The different types of furnaces for your winter heating
The furnace is known as an efficient heating solution to keep your home warm even when the temperature is low. If you are considering replacing your heating system with a furnace, you should know that there are different types of furnaces available, depending on the fuel used. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The natural gas furnace
Natural gas has the ability to heat a room evenly and quickly, providing unparalleled comfort. In comparison, a heating system using this fuel heats a house twice as fast as electric equipment.
Natural gas furnaces are also subject to strict manufacturing and safety standards. Thus, these devices are highly secure and their effectiveness is almost indisputable. Here are some other important highlights:
- No need to worry about a power failure;
- No black smoke during combustion;
- No ash or soot production.
Finally, natural gas is the least polluting fossil fuel, as it releases only a small amount of carbon dioxide and water vapor when burned.
Among the list of disadvantages of the natural gas furnace, we can cite the fact that the device operates with a non-renewable energy source. Once we have exhausted all underground natural gas reserves, this solution will no longer be an option.
The electric furnace
The first advantage of the electric heating system is that it is not necessary to store any fuel. The device does not require a tank or chimney to vent smoke, as it does not produce any. Moreover, it takes up less space in the house.
Then, it is possible to manage the temperature independently thanks to a thermostat present on the units in each room. The electric furnace also produces optimum airflow, even if the filters are clogged.
An electric furnace is also quiet, optimizing the comfort of the home’s occupants. Its purchase price is also relatively affordable compared to other types and its energy efficiency is very high.
The main disadvantage of the electric furnace is the cost of electricity, which is increasing every year. Moreover, as soon as a power failure occurs for various reasons, the system becomes non-operational.
The propane gas furnace
While the safety level of propane furnaces has long been a matter of debate, this has changed significantly in recent years. The appliances follow such strict standards that they have become almost as safe as natural gas models.
Propane has the advantage of producing mainly only carbon dioxide and water vapor during combustion. It also optimizes the life of the equipment, which is not always the case with other energy sources.
The propane furnace heats the interior of a home almost instantly and evenly. This offers a significant comfort and makes the living space pleasant to live in from the moment you turn on the device. Moreover, this type of furnace is not affected by a possible power failure.
Like natural gas, propane is a non-renewable energy source. As a result, the underground reserves will be depleted sooner or later. It is also more expensive than other energy sources. Despite the high energy efficiency of your furnace, your bill may be high.
The oil furnace
Heating oil or fuel oil distributes heat quickly and efficiently throughout the house. The warm air circulates better, making the heat distribution more even. The latest furnace models have been redesigned by manufacturers to be quieter and more compact than before. From now on, these equipments are no longer equipped with chimneys. Instead, they are equipped with a wall-mounted drain that is much more aesthetically pleasing and discreet.
Oil is an energy source that can be combined with other dual-energy heating systems to benefit from the advantages offered by Hydro-Québec.
Although newer oil furnaces are more compact, they still take up a lot of space because of the fuel tank. Like natural gas and propane, fuel oil is a non-renewable energy source and its price is constantly rising.
When burned, fuel oil gives off a strong odor and produces soot. If there is a problem with the sealing of the system, the odor can spread throughout the house and the soot can clog your interior. Finally, highly polluting elements are released when the fuel oil is burned.
The pellet furnace
The pellet furnace is an ecological heating solution. Indeed, it works with fuels obtained thanks to the recycling of sawdust. It is a natural, renewable and low environmental impact energy source.
The pellet furnace is also relatively compact, taking up little space in the home. Newer models have an automatic feeding function to add pellets gradually without you having to intervene.
Another advantage of the pellet furnace is its high heating performance, which can be adapted to any size of house. The price of pellets is also among the most affordable of the energy sources mentioned above. This allows you to save a lot of money and to make your investment profitable in the long term.
The real drawback of the pellet furnace is the level of maintenance it requires. Indeed, the pellets, once completely burned, turn into ashes that must be disposed of regularly. You should also call a professional to perform a sweep of the system, at least once a year to prevent clogging.