Understanding Furnace Types

Furnace service and installation

Navigating the plethora of furnace options can be confusing and stressful. Use this guide to gain a better understanding of the differences between furnace types so that you can more easily understand the options for your Littleton, CO, home.

Fuel Type

Most homes have either a fuel-burning furnace or an electric furnace. Industry experts agree that electric models are usually the most expensive to run, in part because of the cost of electricity. For fuel-burning models, the two popular options are natural gas and propane. If you live in an area with natural gas service, this is the option you’re most likely to choose. Propane is usually used when you need to store your fuel because you don’t have a utility serving your home.

Efficiency Technologies

Aside from different fuel types, there are three primary differences in the technology you’ll find inside a furnace. These technologies focus on the heat exchanger, burner, and circulating fan.

Condensing Furnaces

Condensing furnaces have two heat exchangers. The first is like the heat exchanger in any other furnace. The second heat exchanger extracts enough additional heat that it causes much of the residual flue gases to condense. Condensing furnaces offer efficiency ratings as high as 98%.

Multi-Stage and Modulating Burners and Fans

High-efficiency furnaces, such as those with an Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 90% or more, use a combination of multi-stage or modulating burners and fans. Multi-stage and modulating burners allow the furnace to produce the exact amount of heat needed for that heating cycle. Multi- or variable-speed fans control the speed of the circulating fan, allowing it to run at a lower capacity most of the time. By running at lower capacity, your furnace consumes less fuel and energy, reducing your heating expenses.

Residents in Littleton turn to Littleton Heating and Air Conditioning for help keeping their homes comfortable. After more than 50 years, our team continues to provide trusted AC and heating installation, maintenance, and repair, along with water heater and generator installation and repair, indoor air quality solutions, and duct cleaning. Call to schedule a consultation with one of our NATE-certified technicians to explore the right kind of furnace for your home.

Meet the Author
Darek Buczysnki
Darek Buczysnki

Darek Buczysnki is the proud owner of Littleton Heating & Air Conditioning and has over 35 years of experience in the HVAC industry.