Choosing the right furnace to heat your home is a weighty decision and a significant investment. From natural gas to electric to propane, there are many different types of furnaces available to choose from, and it can be hard to know which one best fits your needs. They each have unique advantages and are all wonderful heating solutions for homeowners who live in cold winter climates like ours in Montana. So how do you choose between the different types of furnaces? Don’t worry—our Bozeman furnace installation experts have your back! Read on as we help guide you through the types of furnaces and their advantages and disadvantages so you can see which type of furnace may be best for your home and budget.

What’s Best for Your Home: Explore Different Types of Furnaces

Furnaces are well known for being excellent for heating homes in freezing climates. They use natural gas, liquid propane, or electricity to heat a home quickly. Unless it’s electric, a furnace will typically burn fuel to produce heat in collaboration with a heat exchanger. The heat is then transferred throughout a home’s ductwork through forced air. The result is a warm, cozy home that heats efficiently, even on the coldest winter days.

Let’s explore a few of the different types of furnaces: natural gas and propane furnaces, and electric furnaces.

Natural Gas & Propane Furnaces

Natural gas furnaces and propane furnaces both work in the same manner; the only difference is the type of fuel. They use either natural gas or liquid propane to create warm air that is then forced through your home’s ductwork to heat your home. They work when natural gas or propane is ignited as it moves into a burner assembly. As it does this, it creates a combustion that produces heat. This warm heat then moves into a compartment where it emits warm air within the furnace. This warmed air is then pushed throughout your home’s heating system with a fan. The warm air is evenly distributed into every room in your house, keeping your home comfortable.

Pros of Natural Gas & Propane Furnaces:

  • Natural gas and propane furnaces are cost-effective. In the long run, they are less expensive than electric furnaces.
  • According to our trusted friends at Trane, our recommended Trane furnace brand, “gas furnaces have longer lifespans than other types of heaters, typically lasting anywhere from 20-30 years depending on usage and maintenance.”
  • Natural gas and propane furnaces are cleaner for the environment, as they produce less emissions.

Cons of Natural Gas & Propane Furnaces:

  • For propane furnaces, the propane needs to be stored in a tank away from the home to prevent the risk of fire and leak hazards happening inside your house.
  • While you will experience cost-effective savings in the long run with natural gas and propane furnaces, the initial upfront cost of installing this type of furnace can be expensive.
  • As a homeowner, you will need to stay on top of regular furnace maintenance to keep this type of furnace running smoothly, so you don’t experience furnace breakdowns or harmful hazards such as gas leaks. Regular furnace maintenance by certified professionals can help identify problems before they occur. At Mountain Heating & Cooling, we are furnace maintenance experts and offer a we’ll-be-there-today guarantee if it ever needs repair!

Electric Furnaces

Unlike natural gas and propane furnaces, electric furnaces and heat pumps do not require a type of fuel to create heat in a home. Instead, they use electricity. They do, however, work in a similar way to natural gas and propane furnaces, in that heated air is created within the unit and then redistributed throughout your house. Electric furnaces have heating elements made up of wires that are wound around coils, which are fastened within the interior of the furnace. Electricity moves through this wiring to produce heat. The heat is then transferred via a blower into your home’s ducts, which in turn heats the rooms of your home. A heat pump is an energy-efficient heating system that redistributes warm air from the outside of a home and brings it inside. It does this by pulling heat from the ground and then transferring it through a heat pump system into your home. Learn more about heat pump installation here.

Pros of Electric Furnaces:

  • An advantage of electric furnaces is that they do not produce carbon monoxide like gas furnaces, so their environmental impact is less.
  • Electric furnaces can operate for years. On average, the lifespan of an electric furnace can be between 20 to 30 years.
  • Electric furnaces require less maintenance when compared to other types of furnaces because they do not have the fuel components other furnaces have, which require regular servicing.

Cons of Electric Furnaces:

  • A drawback of electric furnaces is that electricity can cost more than the price of natural gas.
  • If the power goes out in your home, there will be no electricity to run your electric furnace. This may require you to have a secondary source of heating.
  • Electric furnaces can take a while to warm up a home. They are also not typically suited for cool climates because they must work harder to warm colder temperatures.

4 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Furnace

Now that you know what different types of furnaces are available for heating your home, there are a few factors to consider when choosing between them. The most important factor when choosing a furnace is to consider the size of your home. If your home is large, you will need a furnace that can produce enough heat to warm the entire square footage of your house. Next, the location of your home matters when choosing a furnace. If your home is located in a cold climate, like here in Montana, again, you will need a furnace that can handle frigid temperatures that drop below freezing. Another factor to consider is energy efficiency. Energy-efficient furnaces can save you on costs in the long run because they require less energy to heat your home sufficiently. And finally, fuel source can be a factor when choosing a furnace. Different fuel types can cost different prices; some may be more expensive than others—and some might not even be available in the location of your house. Four factors to consider when choosing a furnace:

  1. Size of your home
  2. Location of your house
  3. Energy efficiency
  4. Type of fuel

Need Help Deciding Which is The Best Furnace for Your Home?

When shopping around for the right heating solution for your home, you have many different types of furnaces to choose from. No matter whether you go with natural gas, propane, or an electric furnace, all types of furnaces can keep your home warm and cozy. They each have their advantages and drawbacks, and deciding between one or the other depends upon your particular heating needs.

Here at Mountain Heating & Cooling, our licensed technicians receive extensive furnace installation training and certification. We can help guide you through the furnace installation process so you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing we have your furnace installation under control. Reach out and schedule an appointment for a furnace consultation today!