Gas furnaces are a popular choice for heating homes in Canada, and for good reason. They are efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. In this guide, we will take a closer look at gas furnaces, including the different types available, how they are rated for efficiency, and what features and options you should consider when shopping for a new furnace.
Gas furnaces employ natural gas or propane to generate heat, which is spread around the house through ducts and vents. An advantage of current gas furnaces is their effectiveness, usually having a yearly fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of 90% or more; this means that 90% of the energy utilized to warm the home is actually utilized for heating, with the other 10% escaping through the exhaust and vents.
Another benefit of gas furnaces is that they are relatively easy to maintain. They do not require the same level of cleaning and maintenance as other types of heating systems, such as boilers. Additionally, natural gas is a widely available fuel source, so you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel or having to make special arrangements for delivery.
Gas furnaces are a great choice for homes in Ontario due to their ability to provide quick and effective heating in even the coldest temperatures. They are also much more cost effective than electric furnaces, as they require less energy to run. In addition, it is much easier to control the temperature in a home with a gas furnace, as the flame can be adjusted to give the desired temperature.
Overall, gas furnaces are a great option for homeowners looking for an efficient, reliable, economical way to heat their homes. In the next section, we will take a closer look at the different types of gas furnaces available.
Types of Gas Furnaces
When shopping for a new gas furnace, one of the first things to consider is the type of furnace that will best suit your needs. There are several different types of gas furnaces available, each with its own set of features and benefits.
Single Stage Furnaces: Single stage furnaces have only one heating setting and they operate at full capacity when they turn on. They are the most basic type of furnace, and typically the most affordable. They are also the most common type of furnace found in homes.
Two Stage Furnaces: Two-stage furnaces feature two heating settings, high and low, allowing them to work at a lower capacity when the outside temperature is milder. This makes them more energy efficient than single stage furnaces and more comfortable to live with. They also cost more than single-stage furnaces.
Modulating Furnaces: Modulating Furnaces are the most advanced type of furnace, they have the ability to adjust the heat output according to the temperature outside, they can operate as low as 40% and as high as 100%. This allows them to maintain a more consistent temperature inside the home, which can make them more comfortable to live with. They are also the most energy efficient type of furnace and they are the most expensive.
Consider the climate in which you live as well as the size of your home when selecting which type of furnace is best for your home. Think about how important energy efficiency and comfort are to you. Remember that a more advanced furnace will be more expensive, but it will also be more efficient and comfortable.
Sizing and Efficiency Ratings
When buying a new gas furnace, it’s important to consider both the size of the furnace and its efficiency rating. A furnace that is too small for your home will struggle to keep up with your heating needs, while a furnace that is too large will waste energy and money.
When deciding on the right furnace size, it is important to take into account the area of your living space, the number of windows and doors, and the insulation of your house. Additionally, your local climate and the interior temperature you want to achieve must be taken into account. To get the best result, it is recommended to hire a professional HVAC contractor.
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of a furnace is an important factor to consider when selecting a new furnace. The AFUE rating measures how much of the energy used by the furnace is actually converted into heat for your home. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the furnace will be, resulting in less energy being wasted and lower energy bills.
When choosing a furnace, it is important to select one with a higher AFUE rating so that you can enjoy the benefits of lower energy bills and increased efficiency.
Modern Gas Furnaces typically have an AFUE rating of at least 90%, which is considered very efficient. Some high-efficiency models can have an AFUE rating of up to 98%. While these high-efficiency models may cost more initially, they can save you money in the long run by reducing your energy costs.
When selecting a furnace, it’s important to consider both the size of the furnace and its efficiency rating to ensure that it will meet your needs while also being energy-efficient. A professional HVAC contractor can help you make the best decision for your home.
Features and Options
There are a number of features and options to consider when choosing a new gas furnace. These can include:
Variable Speed Blowers: A variable speed blower is a type of fan that can adjust its speed to provide the optimal amount of airflow for your home. This type of fan can be set to match the specific temperature and humidity levels of your home, allowing you to customize the climate to your personal preference.
Additionally, a variable speed blower can help you save energy by reducing the amount of time the furnace needs to run. This means that you’ll be able to reduce your energy bills and be more environmentally friendly.
The variable speed blower also helps to maintain a consistent airflow throughout the home, ensuring that the air is evenly distributed. This helps to reduce the amount of hot and cold spots in your home, making it more comfortable and enjoyable to live in.
Matching Thermostats: A thermostat is an essential component of a gas furnace that controls the temperature of your home.
Having the correct thermostat in place will help regulate the temperature of your home, to effectively heat and cool spaces without wasting energy or running the furnace more than required. This can have a positive impact on your energy bills by eliminating the waste of energy and unnecessary running of the furnace.
