furnaces: keep in mind that you must install a 500 gallon fuel storage tank on your property in order to run a propane furnace. The fuel tanks are usually buried underground and can contribute to your upfront installation costs.

Electric Furnace

How it Works: electric furnaces use electricity as fuel. Electric furnaces are the most energy efficient heating option but tend to incur high utilities costs. 

Why People Like Electric Furnaces: electric furnaces are the cheapest type of furnace to purchase and install. 

Drawbacks to Electric Furnaces: monthly utilities tend to cost more for electric furnaces than for gas furnaces. 

Electric Furnaces are Best for People Who:

  • Live in rural areas because you do not need to be hooked up to an oil or gas line
  • Live in hot and dry climates where heat is used sparing

Get the full breakdown on the costs for each different type of furnace: The Real Costs of Replacing your Furnace.

Find the Perfect Type of Furnace for Your Home

If you are still unsure about the type of furnace that’s best for you, contact your local heating company and request a home audit. A heating professional who has seen your home can recommend which type of furnace is most compatible with your home’s infrastructure and utilities.

More Resources on Your Furnace Options

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Types of Furnaces: Breaking Down the Best Option for Your Home

Types of Furnaces Benefits and Drawbacks

If you’re shopping for a new furnace, you may find that the jargon that’s used to describe the different furnace types confusing. We’ll keep it simple by explaining what the most common types of furnaces are and the benefits and drawbacks of each. Keep in mind that the type of furnace that you buy should depend upon what type of energy is cheapest in your area, and what part of the country you live in. For instance, if you live in a rural area, natural gas may not be available or may be prohibitively expensive.

Types of Furnaces

Natural Gas Furnaces

How it Works: a natural gas furnace is a forced-air, central heating solution. This means that natural gas furnaces use air ducts to force warm air through your entire home. These types of furnaces use natural gas as a fuel and tend to be very efficient.

Why People Like Gas Furnaces: natural gas furnaces are the most popular type of furnace sold today. People like natural gas furnaces because they deliver even heat and operate very quietly.

Natural Gas Furnaces Work Best for People Who:

  • Have ductwork in their home
  • Have access to affordable natural gas
  • Are looking for a quiet, efficient and reliable heating solution.

Oil Furnaces

Why People Like Oil Furnaces: oil furnaces were a popular heating solution in mid-twentieth century America but fell out of vogue due to rising oil prices. The oil furnaces that are sold today can be very energy efficient but tend to be the most expensive type of furnace to purchase and install. 

Oil Furnaces are Best for People Who:

  • Have access to affordable oil 

Drawbacks to Oil Furnaces: take a look at oil prices in your area because fuel for this type of furnace can be expensive.

High Efficiency Furnace

How it Works: high efficiency furnaces are gas or oil furnaces that are at least 92% fuel efficient. High efficiency furnaces must also be able to operate without a chimney. The small amount of waste gas and heat that they generate can be ventilated through PVC pipes that vent through the side or roof of a house.

Why People Like High Efficiency Furnaces: 92% of the fuel it uses is converted into usable heat.

Propane Furnace

How it Works: according to the Energy Information Administration, approximately 5% of American households use propane furnaces. Propane furnaces run on propane fuel, so check for the availability and cost of propane in your area before deciding if a propane furnace is right for you. 

Propane Furnaces are Best for People Who:

  • Live in rural areas and cannot easily be hooked up to an oil or natural gas line

Drawbacks to Propane Furnaces: keep in mind that you must install a 500 gallon fuel storage tank on your property in order to run a propane furnace. The fuel tanks are usually buried underground and can contribute to your upfront installation costs.

Electric Furnace

How it Works: electric furnaces use electricity as fuel. Electric furnaces are the most energy efficient heating option but tend to incur high utilities costs. 

Why People Like Electric Furnaces: electric furnaces are the cheapest type of furnace to purchase and install. 

Drawbacks to Electric Furnaces: monthly utilities tend to cost more for electric furnaces than for gas furnaces. 

Electric Furnaces are Best for People Who:

  • Live in rural areas because you do not need to be hooked up to an oil or gas line
  • Live in hot and dry climates where heat is used sparing

Get the full breakdown on the costs for each different type of furnace: The Real Costs of Replacing your Furnace.

Find the Perfect Type of Furnace for Your Home

If you are still unsure about the type of furnace that’s best for you, contact your local heating company and request a home audit. A heating professional who has seen your home can recommend which type of furnace is most compatible with your home’s infrastructure and utilities.

More Resources on Your Furnace Options

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

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