Furnaces are vital for a home’s heating system to run. Therefore, it is essential that you know which is the right furnace for your home. It is also necessary to get it installed correctly and contact professional services for maintenance and repair.
Until the early 1940s, furnaces generated heat by burning coal, but later, gas became the primary fuel. In the ’70s, electric furnaces began to replace gas furnaces. Nonetheless, those that run on gas are still the most popular. There are different varieties of furnaces available on the market. Before buying one, read about its features and choose the best one that suits your home.
This type of furnace is ideal for temperatures below 50° F during winter, but ensure that the fuel is available. You may not have this service in the countryside. Gas furnaces heat the air, and it travels to air ducts into the rooms in your home. They need a connection to a municipal gas line during installation. Almost half of the Canadian households use forced air furnaces, and some of them use ductwork as air conditioning during summer.
One of the main problems is security. There are tutorials on the internet about installing the furnace, but you should consider that natural gas is a combustive element. The equipment must be sealed to prevent leakage of carbon monoxide. Additionally, you will need special equipment and knowledge to install it. Experts highly recommended contacting professionals to avoid accidents.
Natural gas is the cheapest fuel. If you want to save money on your bills, this option is the most affordable. Another factor to take into account is efficiency. Gas furnaces heat homes faster and do not have problems dealing with cold temperatures; however, their lifespan is shorter than electric furnaces. Gas systems can last between 10 to 20 years, and electric systems from 20 to 30 years. It is essential to clean it regularly and maintain it because small particles can accumulate in the furnace.
It is the best for homes where slight heating is required. Electricity could be more expensive than other fuels, but some furnaces have programmable thermostats to control the consumption and reduce your bill costs. On the other hand, electric furnaces are perfect for small spaces and are popular within homes that have not installed the pipework.
The electric system warms the air and then distribute it through ductwork. It is unnecessary to have a pipe or a chimney for the installation. However, like gas furnaces, contacting a professional team is highly recommended since electric furnaces require high voltage and heavy-duty wiring. Other options you can look for comparing are heat pumps and baseboard heating.
If you choose an electric furnace, you will contribute to the environment. Electricity can come from renewable sources, and during furnaces operation, carbon emissions are almost zero. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about carbon monoxide leaks and toxic fumes.
It is perfect for homes located in rural areas where natural gas is not available. This type of furnace burns the oil and distribute the heat through the house. Old models are inefficient as the gases go up through chimneys, and exhaust air must be hot. During this process, furnaces lose approximately 30% of fuel energy. Modern furnaces are more efficient because they have a fan that extracts the air through a heat exchanger. Oil furnaces are cheaper than gas, but heating oil is more expensive.
Oil furnaces also require more frequent and extensive heater maintenance than gas furnaces. An annual inspection is necessary because the chimney must be clean properly, and oil filters need to be changed regularly. Otherwise, you will put yourself at risk of fire.
In addition to maintenance, you need to have extra space outside of your home to store the oil tank and contact a company to fill it regularly. The furnace will not work if you run out of oil. The only option is to wait until the company can refill your tank.
It is mainly used in the countryside. Propane furnaces’ popularity has increased because fuel is available almost everywhere, and a gas line is not required. They will not work if you run out of propane, just like an oil furnace. For filling the tank, you need to contact trained, certified professionals, and the gas must be kept in government-approved outdoor storage containers.
These furnaces heat the home quickly because propane produces more energy than other fuels. It is environmentally friendly, as electric furnaces. If the gas is released, it will not cause damage to the atmosphere. Their cost is in the middle of the gas furnaces and the electric ones.
Tips for choosing the furnace for your home
- Get advice on which brand to buy and compare prices.
- Consider long term prices.
- Read reviews.
- Check if the furnace has a warranty.
- Ask an expert: you must buy the correct size accordingly to your house. Every home is different, and to know which furnace suits better, leave it in an expert’s hand. If you buy one big for your home, it will turn on and off frequently, causing waste of energy and damage to the furnace. On the other hand, if it is too small, your home will not be warm enough and will always be on.
We hope this helps you choose the best furnace for your home according to your budget, the space you have available, and the location of your home.