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Review: Best Gas Furnaces

The best time to shop for a gas furnace is before cold weather hits so that you’re not forced to make a quick decision. While those who live in mild climates may have the luxury of shopping around, even in the winter, people in the coldest areas will want their furnaces in place well before any cold spell. Gas furnaces are a considerable monetary investment and must also be installed, so it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the furnace models you are considering.

The following gas furnaces are not central units, instead being suited for more localized heating. We've selected furnaces that are relatively simple to install, although local codes and regulations may create their own challenges and not everyone will be comfortable doing the installation themselves. These furnaces range in price, from around $500 to well over $1000  plus the cost of installation. Nearly all of the following gas furnaces can be converted to use either natural gas or propane, expanding your options. When ordering a gas furnace, you should always check with the vendor to find how it will be shipped, as these units are very heavy and easily damaged. Check out our list of the best gas furnaces in 2021.

Here are the best furnaces of 2021

Rinnai Vent Wall Gas Furnace

The Rinnai ES38-N Direct Vent Wall Furnace runs on natural gas and although it’s not inexpensive, offers  good value for your money. This clean running, energy-efficient wall furnace does a good job of heating all the areas of the house, not just the wide-open areas while the heat output is consistent. Many homeowners who thought they'd have to use additional supplemental sources of heat were pleasantly surprised by how warm their homes stayed all winter, using only this unit. The one downside of this furnace is the noise when it’s first heating up, but once it reaches a constant temperature, it’s very quiet. The unit must be vented through an outside wall, and a contractor can help with this if necessary.

Rinnai Vent Wall Gas Furnace

This unit is similar to the top pick, but the ES38-P runs on propane instead of natural gas. The BTUs are slightly lower with the propane model, but the AFUE rating is slightly higher. This unit is extremely easy to install if homeowners have any experience installing propane supply lines. Others find it too confusing and choose to hire a contractor or even a handyman.

This unit is quiet and keeps the house warm, which is the single most important factor with any gas furnace. The unit is reasonably attractive, with simple controls and a very accurate thermostat. The furnace features permanent air filters, which can be cleaned easily, and a built-in humidifier for the driest months.

Rinnai Direct Vent Gas Furnace

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has spent time researching gas furnaces that the top three furnaces on this list are all from Rinnai. These furnaces excel at heating areas that most furnaces don't reach very effectively. In addition, the unit is quiet once it reaches its ideal temperature, and the unit itself remains cool to the touch to prevent burns.

You may need a professional to install the unit, although some homeowners are able to do so on their own. However, It’s more compact than the other Rinnai models on the list, so there are more flexible installation options. Additionally, it’s priced lower than the others, so it may be better for homeowners on a budget.

Mr. Heater Natural Gas Unit Heater

Despite a name that doesn't immediately suggest high-quality, the Mr. Heater Big Maxx 80,000 BTU furnace is an effective option to safely and reliably heat a barn, garage, basement, or other warehouse-type environment. This garage furnace is rated to heat a space up to 1,000 square feet in size. Although local codes and regulations will determine your individual set up, this unit is generally very simple to install.

A built-in electric fan pulls cool air into the unit, where it is heated up and then directed back outward. The powered exhaust allows for both vertical and horizontal venting, while along with the low-profile design adds to installation flexibility. Although the Mr Heater Big Maxx 80,000 BTU garage heater uses natural gas, it comes with an included liquid propane conversion kit. Simple design and an affordable price tag make this gas furnace a solid choice.

Buyer's Guide

Best Gas Furnaces Buying Guide

A central heating system is necessary for every home in the cold winter months. If you have opted to use a gas furnace, we have already shown you some of the best products on the market. However, shopping for the best gas furnaces requires more background information to make the right purchase decision for you and your home. Let’s take a look at some of these key points you need to know.

What are Gas Furnaces?

