Electric furnaces use electricity as fuel source, while heating and circulating air throughout a home through a system of duct work and vents.
Advantages of Electric Furnaces:
Burns Clean – Electric furnaces do not produce soot or smoke.
Safe – Automatic breaker prevent them from overloading.
Designed for Multi-Position Installation – May be installed in a basement, closet, or crawl space.
Compatibility – Electric Furnaces are compatible with Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, Humidifiers and Air Cleaners.
Factors that Affect Electric Furnace Efficiency:
The quality of installation will greatly affect the furnace efficiency, so you will want your installation completed a by a trained and licensed professional.
The amount of insulation is considered when determining the furnace size required to heat a home. Well insulated homes or newer homes require smaller units than homes with little insulation. You must also consider:
- Window Types
- Weather stripping around exterior doors
- Home Construction Type
- Levels to be Heated
Ducts and Venting
Leaks in the duct work will decrease furnace efficiency. If leaks are detected, then sealing both the supply and the return air ducts will increase your furnace efficiency. Consult with a trained professional for sound advice concerning your duct work and vents.
Electric Furnaces have lower upfront costs, but higher operating costs compared to other home heating options.
They are known for being highly efficient compared to gas or oil furnaces, since they can transform 100% of their fuel into heat. However, the cost of electricity means they still have higher operating costs than gas or oil furnaces.
The operating expense of electric furnaces are also high when compared to other electric heating systems. Heating systems such as baseboard heaters, wall heaters and electric thermal storage. This is due to the amount of heat lost as the air moves through the ducts in your home.
Contact E.T. Mechanical today, and we can help you find the best heating options for your home and comfort.
Gas furnaces are fueled by Natural Gas or Propane. They typically use the forced air style of heating, meaning the air is heated in the heat exchanger of the furnace itself and is then forced through the attached duct-work to the vents that feed the home.
Older types of gas-fired furnaces lose significant amounts of energy in the hot waste gases exhausted up the chimney. More modern high-efficiency furnaces condense the water vapor emitted as one of the products of consumption. This increases the efficiency of the system to over 90%.
Advantages of Gas Furnaces:
Cost – Gas furnaces cost less to operate than electric furnaces because natural gas cost less than electricity.
Efficient in Extreme Cold Temperatures – Gas furnaces can warm up your home faster and produce higher temperatures in extreme cold than electric systems.
Compatibility – An air conditioner or heat pump can be added for year-round heating and cooling.
Lifespan – 10 – 20 years. Longer lifespan than a heat pump, but shorter lifespan than an electric furnace.
There are also some disadvantages when considering a gas furnace as well. Your cost of installation will increase if you don’t currently have a ventilation system, or natural gas lines. Both oil and propane require fuel storage tanks that require installation and maintenance. Gas furnaces emit a low level of carbon monoxide, so you must have a carbon monoxide detector running in your home and perform regular maintenance to ensure your unit is working properly.
When considering your home heating options, whether to go with an electric or gas furnace, there is also a third option, a heat pump. Electric heat pumps are more energy efficient than gas furnaces and require much less electricity to operate than electric furnaces.
Whatever your priorities and needs are, E.T. Mechanical can help, call us today for a free estimate and we will help you assess your home comfort needs.
A basic oil-fired, forced-air (furnace) heating system consists of a burner fed by heating oil from a storage tank firing into a combustion chamber in the furnace. The combustion gases pass through the furnace where they give up heat across a heat exchanger. They are then exhausted to the outside through a flue pipe and chimney. For most systems, a barometric damper, acting as a mixing valve in the flue pipe, downstream of the furnace proper, isolates the burner from changes in pressure at the chimney exit by pulling varying quantities of heated room air into the exhaust. A circulating fan passes cool house air from the cold air return ducts over the furnace heat exchanger, where it is warmed up, then moved into the hot air ducts which distribute the heated air throughout the house.
This type of system is only as efficient as the homeowner keeps it, regular maintenance is a must. Contained in this system are a few things that should be changed annually such as:
- Oil Nozzles – The nozzle itself is part of a larger assembly that controls the amount and pattern of the oil delivered for combustion. We recommend changing this nozzle at least once a year to avoid any potential issues with the system during heating season.
- Oil Filters – Each system should have an oil line filter placed in line between the oil tank and the oil burner. This filter is meant to pick up sediment from the oil but can also help to trap moisture from your tank before it gets to the furnace. We recommend this be changed at least once a year.
- Air Filter – As with any system an oil furnace also contains and air filter. Like a filter on any other system it filters the air flowing through the system and should be replaced every 3 months.
- Stack/Exhaust – As part of the combustion process, oil when used produces soot. This soot can collect inside the exhaust vent (stack) and cause blockages and premature deterioration of the stack. Evidence of this is rust or corrosion on the exhaust vent pipe itself. To prolong the life of the system and the vent we recommend having this cleaned (by means of a soot vacuum) annually.
These steps are all part of our regular maintenance package and are extremely important to the lifespan of the system and the safety of your home.
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For E.T. phone 506-444-HOME (4663)