A thermostat that is not matched to the furnace may not be able to accurately control the temperature, leading to temperature fluctuations and discomfort in the home. A properly matched thermostat will ensure that the temperature is consistent and comfortable.
There are several types of thermostats that can be used with gas furnaces, including manual thermostats, programmable thermostats, and smart thermostats. Each type has its own set of features and benefits, and it is important to choose the right one for your specific needs and preferences.
It is also important to have your thermostat installed and programmed by a professional HVAC technician to ensure that it is working properly.
Furnace Humidifiers: A furnace humidifier is a device that can help to improve the air quality in your home by adding moisture to the air. This can be especially beneficial during the dry winter months, when the air in your home can become uncomfortably dry. By adding moisture to the air, a furnace humidifier can help to make your home more comfortable and livable by reducing the dryness and improving the humidity levels. Additionally, this added moisture can help to reduce static electricity, reduce the amount of dust in the air, and help to keep your furniture and other objects from drying out and cracking..
Zoned Heating: Zoned heating allows you to control the temperature in different parts of your home separately. This can help you save energy by only heating the parts of your home that are being used.
Air Cleaners: An air cleaner can help remove allergens and other particles from the air in your home, which can be especially beneficial for people with allergies or asthma.
When considering these features and options, think about what is important to you and your family. For example, if you have allergies or asthma, an air cleaner might be a must-have option. If you prefer more efficiency and comfort, a variable speed blower might be a good choice to keep your home more comfortable.
Additionally, as we mentioned in the previous section, some high-efficiency models offer features such as sealed combustion, two-stage heating and even modulating heating which can enhance the overall performance of the furnace and your home comfort.
It’s also important to think about the cost of these features and options and how they might affect the overall cost of the furnace. A professional HVAC contractor can help you make an informed decision and select the options that are right for your home and budget.
Brand and Model Comparisons
It is important to consider not only the features and efficiency of the furnace, but also the brand and model. Different brands and models of gas furnaces can vary in terms of quality, durability, and customer support.
Look for reviews and ratings online, and consider the experience of other homeowners with the brand and model. Look for brands and models that have a good reputation for durability and customer service.
When selecting a furnace, it is worth bearing in mind the kind of warranty that the manufacturer offers. Having an adequate warranty in place can give you assurance that your purchase is secure, in the event of any flaws or malfunctions.
When comparing different brands and models, it’s also important to consider the availability of replacement parts and service support. Some brands and models may be more difficult to find replacement parts for or may have limited service support.
Furnace Cost and Installation
When investing in a new furnace, it is important to take into account more than just the price tag of the unit itself. A professional HVAC technician should be consulted in order to assess the overall cost of the project, including the cost of labour, materials and any additional hardware.
The cost of a gas furnace can vary widely. It depends on the type, size, and efficiency rating of the furnace. Basic, single-stage models tend to be more economical. High-efficiency, two-stage or modulating models can be more expensive. The more advanced models are more efficient and comfortable, but also more expensive. High-efficiency models usually come with better warranty coverage.
When deciding on a gas furnace, it is essential to bear in mind not only the upfront expense, but also the potential cost reduction from enhanced energy efficiency. An energy-efficient furnace, for example, can help you save hundreds of dollars on your energy bills annually.
The cost of installation can also vary widely, depending on the complexity of the installation. It is important to make sure that you choose a licensed and experienced contractor to perform the installation properly. A proper installation is crucial for the furnace to work efficiently and safely.
When investing in a new gas furnace, it’s important to consider not only the cost of the furnace itself, but also the cost of installation, features and options, the size and efficiency rating, and the climate and comfort needs of your home.
Safety and Regulations
Gas furnace installation and maintenance must comply with safety regulations in Canada to ensure the safety of the homeowner and the community. In Canada, the installation, maintenance and repair of gas appliances, including gas furnaces, is regulated by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ).
The CSA has established standards and codes for the installation and maintenance of gas appliances, including gas furnaces, to ensure that they are installed, maintained, and repaired in a safe and efficient manner. These standards and codes must be followed by all HVAC contractors and technicians who work on gas appliances.
In addition, local building and safety codes also regulate the installation, maintenance, and repair of gas appliances, including gas furnaces. Building permits and inspections may be required by the AHJ to ensure that the installation and maintenance of gas appliances comply with local codes and standards.
It is important to note only qualified and licensed professionals should provide furnace maintenance and furnace installation in Toronto and they must be certified by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) and must have the proper insurance.
When buying a new gas furnace, it is important to consider the size and type of furnace, the efficiency rating, the warranty and customer support, and the brand and model.
Choosing the right furnace for your home and budget can help ensure that you are getting the most value for your money and that you are comfortable and satisfied with your purchase. It is always best to consult with a professional HVAC technician to get the best advice and recommendations on the perfect furnace for your needs and budget.