Is A Gas Furnace Right for Your Home?


A furnace’s purpose is to heat the air in your house by burning various fuels. To distribute warm air through grills or air registers, it forces warm air through ducts.

Furnaces, often called driven warm-air as well as ducted warm-air distribution systems, use one of the following sources to heat a house:

  • Power
  • Fuel oil
  • Natural gas

All three of these sources have advantages and disadvantages and can quickly heat a dwelling. For example, one supplier can be less expensive than another based on where you reside. Gas is often the most affordable heating fuel.

How to select the ideal furnace for your house

You will be able to reduce the number of furnace options by using these procedures.

When looking for a furnace, keep the following things in mind:


Certain types of furnaces perform better than others, depending on your area. Select an energy-star-certified furnace for optimal efficiency and cost savings.

Mild Climates: It seldom gets below freezing in the majority of the South and Southwest areas of the United States. Furnaces in warmer climates are thus designated with the ENERGY STAR® “U.S. South” mark.

Gas heaters need to have a yearly fuel utilization effectiveness (AFUE) of no less than 80 to achieve the criteria. Compared to regular furnaces, they are more efficient since they are made especially for warmer climates.

Since heat pumps consume less energy and perform best in regions where the outside temperature never drops below 40 degrees, they are also a wise investment in this environment.

Cold & Freezing Climates: More heating electricity is required across the remainder of the United States in the winter. Furnace efficiency requirements will thus be more stringent in these places.

For furnaces with an AFUE value of 90 or above, search for the ENERGY STAR designation to reduce your heating costs. Know more about AFUE here.

Type of furnace

The most common kind of furnaces are gas ones, which are available in three varieties:

Single-Stage Fuel Furnaces: A typical single-stage gas furnace has an opening and closing gas valve. There is just one gas flow rate: high.

The optimum use cases for single-stage gas furnaces are in warmer areas, where they run at about 80% AFUE.

Two-Stage Gas Furnaces: The thermostat in a house talks to the furnace to control the temperature. For increased efficiency, a two-phase gas furnace has the ability to change the gas flow from low to high.

Of all the gas furnace kinds, modulating gas furnaces are the ones that control heat the most accurately. Efficient and consistent temperature control in rooms is perfect for colder areas.

There are both oil and electric furnaces available:

Electric Furnaces: Although less cost-effective than gas furnaces, electrically powered ones are nonetheless widely used. They move air over electric coils to heat it, then disperse the heated air around your house.

Oil furnaces: For houses without access to alternative fuel sources, these furnaces are ideal.

Close-up of a meter

Description automatically generated

Source of fuel

Due to its affordability and ease of availability, gas is among the most widely used fuel sources. Compared to oil furnaces, gas furnaces are often less expensive to purchase and install. They are also less dirty.

Oil is a good substitute if gas is not readily available in your location. Lastly, although electric fireplaces are the least expensive to purchase and install, they are the most expensive to run in terms of electricity costs and do a poor job of heating large homes.

Efficiency of energy

For customers to compare the efficiency of new furnaces, the FTC mandates that they display the AFUE ( rating. The furnace’s yearly heat production as a percentage of the total energy used is called the annual furnace efficiency, or AFUE.

A 90% AFUE indicates that 90% percent of the energy used to heat the house is used, with 10% escaping. Heat lost via the duct system is not included in the AFUE calculation.

While having an excellent rating is crucial, the furnace’s efficiency may be reduced by the cost of the fuel supply. An electric furnace is the most efficient type.

An electric furnace uses very little energy—in fact, its AFUE rating ranges from 95% to 100%. Electric furnaces are the costliest to operate because of their high-efficiency level and higher cost of power.

When it comes time to purchase a furnace, pick a high-efficiency model that, in really cold locations, has an AFUE of over 90%. Choose one that boasts an AFUE over 80% in warmer climates. In a warmer climate, the $1,000 or more price disparity between these two types of stoves might not be justified.


The secret to heating your house is installing a furnace that is the right size. Your furnace will not be able to heat your entire house if it is too small. An overly large furnace will waste fuel by creating unnecessary heat.

The ideal size is determined by a variety of elements, including insulation, floor space, ceiling height, and windows. Request an in-house assessment from an HVAC contractor to ascertain what will best work for your house.