Though not as common as heat pumps in our area, gas furnaces are still sought after because of the type of heat that they produce. While heat pumps heat your home by transferring heat from outside, gas furnaces actually create their heat. The air that you feel coming from the vents with a gas furnace feels warm while the heat transferred by a heat pump feels like ambient or lukewarm air. If you are interested in having a gas furnace installed in your home, there are a few things that you should think about before deciding if it is right for your home and family.
The efficiency of gas furnaces are measured as a percentage called the AFUE rating. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel-Utilization Efficiency and is defined as how efficiently a furnace converts gas into heating energy. There are furnaces on the market that have up to 95% AFUE ratings. So basically, for every dollar that you spend on heating, 95 cents goes to the actual heating of your home.
There are two types of gases that can be used as fuel for gas furnaces: natural gas or LP gas. Natural gas is usually less expensive than LP gas but may not be available in your area. Gas prices can change throughout the year for natural and LP gasses. Both fuel types create the same type of heat however; LP gas provides more energy per unit of volume than natural gas.
Just like heat pumps, gas furnaces can come as a split system with a separate AC unit or as a packaged unit that has heating and air conditioning all in one. Another point that may influence your decision on whether to go with gas or not is the initial cost of having a furnace installed. The equipment and installation can be more expensive than a heat pump as well as the cost of having gas delivered or ran to your home by the gas company.
Gas furnaces produce carbon monoxide (CO) and if not vented or functioning properly can cause fatal carbon monoxide poisoning. You should have CO detectors as well as smoke alarms installed in your home. Also, regular preventative maintenance can help to keep your family safe by cleaning burners and checking for things like a cracked heat exchanger which could allow dangerous carbon monoxide into your home.
There is definitely a lot to think about before purchasing a gas furnace. Here is a breakdown of some of the pros and cons you should consider.
- Heats up a home faster than heat pumps
- More effective & efficient in very cold temperatures
- More dependable because there are fewer mechanical parts
- Risk of carbon monoxide
- Fluctuation of gas prices
- Natural gas may not be available in all areas
- Higher upfront cost
You can always call our experts at Davis Heating & AC for more information on gas or any other type of heating for your home. One of our comfort specialists can come out to your Onslow Co. home and give you a free estimate on replacing your current heating system or one of our factory trained service technicians can help to get your system running smoothly again.