5 Types of Gas Furnaces to Keep You Cozy at Home

Angela Brown
Written by Angela Brown
Updated September 8, 2021
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There are five common gas furnace types to choose from, based on your needs

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Having the right heating system in your home isn’t just a comfort. It’s a necessity, especially in colder parts of the country. When temperatures dip, staying warm means staying healthy and comfortable. If your furnace is about to give up the ghost, now might be a good time to consider a new system. Here’s a look at five gas furnace types and their features.

5 Types of Gas Furnaces

Staying toasty during the winter is important for comfort and safety, but choosing which type of furnace is best for your home can feel overwhelming. Gas furnaces are the most popular type of home heating system because of their energy efficiency. Here are five types of gas furnaces you should consider, based on your needs.

1. Single-Stage Gas Furnace

This standard furnace is a one-trick pony. It only operates on a high fan speed. It’s not the most energy-efficient furnace, and it’s louder than other models. This type of furnace will only suffice in regions with mild winters.

2. Two-Stage Gas Furnace

The two-stage furnace is quieter than a single-stage furnace and has two fan speeds: high and low. The two-stage furnace has a longer running cycle, allowing the heat to distribute more evenly throughout the home.

3. Two-Stage Variable-Speed Gas Furnace

Even quieter than the previous two gas furnaces on the list, the variable speed furnace helps reduce energy consumption. This type of furnace works well in two or three-story homes.

4. Three-Stage Variable Speed Gas Furnace

This system allows for even more flexibility in home heating. This furnace will automatically switch between a slower and higher speed depending on the temperature outside and inside.

5. Modulating Variable Speed Gas Furnace

The modulating variable-speed gas furnace provides the best energy efficiency. The system operates by making slight adjustments to minimize temperature fluctuations. This type of furnace will help keep your home comfortable. If you live in a colder climate, it will help you save money.

Considerations When Choosing a Gas Furnace

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Choosing the type of gas furnace that’s right for you is an important decision. On average, gas furnaces last between 15 and 20 years if they’re properly maintained. An annual furnace checkup will help it last even longer.

You’re making a long-term commitment to the furnace you choose, so taking some time to consider your options is essential.

The most common considerations when choosing a gas furnace include:

  • Cost

  • Size

  • Furnace features

  • Energy efficiency

If you live in a milder climate, a simple heating system may be enough to keep your home warm enough. Harsher climates require a sturdier system. While cost can be a significant factor, investing in a quality heating system will ensure your home stays warm for years to come.

Alternative Heating Options

If a gas furnace isn’t quite what you’re looking for, there are many alternative heating options. These options are great for additional heating sources or stand-alone heating.

Alternatives to gas furnaces include:

  • Electric furnace: Operates similar to a gas heater, but using electricity. 

  • Gas pellet stoves: Uses wood pellets made from wood waste to heat rooms.

  • Heat pump: Heat pumps use electricity to move heat between locations.

  • Radiant heating: Heats a room through panels underneath the floor. Homeowners may also install the panels in the walls or ceiling.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gas Furnaces

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How much does a gas furnace cost?

Expect to pay between $2,640 and $6,400 to purchase and install a new gas furnace. The average gas furnace cost is $4,500.

Is a gas furnace or electric furnace a better option?

A gas furnace is more energy-efficient and works better in colder climates. It’s often a bit less expensive to operate. Electric furnaces are cheaper upfront, easier to maintain, and perform better in warmer temperatures. While both furnace options have their pros and cons, the right furnace will depend on your needs.

How do I know which type of furnace is best for my home?

One of the easiest ways to determine which type of furnace will work best for your home is to contact a professional in your area. Many HVAC companies offer free consultations to help potential customers determine if they need a new system and which type would work best for their home and the community’s climate.

How can I tell if it’s time to replace my furnace?

You may need to replace or repair your furnace if you notice one or more of the following things:

  • Your furnace is more than 15 years old

  • Higher energy bills than in the past

  • A noticeable increase in dust, dirt, and soot particles

  • Loud noises from your furnace

  • Visible damage to the furnace

  • The temperature fluctuates in different areas of the home

  • The flames in your furnace burn yellow instead of blue

Look into hiring a local furnace repair company if your furnace has any of the above issues.

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