Types of Furnaces and Why You Might Need Them in 2024


As the temperatures drop, it's time to start thinking about how to keep your home warm. With a good warranty and various types of choices, the furnace can make all the difference in keeping your home warm and cozy throughout the colder months. But with so many different types available, how do you choose the right one for your home? 

Don't fret. This guide won't leave you overwhelmed with several furnace options. Rather, discover how each furnace type can benefit your home in the long run and make ideal choices while keeping you from costly furnace repair and installation services. 

What is a Furnace?

 A furnace is a home heating system that uses different energy sources to produce heat. It blows heated air through ductwork and into rooms via vents or registers. The type of energy source used will determine the type of furnace you have. Let's look at common furnaces and which one you should consider for your home.

7 Reliable Furnace Types 

Natural Gas Furnace

The natural gas furnace is the most used furnace type in North America. It is fueled by natural gas, a relatively inexpensive and efficient energy source. This furnace type heats the air quickly and distributes it evenly throughout your home. If you live in an area with a reliable natural gas supply, then this is a great option for you.

Oil Furnace

Oil furnaces are another common furnace that uses oil as its energy source. They operate similarly to natural gas furnaces but with the added requirement of an on-site oil storage tank. While oil may be more expensive than natural gas, it can still be a reliable and efficient option in colder climates.

Electrical Furnace

If you live in an area where natural gas or oil is not readily available, the electrical furnace may be your best option. It runs on electricity and requires no additional fuel source. However, it is important to note that electric furnaces can be more expensive than other types.

Propane Furnace

Similar to natural gas and oil furnaces, propane furnaces also use a fuel source to generate heat. Propane is often used in areas where natural gas is not available. It burns cleaner than oil & can be more efficient than electric furnaces. However, it does require an on-site storage tank for the propane.

Solar Powered Furnace

A relatively new concept, solar-powered furnaces use solar panels to generate electricity to power the furnace. This not only reduces your carbon footprint but also saves on costs in the long run. However, it may not suit all climates and requires an additional backup system for colder days.

Dual Fuel Furnace

Dual fuel furnaces offer the best of both worlds by combining a heat pump & a furnace into one unit. This allows you to switch between electric and gas heating depending on the temperature outside, making it more energy-efficient and cost-effective.

High-Efficiency Gas Furnace

High-efficiency gas furnaces use condensing technology to extract heat otherwise wasted in standard furnaces. This makes them more efficient and can save you money on energy bills in the long run.

High-Efficiency Gas Furnace vs. Standard-Efficiency Gas Furnace

Standard-efficiency gas furnaces

Standard-efficiency gas furnaces typically feature an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of around 80%. This means 80% of the fuel is converted into heat, while the rest is lost as exhaust. Due to their lower efficiency, these furnaces are more affordable upfront but may cost more to operate in the long run.

High-efficiency gas furnaces

In contrast, high-efficiency gas furnaces have an AFUE rating of 90% or above. With advanced features such as two-stage or modulating heating and sealed combustion, these furnaces can convert nearly all the fuel they use into heat. 

The Difference - Which is the Best Furnace Type?

The decision between a high-efficiency gas furnace and a standard-efficiency gas furnace depends on several factors. Let's examine the main differences:

  1. Energy Efficiency: High-efficiency furnaces have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of over 90%, while standard-efficiency furnaces have an AFUE rating of 80-85%. This means high-efficiency furnaces effectively utilize more fuel, resulting in lower energy costs in the long term.
  2. Cost: High-efficiency furnaces are generally more expensive upfront but can save you money over time through lower energy bills. Standard-efficiency furnaces are cheaper upfront but may have higher operating costs.
  3. Environmental Impact: High-efficiency furnaces produce less carbon dioxide and are more environmentally friendly than standard-efficiency furnaces.
  4. Installation: High-efficiency furnaces often require a different venting system and may need additional installation work. Standard-efficiency furnaces are usually easier and less expensive to install.

Final Answer

When it comes to choosing the best furnace for your home, it ultimately depends on your specific needs & budget. A high-efficiency gas furnace may be a good investment if you live in an area with a reliable natural gas supply. 

However, suppose you want a more environmentally friendly option or live without natural gas access. In that case, other furnace types, such as solar-powered or electrical, may be better suited for your home. 

It's always best to consult a professional technician - MileHi HVAC, to determine the most suitable and efficient furnace option for your specific situation. After all, investing in the right furnace can make a significant difference in your home's comfort and energy costs.  

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