Furnace buying guide: Everything you need to know to find the best furnace for your home

With the finish of the 12 months bringing cooler temperatures, you’ll need to ensure you hold your home and family members heat till spring. That means probably buying a brand new furnace. 

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Fortunately, the market lately is flooded with choices. To choose the proper one for your home and desires, you need to know what you’re taking a look at. Whether you’re simply researching or trying to make a purchase order, we may help you get acquainted with the several types of furnaces, the set up processes and the heating expertise by means of our information beneath. 

The 4 sorts of furnaces

There are 4 several types of furnace presently on the market:

  • Electric
  • Natural gasoline
  • Oil
  • Propane

Each sort of furnace heats the air a bit in another way and has a distinct working value.


Electric furnaces

Electric furnaces are sometimes the least expensive of the 4 to buy and are simpler to set up and preserve. However, as a result of they run solely on electrical energy, they are often fairly costly to function. 

Think of an electrical furnace as you would a hair dryer or toaster. The furnace pulls chilly air into an exchanger the place it’s then heated over electrical heating parts. Once heated, the heat air is pushed into your home through ductwork. 

Even although an electrical furnace prices extra to function, the plus facet is that it does not produce any carbon monoxide — making it safer for the atmosphere and your household’s well being. 

Natural gasoline furnaces

If you stay close to a pure gasoline line, a pure gasoline furnace might be extra inexpensive to function than an electrical furnace — particularly if there’s already a pure gasoline line operating to your home. 


A pure gasoline furnace works by igniting pure gasoline inside your furnace’s burner. The flames warmth up a metallic warmth exchanger, which in turns heats incoming chilly air acquired from your home’s ductwork. The heat air is then pushed into your home by a blower through its ductwork. 

Natural gasoline furnaces require a flue for the exhaust to exit your home. The flue pipe will need to be inspected no less than yearly to forestall toxic gasses from coming into your home.

A gasoline furnace prices extra to buy than an electrical furnace, however as a result of it makes use of pure gasoline as opposed to electrical energy, it’s cheaper to function. It can also be extra highly effective than an electrical furnace as a result of it’s ready to warmth the air inside the warmth trade chamber extra shortly. 

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Oil furnaces

Oil furnaces work a lot the similar approach as a pure gasoline furnace. Once activated, the furnace attracts oil from the tank right into a burning chamber. Instead of being straight lit, nonetheless, it’s first transformed right into a mist after which sprayed onto a burner. Once ignited, air is pulled right into a chamber close to the burner the place it’s heated and despatched again into the home by means of the ductwork.

Oil burns at a warmer temperature than pure gasoline, which implies it heats up houses sooner. However, take into account that oil furnaces require an oil tank, which are sometimes buried close to houses. 

Propane furnaces

Propane furnaces additionally function a lot the similar approach as a pure gasoline furnace, besides they don’t require a flue. It’s potential, as an alternative, to merely set up a direct vent beside it on an exterior wall. This eliminates the need to have a flue frequently inspected and cleaned. 

However, despite the fact that it’s related to pure gasoline, propane furnaces are extra environment friendly. The result’s that you haven’t got to burn as a lot propane to get the similar quantity of heat you’d get with a pure gasoline furnace. 

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Single stage furnaces to modulating warmth furnaces: Which is best?

In addition to selecting between totally different gas sources, you additionally need to take into account what number of levels you need your furnace to have. There are presently three choices on the market.

  • Single stage warmth: Many older furnaces use what is named a single state warmth course of. With this kind of furnace, there is just one measurement flame and it’s both on or off. In relation to the thermostat, it’s not very exact, that means that it’s normally inside a few levels. Because it solely has one flame setting, it would repeatedly activate and off all through the day as temperatures fluctuate. 
  • Multistage warmth: This sort has two sizes of flames it may well make the most of. A smaller one for gentle climate and a bigger one for colder climate. Because it has two flame choices, it’s extra exact than a single stage warmth furnace. 
  • Modulating warmth: This is the most correct furnace on the market as a result of it’s ready to management the measurement of the flame to meet the temperature established at the thermostat. It’s a gentle heating supply that retains your home’s temperature proper the place you need it.

A single stage thermostat is extra inexpensive, whereas a modulating furnace is the costliest. To select, take into account your price range and desires. Smaller, single-story houses do not require as a lot heating energy as bigger, multistory houses. If your home is someplace in the center, then a multistage warmth furnace could also be the excellent match for you. 

What is an AFUE ranking?

AFUE stands for annualized gas utilization effectivity. An AFUE ranking displays how a lot warmth is produced for each greenback spent. The larger AFUE ranking a furnace has, the decrease the quantity the home-owner ought to spend on gas. 

Ideally, you need a furnace with an AFUE ranking in the ’90s as a result of these are the most gas environment friendly furnaces. However, simply bear in mind that furnaces with this excessive of an AFUE ranking are normally a few of the costliest.

How a lot does a brand new furnace value? 

A midrange, new furnace prices between $1,500-$6,000 (for instance, a Rheem furnace, which has an 80% AFUE ranking, prices $1,488 plus set up). Opt for a high-end mannequin with the next AFUE ranking and the value could soar up to $10,000. 

Next you need to take into account the value of set up, which ought to be round $2,000 with none reductions. 

Because it’s such a big funding, take into account the value of gas and working prices, too, earlier than you determine. This is very essential if you plan on financing the buy and can have month-to-month funds (however you might at all times offset your vitality prices with some new photo voltaic panels).

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Supporting buildings and hidden prices: Chimneys, ductwork, vents and complete home humidifiers


Your furnace wants ductwork to switch warmth into your home. If you stay in a more recent home, your home’s ductwork is probably going already effectively taken care of. However, you will nonetheless need to have a licensed HVAC technician come to your home and take a look at your home’s ductwork system. It could or is probably not ready to deal with a furnace with larger blowing energy. 

If you have been having points with an older furnace, it is potential your ductwork could also be to blame. The technician will likely be ready to inform you if the ductwork was correctly put in, or if there are any leaks or blockages. If there are any damages to your ductwork, it is unlikely you will need to get the total system changed. Instead, you could have the opportunity to get by with simply changing the broken parts. 


Chimneys aren’t simply for fireplaces. They can even dispel gasses from a scorching water heater or furnace. If you buy a excessive effectivity furnace, it is potential you will not even need a chimney in any respect. However, if not, you’ll need to get your chimney inspected earlier than getting your new furnace put in. Thereafter, you will need to get it cleaned yearly. 


We’re not referring to the air registers in every of your rooms that you can open or shut. Instead, we’re referring to the vents that direct flue gases to the outdoors of your home. If you change the sort of furnace you use, you could need to change your vents. Propane, oil and pure gasoline all burn a bit in another way, so the materials utilized in your out of doors vents is probably not robust sufficient to deal with new temperatures. 


Furnaces dry out the air in a home, which is not a superb factor throughout the chilly and flu season. Sinus infections may result from respiration an excessive amount of dry air. To fight this, many owners choose to set up furnace humidifiers. The value of a furnace humidifier varies rather a lot relying on which make and mannequin you select. You can spend as little as $200 to as a lot as $1,600. Putting a single humidifier in every room can also be a sound possibility. 

Which one is correct for you?

The best factor you can do for your self is to have a licensed HVAC technician come out to your home. Once there, they will deal with your issues about your previous heating system, in addition to give you their skilled opinion about the best sort of furnace for your home. While there, you can also need to converse to them about your cooling system, too. Window items are sometimes the best selection, however generally there’s room for an improve.

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