A gas furnace is a home heating unit that operates on natural gas. It works by firing up the gas in the furnace and warming up the air within the house. Gas furnaces are built with a thermostat that triggers the heating equipment when the temperature of the house drops below a certain level. After your gas furnace receives this signal, the natural gas inside is allowed to flow towards the burner, and then the process of heating your home begins. This process takes about 10 to 15 minutes before you can feel completely warm and cozy. Gas furnaces work faster than most heating systems, and they are designed to operate automatically.

What are the factors to consider when buying Gas Furnaces?

Size

The size of your house is critical if you plan to install a gas furnace. When you want to purchase any gas furnace, you must check the British Thermal Unit (BTU). The BTU is the measure of heat output produced by a heating system. You would generally need 40 to 50 BTU per square foot (depending on the climate in your environment). If your house is 1,000 square feet, it means you should buy a gas furnace that gives out 40,000 to 50,000 BTU. If your home is 2,500 square feet, you should opt for a gas furnace that produces 100,000 to 130,000 BTU.

Efficiency

One of the significant advantages of a gas furnace is that it helps to cut costs. When you get a gas furnace with higher efficiency, you automatically save more cost. Efficiency for heating systems is measured in Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The minimum AFUE for gas furnaces is 80%, and most products are placed at this percentage. If you have the money, you should purchase high-efficiency gas furnaces that operate at almost 100%.

How Much do Gas Furnaces Cost?

Most gas furnaces cost between $800-2,000 dollars minus installation. There are different prices for different brands, and you can opt for the one that best suits your budget. When you have determined the specifications that will best suit your home, finding an affordable gas furnace is not a complex process. We have outlined some of the best gas furnaces, and we urge you to check out their prices.

Brand

When it comes to consumer products, the brand name has a way of influencing our purchase decisions. Some of the best furnace manufacturing brands include Trane, Lennox, Bryant, Rheem, Goodman, etc. You can decide to opt for any one of these brands if the product meets your needed specifications. Another option is to opt for less popular brands that offer high-quality products with beautiful specifications. However, this process is a risky one, and it can either end up pleased or disappointed.

How much would it cost to install a central heating system?

The cost of installing a central heating system would largely depend on the size of your home, the brand of your furnace, and the choice of your local installer. However, the average cost of installation ranges from 2,000 to 7,000 dollars. You must do your research and find out the exact price before hiring an installer for the job.

What are the alternatives to Gas Furnaces?

Geothermal heat pumps

Geothermal heat pumps are heating systems that utilize a vapour-compression cycle to warm up a building by exchanging heat with the ground. Installing a GSHP is a one-time cost, and it requires little maintenance. GSHPs are among the most efficient heat-generating methods available today.

Hydronic heating systems

As the name suggests, a hydronic heating system works by using liquid or gaseous water as a heat transfer fluid. Most hydronic systems allow for both heating and cooling, and they are generally used in large buildings like hotels and campus facilities. Setting up a hydronic heating system in your house is not impossible, but it might not be feasible if your home is not very large.

Oil heating system

Oil heating systems utilize home heating oils and other petroleum products to power furnaces and boilers. Heating oils are also used to power large buildings and even residential apartments. However, the oil heating system has grown less popular due to the general call for carbon emission control. It is advisable to opt for other central heating systems like gas furnaces.

FAQs

Q: What’s great about gas furnaces?

A: Gas furnaces are very efficient and when compared to other systems like electric heaters, they are by far more affordable to run. They also use readily available resources to work.

Q: When should you replace your gas furnace?

A: Different signs indicate that your gas furnace is due for a change. If your furnace has served you for 20 years or more, then it is time to replace it. If the furnace makes noises or the heat temperature is no longer regular, then it might be time to replace your furnace.

Q: Is the gas furnace heating system environmentally friendly?

A: A gas furnace is not dangerous to the environment, and it helps to keep your electricity cost in check. However, the world is moving towards a carbon emission-free planet, and gas furnaces might not be mass-produced again. As of this moment, it remains one of the best home heating systems available.

Summary

Your home is your safe space, and you should do everything in your power to make it as comfortable as possible. When the winter season comes, you would be glad to have a central heating system that can keep you warm and cosy. If you plan to buy a gas furnace, we advise that you go right ahead!

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