February 20, 2021
Woman enjoying furnace heat

One thing new homeowners often don’t know about furnaces is that there’s no one-size-fits-all model. Furnaces are unique for every house in terms of size and features. Every household has its own heating requirements, so each furnace must be unique.

When shopping for a furnace, you must do extensive research to come up with the most appropriate appliance for your heating needs. Some heaters come with industrial settings, while others are solely for residential needs. If you’re confused about which model will best suit your needs, then this guide introduces you to different types of furnaces on the market.

Furnace Categories By Fuel Type

The first category of furnace is based on the type of fuel it burns. Choose the perfect type with your budget and fuel availability in mind.

Electric Furnaces

Many people prefer electric furnaces for their homes because they don’t want to deal with expensive pipework that’s required with other types of heaters. Electric furnaces are perfect for families with tight budgets.

These furnaces are also good for the health of the entire household. You don’t have to worry about carbon monoxide emissions and other poisonous gases. Electric furnaces come in newer models that are easy to install. They can last up to 10 years with good maintenance.

Gas and Propane Furnaces

Gas is the most common heating fuel in the United States, with up to 57% of families preferring gas furnaces. Many people love gas because it’s cleaner than oil-burning furnaces and a nonrenewable energy source. Gas furnaces can last up to 25 years.

Despite being expensive to buy and install, running a gas furnace in your home is going to be cheap in the long run. You won’t have to foot high monthly utility bills, as gas is the cheapest fossil fuel on the market. These heaters are also easy to maintain and won’t cost a lot once installed.

The downside of gas furnaces is that they’re expensive to buy and install. Homeowners have to pay extra for the installation of the municipal gas lines. Gas furnaces can also leak carbon monoxide and be a danger to those in your household. However, homeowners can reduce this danger by installing carbon monoxide detectors.

You can calibrate natural gas with propane if there’s a shortage. Propane is a by-product of gas and can work perfectly in place of gas thanks to its versatility. It’s perfect for use in areas where gas isn’t easily available or too expensive.

Propane is perfect for areas that experience harsh winters because they produce more heat. They can heat your home quicker and provide enough heat for the entire household. Like gas, propane can also run out and won’t provide the needed heat when this happens. Always make sure you charge the tank to avoid inconveniences when it suddenly runs out on a chilly night.

Oil Furnaces

Like gas, oil-fired furnaces are quite common and efficient in their work. These furnace types are common in areas that don’t get enough gas. As long as it’s not exported oil, they tend to be a less expensive option than gas. Expect oil furnaces to have a lifespan of up to 30 years if well-maintained.

One downside of oil furnaces is that they’re expensive to maintain. They develop soot and carbon on the heat exchanger surfaces, which you must remove to ensure its efficiency. You may also need to replace the nozzle that comes with the burner unit from time to time. Additionally, the oil filters for removing impurities need regular replacement before vaporizing and igniting the fuel.

Another thing about oil tanks is that you’ll have to store the tank on your property; hence, you need the required space. You’ll also need to work with a delivery company that will take care of filling the oil before it runs out.

Dual Fuel Furnaces

Dual fuel furnaces don’t use a single type of fuel in their operation. These furnaces are made to use gas for cold weather and heat pumps for cool weather. A heat pump ensures your house gets the needed heat from the outdoors. There’s an air handler that warms the air that passes over the refrigerant coil. The fan then blows the air into your house.

While heat pumps are efficient at their work, they’re not ideal for chilly weather. That’s where the dual system comes in. When the air outside becomes cold, the gas heating part of the furnace takes over the operation to keep the indoor temperature warm despite the cold air outside.

Dual fuel furnaces are energy-efficient because they don’t consume much energy, which will help with your monthly utility bills. However, these models can be expensive to install or even upgrade.

Furnace Categories By Operation

The second furnace category is based on how they operate. With this category, your budget also has a huge role to play, as more advanced operations mean you’ll pay more upfront.

Single-Stage Operation Furnace

You’ll often come across a single-stage operation furnace, which comes with a single valve that you can either turn on or off. When it’s on, it operates at a constant speed. Hence, you’ll likely note the temperature difference. It mostly operates at high speed, so it tends to produce a lot of noise when it’s turned on.

This furnace type is very cheap to buy and durable, thanks to its basic design. The installation and maintenance costs will also not strain your pockets. But, they’re not too cost-saving in terms of monthly energy bills.

Two-Stage Furnace

The two-stage furnace is another category. Unlike single-stage models, a two-stage furnace will give you more control. It comes with both a high-speed and half-speed setting. This means they’re more efficient in heat delivery, and the furnace provides more consistent temperatures in your house. If you prefer a quieter operation, you can put it at half-speed. A single-stage furnace doesn’t consume much when it comes to power bills.

Modulating Furnaces

A modulating furnace will allow you to adjust the amount of heat you receive in your house over a given time. If you live in an area with varying temperatures, this can be your ideal furnace. You can adjust the temperature to provide more heat on a chilly day and reduce the heating when it gets warmer.

These furnaces are designed to increase or decrease temperature use by 1% to monitor the amount of heat that your property needs. It then adjusts its temperature output depending on its finding on the home’s temperature needs at a particular time.

Thanks to this kind of operation, modulating furnaces ensure you receive the required temperature in your house at a given time without exceeding or going below the maximum. This means the furnace runs on-demand, ensuring efficiency.

Which One Should You Choose?

All of the above furnace types work well in ensuring your house gets the heat it deserves. But, as usual, there’s no one type that fits everyone’s needs, so you must choose one appropriate for your home. Think about the energy sources in your area, your budget, your heating needs, and other factors.

If you’re still confused, give Holbrook Heating & Air Conditioning a call today. We’ll help you choose the best furnace for your property. Our team can also assist with cooling repair, installation, and maintenance needs as well as provide indoor air quality services. If you live in Jamesville or anywhere in Upstate New York, we’re just a phone call away.

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