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Americool Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Our Complete Guide to Furnaces

A furnace is synonymous with a comfortable home. Every time you see a holiday ad that has to do with cozy sweaters and a warm cup of coffee around a fire, there’s usually a furnace hard at work to keep that home comfortable. Furnaces are, and have been for quite some time, the most common heating system in America.

This isn’t an accident. Furnaces quickly grew in popularity over the past few decades and this is due to a variety of different factors that still matter today. While they might be overcome by heat pumps in the popularity contest over the next few years, they’re still worth the investment for homeowners who might want them.

Furnaces in Centralia, WA are great heating systems for the right families, we just need to talk about the reasons why!

The Two Main Types of Furnaces

Let’s start with the basics. In order to understand whether a furnace is the right heating system for your home, or just how popular these units are, we need to talk about the two main types of them.

Electric furnaces are the first type of furnace that we’ll mention. They don’t burn any gas to operate. Instead, they run on electricity and heat a coil to warm the air around them. These units are popular because they’re both extremely affordable and they can work in any home with access to electricity.

Gas furnaces are the second type of furnace, burning natural gas to create heat in a home. Gas furnaces are both affordable and fuel-efficient, since natural gas prices are low in the United States and it’s produced locally through your municipality.

AFUE and Energy/Fuel Efficiency

How efficient is a furnace? It depends on what type and how you measure it.

Electric furnaces are 100% energy efficient, which might be surprising, but it’s true! 100% of the electricity used to heat a coil in an electric furnace gets turned into heat. The problem is that these units use a lot of electricity and thus can be expensive to run over a long period of time.

Gas furnaces don’t operate the same way so their efficiency needs to be measured differently. The AFUE rating (annual fuel utilization efficiency) measures the percentage of gas that gets turned into heat that you can feel. Most gas furnaces today have 90+ AFUE ratings, which means that the vast majority of gas turns into heat instead of fumes or byproducts.

How to Know If a Furnace Is Right for You

With all of this information in mind, it can still be tough to choose the right heating system.

If you have access to natural gas at your home, you really can’t go wrong with a powerful gas furnace. Likewise, if you have access to electricity and you’d like to spend a lot less on a system installation than you would for a heat pump, then an electric furnace might be perfect for you. Electric furnaces are also great for smaller houses and tighter budgets. Ultimately, it’s up to you!

Your comfort is our business. Contact Americool Heating & Air Conditioning to invest in a heating system today!

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