3 Main Types of Furnaces

Furnaces are one of the best ways to keep your home warm and cozy during the colder months. While heat pumps can offer efficient heating and cooling, if the temperature drops low, furnaces offer the best heating capabilities. Furnaces work by using energy to create heat, then distribute the heat through your home by blowing warmed air through vents and ducts. While all furnaces basically work the same, there are differences in energy types. Here are the three main types of furnaces and the differences in costs and efficiency.

Natural Gas

If natural gas is available, most people prefer natural gas furnaces for heating. Gas offers even, comfortable heat and is less expensive than most other types of energy. The main drawback of gas furnaces is the minute possibility of a leak, which can be very dangerous. It is important to have a C02 detector in the home as a safety precaution.


While the least common furnace, oil is used for furnaces and can offer effective heating. Oil furnaces are most common in colder regions, especially where natural gas is not easily available for all homes. Oil is more expensive than natural gas, resulting in higher energy costs.


Smaller and less expensive to purchase, electric furnaces can be a good option in some circumstances. They are less efficient and tend to cost more to heat a home than natural gas, but their lower initial cost and smaller size is desirable for some homeowners.

Looking to buy a new furnace? Go over all the options available to find the right type for your home and budget. Keep in mind the long-term costs and consider efficiency to determine the best furnace type for your home and climate region.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
1925 Lena Carter Road
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 475-9528

Benefits of Replacing AC and Furnace Together

Your air conditioning unit and furnace work together for climate control in your home, but they are still separate systems. It is likely that one will wear out before the other if they were installed at the same time, most likely the AC unit as AC units tend to have a shorter lifespan than furnaces. However, replacing one without replacing the other can cause issues for efficiency and impact overall costs. Here are some benefits of replacing both at the same time.

Cohesive System for Efficiency

Replacing both AC and furnace at the same time gives you a chance to match the systems for the best efficiency. Your HVAC professional can help you find a AC and furnace that use the same air handler, reducing the equipment needed and costs. Plus, matched systems are designed to work together for efficiency, giving you lower energy bills year-round.

Newer Technology

If one system needs replacement, it is a good time to upgrade to newer technology for lower energy costs and convenience. However, you will not receive the full benefits if you have an older furnace or AC unit impacting the new system.

Save on Installation

It costs more to install two systems separately then together. Even if your furnace may have a few years left in it when it is time to replace your AC, it can save you money to do it at the same time. You can either repair your AC to extend its life a little longer or replace your furnace sooner to a more efficient system.

When one half of your HVAC system needs replacing, it is wise to consider the benefits of replacing both together. Discuss your options with your local HVAC professional.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 340-129
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 475-9555

Is Your Furnace Telling You It Is Time to be Replaced?

Furnaces can last 10-20 years, sometimes even longer, but they do eventually need to be replaced. With ongoing repairs, a furnace may continue working, but that is not necessarily the best option. Replacing your furnace may be a major expense, but it can save you money in the long run. Your furnace may already be alerting you that it needs to be replaced. Here are some of the signs:

  • More noise. If your furnace is getting noisier each year, even with regular tune-ups, it may be trying to tell you it is time for new heating system. If your furnace is 15 years old or older, it is unlikely to quiet down with service, but the noise lets you know it is coming to the end of its lifespan.
  • Soot or rust around vents. Older furnaces that use fuel tend to create more CO2 that can lead to rust and soot in your ducts and around your vents. This can affect your home’s air quality, as well as drying out the materials in your home.
  • Higher energy bills. Does your heating bill go up every year? It may not be just higher fuel or energy costs; your furnace may be less efficient. Newer furnaces are more efficient and can help you pay for your new model over a few years of lower heating bills.
  • More repairs. If you are on a first-name basis with your furnace repairman, it may be time to replace your furnace. Repairs can keep your furnace running, but in the long run, it will cost you more.

