How to Select the Best Furnace for Your Home or Business
December 7, 2020Categories: Heating
Now that the winter months are upon us in Northeast Ohio, you may be considering a new furnace installation. There are a lot of choices out there, so it’s important to understand what types of systems are available and what to consider before choosing one for your home or business.
Not all heating systems are considered furnaces. Heating systems fall under one of these three types:
- Forced air systems
- Radiant systems
- Heat pumps
Forced Air Systems
Forced air systems are the most common type of furnace on the market today. They utilize ductwork to “force” heated air throughout a home or business. These systems use one of the following energy sources to generate heat:
Gas furnaces are the most popular type of forced air system on the market today. A gas furnace is considered a high efficiency furnace, that although new furnace installation can be costly, it is considered an investment since it saves homeowners and businesses money on utility bills in the long run. However, gas furnaces do require regular maintenance (cleaning ductwork and changing filters) as well as annual inspections.
Electric furnaces are small, easy to install, do not require special venting or piping, and are easy to maintain. They can even last up to 15-20 years! However, what you save in installation and maintenance costs is often used to pay higher monthly utility bills. Since producing heat is reliant on electricity, electric furnaces are not considered a good choice for climates that reach temperatures below freezing.
Oil furnaces are not as popular as they used to be due to volatile gas prices and the need for a fuel storage tank on the premises. But for climates with harsh winter weather, they are still a good option, especially since monthly operating costs are eliminated since the storage tank is only filled on a quarterly, semi-quarterly or annual basis.
Radiant Heating Systems
Radiant heating systems are a type of furnace that depends largely on radiant heat transfer. This means the system utilizes boilers to heat water, and then send the steam through a series of pipes or radiators for distribution throughout a home or business. The pipes or radiators can be located under floors, or behind walls and ceilings. When radiant heating is in the floor, it is often called radiant floor heating or simply floor heating.
Heat pumps are often thought of as a furnace, but that is a misconception. Specifically, there are significant differences between a traditional forced air system and a heat pump that should be considered before choosing an HVAC system. The primary difference is a furnace generates heat by burning fuel, whereas heat pumps draw upon heat from outside and send it indoors to provide heat for a home or business. Overall, heat pumps provide superior energy efficiency and are considered a completely emission-free heating option. However, they are not a good heating option for climates below freezing; there just isn’t enough warmth in the air to draw upon to provide heat for a home or business.
On a final note, consider the size of the home or building before determining which new furnace installation is right for you. Make sure to match heat output with the size of the home or business. Sounds simple, right? Well, not really. To determine the size of your home or business it’s not enough to just know the square footage, you must factor in the following characteristics too:
- Ceiling height
- Number of windows
When in doubt, contact the professionals. Local HVAC companies can help you determine all factors to match the ideal heat output with the appropriate HVAC unit for your new furnace installation.
If you are ready to move forward with a new furnace installation, we are here to help you select the best HVAC system for your home or business. As one of the leading local hvac companies, we’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have! Request a free estimate for service online give us a call at 1-877-358-0033.