Think of an electric furnace as you would a hair dryer or toaster. The furnace pulls cold air into an exchanger where it is then heated over electric heating elements. Once heated, the warm air is pushed into your home via ductwork.
A natural gas furnace works by igniting natural gas inside of your furnace's burner. The flames heat up a metal heat exchanger, which in turns heats incoming cold air received from your home's ductwork. The warm air is then pushed into your home by a blower via its ductwork.
A gas furnace costs more to purchase than an electric furnace, but because it uses natural gas as opposed to electricity, it is less expensive to operate. It is also more powerful than an electric furnace because it is able to heat the air within the heat exchange chamber more quickly.
Oil furnaces work much the same way as a natural gas furnace. Once activated, the furnace draws oil from the tank into a burning chamber. Instead of being directly lit, however, it is first converted into a mist and then sprayed onto a burner. Once ignited, air is pulled into a chamber near the burner where it is heated and sent back into the home through the ductwork.
Propane furnaces also operate much the same way as a natural gas furnace, except they do not require a flue. It's possible, instead, to simply install a direct vent beside it on an exterior wall. This eliminates the need to have a flue regularly inspected and cleaned.
However, even though it is similar to natural gas, propane furnaces are more efficient. The result is that you don't have to burn as much propane to get the same amount of warmth you'd get with a natural gas furnace.
A single stage thermostat is more affordable, while a modulating furnace is the most expensive. To choose, consider your budget and needs. Smaller, single-story homes don't require as much heating power as larger, multistory homes. If your home is somewhere in the middle, then a multistage heat furnace may be the perfect fit for you.
AFUE stands for annualized fuel utilization efficiency. An AFUE rating reflects how much heat is produced for every dollar spent. The higher AFUE rating a furnace has, the lower the amount the homeowner should spend on fuel.
Ideally, you want a furnace with an AFUE rating in the '90s because these are the most fuel efficient furnaces. However, just be aware that furnaces with this high of an AFUE rating are usually some of the most expensive.
A midrange, new furnace costs between $1,500-$6,000 (for example, a Rheem furnace, which has an 80% AFUE rating, costs $1,488 plus installation). Opt for a high-end model with a higher AFUE rating and the cost may jump up to $10,000.
Your furnace needs ductwork to transfer heat into your home. If you live in a newer home, your home's ductwork is likely already well taken care of. However, you will still want to have a licensed HVAC technician come to your home and test your home's ductwork system. It may or may not be able to handle a furnace with greater blowing power.
If you have been having issues with an older furnace, it's possible your ductwork may be to blame. The technician will be able to tell you if the ductwork was properly installed, or if there are any leaks or blockages. If there are any damages to your ductwork, it's unlikely you will need to get the entire system replaced. Instead, you may be able to get by with just replacing the damaged portions.
Chimneys aren't just for fireplaces. They can also dispel gasses from a hot water heater or furnace. If you purchase a high efficiency furnace, it's possible you won't even need a chimney at all. However, if not, you'll want to get your chimney inspected before getting your new furnace installed. Thereafter, you will need to get it cleaned once a year.
We're not referring to the air registers in each of your rooms that you can open or close. Instead, we're referring to the vents that direct flue gases to the outside of your home. If you change the type of furnace you use, you may need to replace your vents. Propane, oil and natural gas all burn a little differently, so the material used in your outdoor vents may not be strong enough to handle new temperatures.
Furnaces dry out the air in a house, which isn't a good thing during the cold and flu season. Sinus infections can result from breathing too much dry air. To combat this, many homeowners opt to install furnace humidifiers. The cost of a furnace humidifier varies a lot depending on which make and model you choose. You can spend as little as $200 to as much as $1,600. Putting a single humidifier in each room is also a valid option.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to have a licensed HVAC technician come out to your home. Once there, they can address your concerns about your old heating system, as well as give you their professional opinion about the best type of furnace for your home. While there, you may also want to speak to them about your cooling system, too. Window units are often the best choice, but sometimes there is room for an upgrade.
