The type of furnace you buy will define the quality of heating in your house. Unfortunately, the same furnace cannot be used in every household. This means that before buying a furnace, you should invest time in researching the type of furnace that is most suitable for your needs. This article will give you a crash course on the types of furnaces and how you can go about selecting the right one.
Types of furnaces
In the United States, four main types of furnaces are used. These types aren’t segregated by efficiency, rather by the fuel they use.
- Electric furnace: Electric furnaces are the cheapest option available. They don’t require any external source of fuel, instead can be plugged into an outlet or require special wiring. The advantage of this type of furnace is that it doesn’t give you an added bill at the end of the month. Instead, the cost of fuel is added to the electricity bill.
- Natural Gas furnace: Natural gas furnaces are the most popular options used in the USA. While older furnaces have a lower efficiency (60-65%), newer models can boost efficiency as high as 95-98%. They can last up to 20 years but require regular inspections and maintenance.
- Propane furnaces: Propane furnaces aren’t a very popular option in the USA, with only 10% of households having this type of furnace. However, these are very popular in places where gas or oil aren’t accessible and electric power can’t be depended upon. The main reason this type of furnace isn’t preferred is that they require inspections every other month. Propane is highly flammable and requires higher upkeep.
- Oil furnaces: Oil furnaces are mostly used in North-eastern states. They have a lower upfront cost than Electric furnaces. Their heating capacity is much higher than that of an electric furnace. However, they provide lower efficiency, which means high bills at the end of the month.
Now that you know the types of furnaces, the question remains, how do you choose one? Here are the factors you should consider before choosing a furnace.
Factors to consider
- Locality: Each part of the country has different temperature ranges, which means they require different types of heating. The western, Midwestern and northeast states prefer natural gas furnaces, while southern states use electric furnaces. Before choosing a furnace, determine the type most commonly used in your state.
- Area of your home: Determine the area of your house. Bigger houses require furnaces with higher capacity. Choosing an incorrect furnace can mean your house isn’t maintained at the right temperature.
- Efficiency: The efficiency of the furnace is determined by the AFUE rating. Before choosing the type and manufacturer of the furnace, read and understand how AFUE ratings work. This will help you select the most pocket-friendly service.
Should you ask for a technician’s opinion?
Yes, before choosing a furnace, as your local and trustworthy technician to inspect your home, your existing HVAC system, and any ductwork you have. He’ll also be able to recommend a model that’s most suited to your needs and compatible with your home.