The cold of winter needs a reliable and comfortable heat source if you are to make it happily into spring. Fortunately, the market these days is awash with options, especially in the world of ovens. To choose the right one for your home and your needs, you need to know what you are looking at.
Before you start budgeting and buying, it is best to familiarize yourself with the different types of ovens. Each will give you a different installation process and heating experience.
The four types of ovens
There are four different types of ovens currently on the market:
- Natural gas
Each type of oven heats the air a little differently and has a different operating cost.
Electric ovens are usually the cheapest of the four to buy and are the easiest to install and maintain. However, since they are powered solely by electricity, they can be quite expensive to operate.
Think of an electric oven like you would a hair dryer or toaster. The furnace pushes cold air into an exchanger where it is then heated over electric heating elements. Once heated, the warm air enters your home through ducts.
Although an electric oven costs more to operate, the silver lining is that it doesn’t produce carbon monoxide, making it safer for the environment and your family’s health.
Natural gas furnaces
If you live near a natural gas line, a natural gas furnace can be more affordable to operate than an electric furnace, especially if there is already a natural gas line reaching your home.
A natural gas furnace works by igniting natural gas inside your furnace burner. The flames heat a metal heat exchanger which, in turn, heats the incoming cold air received from your home’s ducts. A blower then pushes the warm air into your home through your ducts.
Natural gas furnaces require a flue for the exhaust to exit your home. The smoke duct will need to be inspected at least once a year to prevent poisonous gases from entering your home.
Buying a gas oven costs more than an electric oven, but because it uses natural gas instead of electricity, it is less expensive to operate. It is also more powerful than an electric oven because it can heat the air inside the heat exchange chamber more quickly.
Oil furnaces work in the same way as natural gas furnaces. Once activated, the furnace draws oil from the tank into a combustion chamber. However, instead of igniting directly, it is first turned into a mist and then sprayed onto a burner. Once ignited, the air is drawn into a chamber near the burner where it is heated and sent back to the house through the ducts.
Oil burns at a higher temperature than natural gas, which means it heats houses faster. However, keep in mind that oil furnaces require an oil tank, which is often buried near houses.
Propane ovens also work the same way as natural gas ovens, except that they do not require a flue. Instead, it is possible to simply install a direct vent next to it on an exterior wall. This eliminates the need to inspect and clean a flue on a regular basis.
However, although it is similar to natural gas, propane furnaces are more efficient. The result is that you don’t have to burn as much propane to get the same amount of heat that you would get from a natural gas oven.
Single Stage Furnaces To Modulating Heat Furnaces: Which One Is Best?
In addition to choosing between different fuel sources, you also need to consider how many stages you want your furnace to have. There are currently three options on the market.
Single stage heat: Many older ovens use what is called a single stage heat process. With this type of oven, the flame is only one size and is either on or off, in relation to the thermostat it is not very accurate, which means that it is usually within a couple of degrees. Because it only has one flame setting, it will flash on and off repeatedly throughout the day as temperatures fluctuate.
Multi-stage heat: This type has two sizes of flames that you can use. A smaller one for temperate climates and a larger one for colder climates. Because it has two flame options, it is more accurate than a single stage heat oven.
Modulating heat: This is the most accurate oven on the market because you can control the size of the flame to meet the temperature set on the thermostat. It’s a constant heating source that keeps your home temperature right where you want it.
A single stage thermostat is the most affordable, while a modulating oven is the most expensive. To choose, consider your budget and needs. Smaller one-story houses do not require as much heating power as larger multi-story houses. If your home is somewhere in the middle, then a multi-stage heat oven may be the perfect option for you.
What is an AFUE rating?
AFUE stands for Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency. An AFUE rating reflects how much heat is produced for every dollar spent. The higher the AFUE rating of a furnace, the less the owner must spend on fuel.
Ideally, you want a furnace with an AFUE rating in the 90’s because these are the most fuel efficient furnaces. However, keep in mind that ovens with such a high AFUE rating are usually some of the most expensive.
How much does a new oven cost?
A new mid-range oven costs between $ 1,500 and $ 6,000 (for example, a Rheem oven, which has an AFUE rating of 80%, costs $ 1,488 more installation). Opt for a higher-end model with a higher AFUE rating and the cost can go up to $ 10,000.
Next, you need to consider the cost of installation, which should be around $ 2,000 without any discounts.
Because it is such a large investment, also consider the cost of fuel and operating costs before making a decision. This is especially important if you plan to finance the purchase and will have monthly payments (but of course you can always offset your energy costs with some new solar panels).
Support structures and hidden costs: fireplaces, ducts, vents and humidifiers for the whole house.
Your furnace needs ducts to transfer heat to your home. If you live in a newer home, your ductwork is probably already well cared for. However, you will still want a licensed HVAC technician to come to your home and test your home’s duct system, as it may or may not handle an oven with higher blowing power.
If you’ve had trouble with an older oven, your duct may be the culprit. The technician will be able to tell you if the ductwork was installed correctly or if there are any leaks or obstructions. If there is any damage to your ducts, it is unlikely that you will need to replace the entire system. Instead, you may be able to get by simply by replacing damaged portions.
Fireplaces aren’t just for fireplaces. They can also dissipate the gases from a water heater or furnace. If you buy a high-efficiency furnace, you may not even need a chimney, otherwise you will want your chimney inspected before installing your new furnace. Thereafter, you will need to clean it once a year.
We are not referring to the air registers in each of your rooms that you can open or close. Instead, we mean the vents that direct combustion gases to the outside of your home. If you change the type of oven you use, you may need to replace the vents. Propane, oil, and natural gas burn a little differently, so the material used in outdoor vents may not be strong enough to withstand the new temperatures.
Ovens dry out the air in a home, which is not good during cold and flu season. Sinus infections can result from breathing too much dry air. To combat this, many homeowners choose to install oven humidifiers. The cost of an oven humidifier varies greatly depending on the make and model you choose. You can spend anywhere from $ 200 to $ 1,600. Of course, putting only one humidifier in each room is also a valid option.
Which of these is correct for you?
The best thing you can do for yourself is to have a licensed HVAC technician come to your home. Once there, he or she can address your concerns about your old heating system, as well as give you their professional opinion on the best type of furnace for your home. While you’re there, you may also want to talk to them about your, too. Window units are usually the best option, but sometimes there is room for an upgrade.