If these signs are occurring with your furnace, talk to your local HVAC contractor about the new options available. You can save money off your monthly heating bill and have fewer repairs with the purchase of a newer, more efficient furnace for your home.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
5950 Shiloh Road East
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 475-9555

Is It Time to Replace Your Furnace?

The typical property owner doesn’t consider replacing their furnace until after it quits working and they are confronted with the costs related to significant furnace repairs versus installing a brand new furnace. Unfortunately, that scenario leaves the property owner with little time to research their options before making a decision as to what furnace to purchase and which contractor to use for the installation. A preferred scenario is to evaluate your heating system before you reach that point, so you have time to research and compare your options. This also gives you time to prepare for the purchase financially.

Avoiding costly repairs isn’t the only reason to consider replacing your furnace. Upgrading your heating system to a newer, more energy efficient system can provide you with savings on your heating costs as well.

There are several considerations to keep in mind as you contemplate replacement of your existing heating system. First, do you simply want to upgrade to a newer more efficient system of the same type or do you want to change your type of heating system altogether? Just because your home currently uses electrical baseboard heat doesn’t mean that is your only option. Conversely, if you now have a forced air gas furnace, it doesn’t mean that is your only option for replacement. Take the time to consider all of your options, the costs involved in replacement and also the potential energy savings with each of those options.

Being proactive and making a decision about furnace replacement before you ‘have to’ can be one of the wisest decisions a property owner can make. It relieves you of that last minute pressure and allows you the time to make an informed decision and to schedule that replacement at a time that is convenient for you, as well.

Choosing an Energy Efficient Furnace

If you heat with fossil fuels such as heating oil, natural gas, or propane and the furnace in your home is more than 15 years old, it may make sense to replace it with a new energy efficient furnace even if your old furnace is still in good working order.  As an initial matter, most older systems were only designed to have a 15 to 20 year service life so even if your system is working today, it is likely to start needing expensive furnace repairs soon.

More importantly, older furnaces are far less energy efficient than modern furnaces.  Just like a fuel efficient car can save you money on gasoline, an energy efficient furnace can save you money on energy costs for heating oil, natural gas or propane while keeping your home warm and comfortable.  In addition, by burning fewer fossil fuels you will be reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental harms.

Older gas and oil fired furnaces are typically only 50 percent to 65 percent efficient.  That means that they convert about 50 percent to 65 percent of the fuel to home heating.  The rest goes out the exhaust.  Modern furnaces are at least 78 percent efficient.  Conventional furnaces are typically 80 percent to 85 percent efficient and high efficiency furnaces can range from 90 to 97 percent efficient.

Higher efficiency means that furnace uses less energy to create the same amount of heat.  Over the life of the furnace, these energy savings can add up to thousands of dollars which offsets the cost of the new furnace.

Your local HVAC contractor can help you choose and install a new energy efficient furnace in your home.

Replace Heat Exchanger or Install New Furnace?

If your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, you have two options:  you can either replace the heat exchanger or install a new furnace.  Doing nothing and continuing to use your existing furnace is not a safe option.

A cracked heat exchanger is dangerous.  It can leak deadly carbon monoxide into your home and cause you and your family to suffer from carbon monoxide poison.  Every year, thousands of Americans are hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning and about 400 people are killed every year by this deadly gas.

Replacing the heat exchanger is a relatively expensive furnace repair, but it is less expensive than installing a new furnace.  While this might seem like the obvious choice, there is more to consider than just the cost of the repair.  Installing a new furnace might cost more up front, but it could save you money in the long run.

Most cracked heat exchangers are found in older furnaces.  Furnaces that are more than 15 years old are much less efficient than modern furnaces.  Older gas furnaces are often only 55 percent to 65 percent efficient.  The minimum efficiency rating for a new gas furnace is 78 percent and can be as high as 97 percent.

Higher efficiency means lower heating costs and these savings can add up.  You could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the life of your new furnace.  These savings would more than cover the cost difference between replacing the heat exchanger and installing a new furnace.

Your HVAC contractor can help you decide whether replacing the heat exchanger or installing a new energy efficient furnace is the right choice for you.