How to Buy the Perfect Furnace for Your Home

furnaces 101

As home heating technology advances year after year, you may be wondering how to choose the best state-of-the-art furnace to heat your home effectively and as affordably as possible. Everyone’s space and heating needs are different, so finding the perfect furnace for your home will require some research. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you! Below, we’re discussing the different types of furnaces as well as the pros and cons of each, so you can more easily decide which is right for you.

What is a Furnace?

First, it would be helpful to know what a furnace is! A furnace, also known as a boiler, is the portion of your heating system that is hooked up to a fuel source – usually oil or natural gas – which it burns to create a heated medium. That medium could be water or air, which is then circulated around your home to provide heating throughout your living space.

What Are the Furnace Options?

Below, we’ll dive into the different furnace options, as well as the pros and cons of each.

1) Single-Stage Gas Furnaces – a single-stage gas furnace has a valve that is either opened or closed, which means you can only have one rate of gas flow. Operation is binary, so it’s either on or off with no option for modulation.

Pros: Least expensive option of the gas furnaces given the lack of complexity. They are also the easiest to service.
Cons: Not as efficient as other gas furnaces, especially in colder climates and in large homes.

2) Two-Stage Gas Furnaces – a two-stage gas furnace works just like a single-stage furnace, but it has two options – low and high – for the rate of gas flow. This allows for more control over your fuel consumption and heating.

Pros: More efficient. Can help save on energy bills. Suitable for larger homes.
Cons: More expensive than single-stage. Not ideal for cold climates.

3) Modulating Gas Furnaces – a modulating gas furnace can modulate the rate of gas flow between two extremes, which means there is a limitless number of settings for flow rate.

Pros: Most efficient gas boiler. Can help save on energy bills. Suitable for cold climates and large homes.
Cons: Most expensive of the gas furnaces.

4) Oil Furnaces – an oil furnace uses oil as a fuel source instead of natural gas, but it works in a very similar way.

Pros: No need for a gas hookup and service. Cheaper than gas boilers.
Cons: Typically more expensive in the long run. Need to have your oil tank refilled. Can lead to lapses in heat due to insufficient oil or clogs.

5) Electric Furnaces – an electric furnace uses electricity to heat coils through which your heating medium is passed.

Pros: Doesn’t require burning of fossil fuels. Operation is quieter.
Cons: Not as effective or efficient as gas or oil boilers. Often not suitable for cold climates.

When you’ve decided which furnace is perfect for your home or if you need help choosing which will suit your needs and your property best, contact one of our friendly and informative experts for information on furnaces and professional installation.