What are the Different Types of Furnaces?
July 8, 2020
Furnaces are instrumental when it comes to heating our homes during the cold seasons. The need for a furnace replacement or a fresh installation will put you in the market for a new furnace. However, before going ahead to buy one, you need to familiarize yourself with the different types of furnaces. This is so that you may find the one that is most suitable for your home. This suitability will depend on several factors including your most convenient energy source. To assist you as you do your comparisons, here is a breakdown of the types of furnaces according to one major classification, that is, the fuel type.
This is the most common furnace type that you are likely to find in most homes today. You first of all have to be connected to the municipal gas line for the gas to be piped into your furnace. The gas is then driven in jets along with the furnace burner for ignition. This creates a hot combustion gas that in turn heats the air. The fan then circulates this hot air through the ducts and into your home.
Gas furnaces are a preferred choice due to their heating effectiveness. They are also easy to maintain, seldom requiring furnace repairs which are not expensive even when they occur. Gas is also cost-friendly as compared to other fuel types resulting in lower energy bills. Being a clean fuel to burn, it also minimizes pollution.
Nonetheless, its installation can be costly when you factor in the costs involved with the installation of a municipal gas line. Gas furnaces are also susceptible to carbon monoxide leaks.
You are likely to mostly find this type of furnace in the northeastern United States where the environment is usually cold. It is also a suitable alternative to the gas furnace in places where access to gas is limited. For this, you will need an oil storage tank somewhere around your home. The furnace works by converting oil to heat which then warms the air.
Oil furnaces go at a cheaper price than the gas ones. Oil on the other hand, however, is a more costly fuel than gas. On top of this, the prices tend to fluctuate making them unpredictable. This combined with the fact that oil furnaces are less effective results to higher energy costs.
This type of furnace also requires a higher level of maintenance as they are prone to the buildup of soot and carbon on the surfaces of the heat exchanger. For maximum efficiency, this dirt has to be regularly removed. Some units such as the burner nozzle and the oil filters need to be replaced with time accounting for higher furnace repair costs.
An alternative to the oil and gas furnaces are ones that are powered by electricity. This is a viable choice for many since electricity is readily available in most parts. These type calls for easy installation as it does not require any prerequisite installations such as a municipal gas line in the case of the gas furnace and an oil tank for the oil furnace. With this type of furnace, the air is heated through exposure to electric heating elements that transfer heat to the air.
Electric furnaces tend to be much cheaper than the rest. They also have a longer life span requiring less frequents furnace replacements. By being smaller in size, they are more convenient in terms of space usage. When compared to the other types, they form a safer option as they eliminate the potential for any gas leaks and no actual combustion happens in the furnace.
All these, however, come to the cost. An electric furnace will lead to significantly larger bills due to the high cost of electricity as compared to the other fuel types. They are also not as effective as the gas furnaces.
Furnaces run on different types of fuels each with its advantages and disadvantages as seen above. This is a major consideration when it comes to the purchase of one depending on where you live and how accessible a particular type of fuel is in that area. This will help you pick a furnace that is most applicable for your home and budget.