A furnace is an appliance that heats the air inside homes and commercial buildings. It is among the oldest types of heating systems still in use today, having been around for almost 150 years. Furnaces used to be powered by coal and wood. Now, they are powered by natural gas, propane, and electricity. A furnace can produce hot air, heated water, or steam using these various types of energy to power internal components. Without a furnace, your home will not be as comfortable as it is during the winter.

Types of Furnaces

There are different types of furnaces, and they are categorized according to how they work and the fuel they use.

Types of Furnaces: How They Operate

Single-Stage Furnace

In a single-stage, the gas supply valve has only two settings during operation: full blast and off. Single-speed, as the name implies, only have a one-speed setting. They continually disperse warm air throughout the area. They continually disperse warm air throughout the area at the furnace’s maximum capacity.

Two-Stage Furnace

There are three gas valve settings in a two-stage: on, partially closed, and closed. Unlike single-stage, they work at a two-speed setting and are significantly more efficient. Stage one (partially closed) operates at 65% capacity and is suitable for use in colder weather. When the temperature goes down and stage one heating is no longer sufficient, stage two heating (on or full-blast state) kicks in to provide additional warmth. This type is the most commonly used in residential settings due to its better energy efficiency.

Variable Speed

The term “variable speed” does not mean that the unit can function at various speeds to attain desired temperatures. Instead, this means that its blower motor/fan speed is adjustable, allowing the necessary heat to evaporate in the surroundings while saving electricity.

Types of Furnaces: Fuel Source

Gas Furnace

A gas furnace converts natural gas into heat and can work with an air conditioning unit so that homeowners can control their home’s heating and cooling needs with only one thermostat. Gas furnaces are still a standard heating unit in HVAC systems in US homes because they are cost-effective and energy-efficient. In addition, they can last for 15 to 20 years.

Electric Furnace

An electric furnace functions similarly to a gas one. But the former generates heat using electricity rather than natural gas and distributes it through a fan. As a result, electric types have a longer lifespan (20 to 30 years) than gas types and account for 98 percent of all units available on the market.

Oil Furnace

An oil furnace has an oil tank. The unit pulls oil from the tank, filters it, and feeds it into a burner, which heats the air. Oil furnaces incorporate a control system that regulates fuel flow to maintain a constant temperature. A well-maintained oil furnace can last for over 20 years. 

Which Type of Furnace Should You Get?

Which system system is suitable for your home depends on the following factors:

Fuel Source

Gas furnaces are very common because gas is readily available and usually the least expensive fuel source. Oil is your next best option if gas is unavailable in your location. Electric types are the cheapest to buy and install, but they do not heat large homes adequately and are the most expensive to operate in terms of electricity bills.

Energy Efficiency

Electric furnaces are the most efficient of all types. An electric type loses very little energy. In fact, an electric furnace’s AFUE rating is 95 to 100 percent. However, they are the most expensive to run since electricity is way more costly than gas or oil.

Furnace Size

The room’s space area to be heated will determine the size of the unit to purchase. A furnace that is too small will not heat your entire home. On the other hand, one that is overly large will waste fuel by creating heat that is not needed. The ideal size depends on square footage, ceiling height, number of windows, and insulation. 

Heating and Air Repair Near Me

At Pioneers Heating and Air, we understand that your furnace is an integral part of your home. Hence, we offer various heating services, including furnace repair, heating repairs, and furnace installations. Our skilled technicians have the experience and expertise that you can count on us for fast and reliable furnace repair service every time. We proudly serve South Pasadena and the entire San Gabriel Valley area. Contact us today to request free estimates.

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