5 Types of Furnaces

people examining system

A furnace can help keep your home warm as the temperatures remain low. The first step is to select a furnace that is ideal for your home and doesn’t waste energy. Consider the following types of furnaces.

1. Oil Furnace

Oil furnaces have a fuel pump that transfers oil from a tank into a burner chamber. The burner chamber converts the oil into a mist and heats it to high temperatures. In the process, incoming air gets inside the burner and gains enough heat. The furnace then pushes the warmed air into the home via the duct system.

Oil furnaces have the following benefits:

  • Heat your home faster than most other types of furnaces.
  • Have a relatively lower upfront cost than most other furnaces.
  • Don’t have electrical systems and many moving components, leading to cheaper repairs

You should, however, expect to install an oil tank in your home and pay increasing prices for the oil.

2. Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces automatically detect temperature changes in a house and switch on. Once the surrounding cold air enters an electric furnace, it comes into contact with an electric heating element.

The heating elements warm the air before a blower fan pushes it into the home. Warm air spreads to each room in the house via air ducts. After the house becomes warm enough, the electric furnace will automatically detect the changes and switch off.

Electric furnaces have low installation costs, don’t emit carbon monoxide, and are easy to maintain. The fact that these furnaces use electricity causes their usage costs to be high.

3. Wood Furnaces

For wood furnaces to operate, there must be adequate firewood in the combustion chamber. The unit may also have a backup heat source like gas, kerosene, or electricity. Wood furnaces contain two combustion chambers that connect to the same ductwork and blower. The combustion chambers may also connect to a single chimney.

You can choose an outdoor wood-burning furnace or an indoor wood-burning furnace. Outdoor wood-burning furnaces have other systems like boilers and water reservoirs. The blowers in indoor wood furnaces increase their energy efficiency, making them better for large-sized homes. Wood furnaces don’t have high upfront prices but require additional maintenance work.

4. Natural Gas Furnaces

A natural gas furnace will heat your home from a municipal gas line. A flame generated by a natural gas furnace heats an exchanger, which then warms the incoming air. Once the air attains sufficient temperature, the furnace will spread it into your room via air ducts.

Although natural gas furnaces have high upfront prices, their operations are less costly and more straightforward. However, the furnace can expose your home to CO2 poisoning if a malfunction occurs. A carbon dioxide detector (included in most fire alarms these days) can alert you if these levels are rising in the home.

5. Propane Furnaces

Operations of propane furnaces and natural gas furnaces are similar. People traditionally used propane furnaces as a backup in case of a power outage. But since propane furnaces don’t emit the same hazardous substances or gasses, many households now use them as the primary heat source. Also, propane furnaces aren’t as costly as gas furnaces and don’t produce noise as they function.

When you turn on a propane furnace, the liquid propane will convert into gas. The gas will then come into contact with incoming air and warm it. Heated air from the propane furnace enters the home via air vents.

Most propane furnaces have ignition mechanisms to automatically activate and deactivate them based on homeowners’ temperature preferences. That enables propane furnaces to only use energy when necessary, increasing energy efficiency and safety.

Once you select the appropriate type of furnace, the next step is to find a qualified furnace expert. Steele Brothers Heating Inc. can help you install and repair your furnace. Our team is punctual, courteous, and professional. Contact us to get started.

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