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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

What Are My Choices When It Comes to Furnaces?

Not too long ago, there weren’t many choices when it came to home heating systems, particularly with furnaces. But today you can choose from many options, and when it comes to choosing a furnace, you can choose a combustion furnace or an electric furnace. Most combustion furnaces use natural gas as fuel, but propane and oil can also be used. Electrical furnaces have come a long way, particularly with energy efficiency, so they’ve become a good option for some homeowners. Which should you choose from your home? First, let’s review how each system works.

Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces have a component called a heating element that contains tightly-wound metal coils. When these coils are electrified, they generate a great deal of heat; in fact, if you look at them when they are heated, they glow red. Once these coils generate heat that reaches a certain temperature, the furnace’s blower turns on and blows cool air over the coils and pushes the newly-warmed air into your home via a duct system. Some benefits of electric furnaces include:

  • No combustion byproducts – because electric furnaces don’t burn fuel, you don’t need to worry about soot, ash, or toxic fumes and gases.
  • Very energy efficient – electric furnaces have very high energy efficiency ratings because they do not lose fuel to exhaust. Many electric furnaces have ratings as high as 100%.
  • No need for fossil fuels – some homes do not have ready access to fossil fuels like natural gas, and other homeowners simply prefer not to use a combustion system.

Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces generate heat by igniting a component called a burner. The flames and hot gases generated by the burner warm an element called a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger traps the toxic byproducts of combustion inside of it, and the safe, warm air on the outside of the exchanger is blown into your home. A flue is attached directly to the heat exchanger to vent the toxic byproducts to the outside. Some benefits of combustion furnaces are:

  • Very fast heat – combustion furnaces heat quickly and become quite warm, so your home heats quickly, too.
  • Convenient – furnaces using natural gas have a constant flow of fuel, so there’s no need to worry about fuel deliveries or running out of fuel.
  • Widely available – gas furnaces are one of the most common heating systems available, so parts are widely available for repair and replacement.

Understanding what your options are can make it easier to choose which furnace will be best for your home. If you are ready for a new heating installation in Los Angeles, call Kilowatt today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation specialists.


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