There’s More Than One Type of Furnace in Your Home

A Review of the Various Types of Home Furnaces for Heating Your Home and Hot Water

By Mark J. Donovan

A home furnace heats your home and hot water system. There a number of types of furnaces that can be found in the home. Also, home furnaces can operate off of several types of fuel. For example, gas fired furnaces, oil burning furnaces, coal fired furnaces, and electric furnaces are commonly found in homes. In some cases, even wood burning furnaces can still be found.

Each type of home furnace has unique advantages and disadvantages, and the advantages can be a function of the current fuel rates for the particular fuel used.

With today’s modern home the two most common types of home furnaces used are gas fired and oil fired furnaces.

Both are fairly easy to install, albeit by a professional, and both provide a high level of energy efficiency. In general, gas furnaces typically cost more to operate but are usually lower cost to install. That’s why builders often install gas furnaces over oil furnaces.

In many cases there may be more than one furnace in the home. For example, in our home we have an oil burning hot air heating system for heating our home and a separate oil burning furnace for heating our hot water. We specifically chose two separate furnace systems for our home so that we could turn off the heating of hot water when we were not going to be at the home for extensive periods of time. This way our house stays warm and we don’t have to pay for the constant reheating of unused water.

Electrical furnaces are also commonly used for heating hot water. Electrical hot water heaters are fairly inexpensive to install, but like gas furnaces, can be expensive to operate.

How to improve oil-fired furnace efficiency.

It basically comes down to the kilowatt-hour rate your local electric utility charges you for electricity. If it’s very high then you may want to use a gas fired or oil fired furnace to heat your hot water.

For information on Restoring Baseboard Heating Element Covers, see the Restoring Baseboard Heating Element Covers eBook from The Restoring Baseboard Heating Element Covers Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to restore Baseboard Heating Element Covers so that they look new again. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

For information on how to maximize a wood stove’s heating efficiency, see’s Installation of Hood over Wood Stove eBook

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