How do most people go about buying a furnace First, they call contractors and ask for estimates. To prepare this report, we did too. More than 500 specialists in residential heating and air conditioning told us about their experiences installing and maintaining heating equipment.
Efficiency Also MattersMost new central heating systems use gas, the most common heating fuel. How efficiently a furnace converts gas into heating energy is reflected in its annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) rating, which is measured as a percentage. The higher the number, the more heat the furnace can wring from each therm of gas. Because efficient furnaces generate fewer emissions, environmental considerations might also influence your decision.
Furnaces have become more energy-efficient over the years. A gas furnace made in the early 1970s typically has an AFUE rating of about 65 percent. The lowest efficiency allowed by law for new gas furnaces is 78 percent, and some new models achieve 97 percent, near-total efficiency.
The price of a furnace generally rises in step with its fuel efficiency. A furnace with a 90 percent AFUE rating might cost $1,000 more than a similarly sized unit with an 80 percent rating. But you can often recoup that additional cost through lower fuel bills over the life of the furnace, especially in regions such as the Northeast and Midwest, where winters can be harsh. How quickly you recover the investment depends on more than just AFUE. The electricity to run furnaces with different AFUE ratings can vary significantly. The climate where you live, how well your home is insulated, and your local gas and electricity rates also affect payback times.
Of the more than 20 gas furnace brands we rated, Trane and Payne stood out as the most reliable, earning Excellent ratings for predicted reliability. Six other brands earned Very Good reliability ratings.
Each brand of furnace offers a similar array of key features, depending on price. The furnace features most often highlighted in product literature and sales pitches are generally the ones found on the higher-efficiency models, but some manufacturers also offer them on premium versions of low-efficiency furnaces.
Variable Heat OutputAvailable on some furnaces that have a variable-speed blower, this feature can increase efficiency and comfort by automatically varying the amount of heat the furnace delivers, usually between two levels. The furnace can thus deliver heat more continuously than one with a fixed heat output.
Air FiltrationFitting a furnace with an electrostatic filter, which uses an electrical charge to help trap particles, or a HEPA filter can reduce the amount of dust blown through the heating system. That might help people with asthma or other chronic lung diseases, as well as allergies, and you should read more about indoor air quality and our air purifier tests if this is a concern.
Dual Heat ExchangerHeat exchangers are the components that draw heat from the burned gas. To draw more heat from the air they burn, energy-efficient furnaces supplement the primary exchanger with a second exchanger. Because the exhaust gases in that second exchanger might yield a corrosive acidic condensate, the second exchanger is made of stainless steel, lined with plastic, or otherwise protected.
Other inexpensive electric-heat options include strip heaters, which are installed in the ductwork of central air conditioning, and permanently installed baseboard units in each room. But before you consider any type of electric central heating in colder regions, keep in mind that electricity rates are much higher than those for natural gas and are likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. You can get rate information for various fuels from local utilities and suppliers.
When comparing gas furnace prices, knowing the differences in quality and performance allows you to evaluate and choose your best option. For example, a $3,000 single-stage 80% Payne furnace might last 12-15 years and be ideal in a warm climate or a home you plan to sell in five years. On the other hand, a $6,000 modulating 98% Lennox furnace will last 20+ years and be a good fit if you live in a Northern climate and plan to live in your home indefinitely. There are many factors affect how long a furnace could last, check here to learn more information.
Every model of furnace is made in different sizes to provide the proper amount of heat for the space it serves. Most models are available in sizes from about 40,000 Btu to about 120,000 Btu in increments of 10,000 to 20,000 Btu.
Given that there are many parameters (like size, efficiency ratings, heater stages) for gas furnace. We need to set an equal baseline before we can list and compare the prices for each brand. In this list below, each gas furnace includes the same and common parameters: PSC blower, One-Stage 92% AFUE, 70,000-75,000 BTU which is mid-sized home of around 2,000 square feet, 10-year warranty exclude labor fee. 59ce067264