Natural Gas Furnaces
What You Need to Know
In the Knoxville area, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the winter months. One of the first things that you should be looking for is a reliable home heating system. You can find a variety of heaters and furnaces on the market. However, deciding which model fits your needs the best can be difficult. When it comes to natural gas furnaces, they are considered to be a cost effective, energy efficient option. However, if you are going to compare models, you are going to need to understand some of the industry terms. We’ll go through some of the key details and features that are associated with your new natural gas furnace.
Why Invest in a Gas Furnace?
In short, gas furnaces are more efficient than other types of heaters. Let’s go over some of the information that can shed light on whether or not a gas furnace is the way to go. First, a natural gas furnace can save you money. Depending on your energy provider and heating needs, a gas furnace can be more affordable than electricity. You can reduce your costs by 50 percent or at most 70 percent. Recently, electricity prices have increased as demand grows higher. However, when it comes to gas prices, it has continued to stay at a value rate for the consumer.
The Upfront Cost and Installation
Remember to compare prices when you shop for your gas furnace. At times, the upfront cost may seem a little expensive compared to other options. However, in the long run, you’ll be able to save more money. The installation costs will depend on your home heating setup. Adding a gas line for a natural gas furnace must be performed by a licensed contractor. The average price for installation alone can run around $5,500. As mentioned before in the article, the price is well worth it because you’ll also have a reliable heating source that’ll last you around 15 to 20 years.
Single Stage Heating
What is the difference between single stage heating and two stage heating? Let’s cover the single stage heating first. When it comes to the single stage feature, it means that the furnace will only be able to run at its highest capacity. This means that you’ll always get the same heat output whether it’s freezing cold outside or just mildly cold. If it gets too hot, you won’t have the option to lower the heat. You’ll either have to turn the furnace off or leave it on and running. The furnace will only have a single speed blower motor with a fixed gas valve. The biggest differences between single and two stage heating are flexibility and comfort. Whether you need a single or a two-stage heating feature, your decision will depend on your location as well. If you live in an area where you experience both freezing and mild weather, the two-stage feature would be the way to go. If not, a furnace that comes with the single-stage feature would work.
Two Stage Heating
The two-stage heating feature is useful for anyone who goes through mild or freezing temperatures. When we talk about freezing or cold temperatures, any temperature that dips below 32 degrees would be considered cold and extreme weather. Anything above 40 degrees can also be considered cold but milder. Rest assured that the two-stage heating method works great if you go through both of these temperature fluctuations. The two-stage heating method comes with a two-stage gas valve along with a variable speed motor. The main benefit of course is that you can run this type of furnace on a lower setting while still staying warm and comfortable. By maintaining air control and output, you’ll be able to save more money, improve air quality and cause less wear for your furnace.
The AFUE Ratings
What is an AFUE rating? The term “AFUE” stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. In short, a high AFUE rating will give you more bang for your buck. You’ll spend less on fuel costs but yield better results for your heat. The ratio works out by measuring the percentage of produced heat for every dollar of fuel used. When you’re browsing for your new furnace, you may find either an 80 percent or a 90 percent rating on your AFUE. An 80 percent rating indicates the amount of heat energy used for your home while the other 20 percent is energy lost. A 90 percent rating will only leave you with 10 percent of energy lost while a whole 90 percent is used to heat your home. It is important to remember two things. First, whichever rating you choose, you still have to pay for the entire 100 percent. Second, even though the 90 percent AFUE rating will increase your energy savings, the upfront cost for this type of furnace will end up costing you a bit more. However, you will save more money in the end.
A Reliable Heat Source
Within just the past few years, weather has become quite unpredictable. Usually, freezing temperatures tend to stay away from the southern states. Because of this reason, many residents are not prepared for those 20 or even 30-degree temperatures. In fact, power outages have been reported when the freezing weather hits. However, a gas furnace can come in handy because electricity outages won’t affect its usage. You’ll be ready in case the power goes out. You can run the heater and stay warm until the cold weather begins to subside. In the end, a natural gas furnace is an excellent investment for you and your family.
Written by Jeremy James
Jeremy is the founder and CEO of Blue Water Climate Control. He is a Navy veteran with 24 years of naval service in the Navy's Nuclear Propulsion Program. He has broad engineering experience having worked on submarines and aircraft carriers. LinkedIn