Different Types of Furnaces – Part I

Electric and Gas Furnaces – Arlington TX

Electric and Gas Furnaces – Arlington, TX – There are multiple methods to heat a home. However, in this guide, we will strictly be comparing the different types of furnaces that are commercially available. First, let me point out that an electric furnace should be consumed with an electric heat pump. An electric heat pump produces both cooling and heating. The furnaces that we discuss in this article produce only heat but they do so in different ways.

To determine which furnace is best for your home it is imperative to decide between electric or gas. The initial cost will be different between the two.  Operating costs and maintenance will also vary between electric and gas. The route you take, proper sizing of the unit is critically important. A furnace that is not big enough will not properly heat a home. One that is too big will cause the system to cut on and off more often which means more maintenance will be needed.

Below we will go over the differences between the furnace types in order to help you determine the correct choice for your home.

How does a Furnace Work?

Both electric and gas furnaces operate by utilization of forced air. One component of the system in both electric and gas is the thermostat. Whenever the temperature in the room housing the thermostat falls below the threshold set in the thermostat, a signal is sent for the furnace to turn on.

If the furnace is gas-powered, the signal will cause the pilot light to ignite the main burger in the heat exchanger. The pilot light in a gas furnace is a small flame that is continually lit. The heat exchanger is what draws heat from the main burner and heats air that is then circulated throughout the home.

However, an electric furnace uses an electric ignition. When the ignition receives a signal from the thermostat it turns on the heating elements found inside the furnace.

In both systems, heated air is distributed through ductwork and forced through that ductwork by a blower fan. Colder air found in the home is drawn through an intake vent that is returned to the furnace. Whenever the programmed temperature is met in the thermostat, the furnace will shut off the heating elements. The blower fan will also shut off.

How is a Furnace Installed?

A quick search through Google and you are bound to find plenty of how-guide guides offering DIY instructions for the installation of gas and electric furnaces. However, it is pretty much unanimous in agreement between professional HVAC experts that these tasks are best suited for professionals.

Why? The largest problem with installing a gas furnace for example is safety. Since a gas furnace uses a combustive element, natural gas, for someone inexperienced in this it could spell disaster and even death.

The heat exchanger and other elements must be sealed perfectly to prevent carbon monoxide leakage. On top of that the process will also require specialized tools, equipment and more of all the know-how that even most handymen will not have.

Additionally, gas furnaces will need to vent to the outside of a home. If there is no existing vent, then one will need to be cut out to accommodate the system. In regards with electric furnaces, instead of deadly gases, you will have to deal with deadly high voltage. This is the main reason that it is best to leave installation to the professionals. Most cities and towns will also require inspection processes to ensure that all installations were done properly and professionally.


Randy Murphy

Randy Murphy has been building his knowledge of the air conditioning and heating business for several years now. He first started applying his knowledge while working for his father’s HVAC company. Later, in 1987, Randy started his own business: Metro Express Service. He has been a top 10 Trane & Amana dealer for over eight years. When it comes to heating and cooling, Randy knows the business better than anyone.
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