Learn All About The Main Types of Furnace on the Market

Blue Valley Heating and Cooling has over 35 years in business as a licensed HVAC contractor, relying on an experienced team who can help you choose from the main types of furnace.

On several occasions, an HVAC contractor on our team realized that homeowners are not aware of the various types of furnaces on the market and chose a model that does not suit their lifestyle and budget for utilities. The main issue is that consumers do not know that, although furnaces do the same thing, they work in different ways and use different types of fuel.

They rarely ask “what is a furnace” or “how does it work”; instead they ask for a model they heard their friends talk about or saw advertised online at a discount price. However, a furnace is a significant investment that should last you for decades, and you must know what you buy.

What Is a Furnace?

Let us start with the basic furnace definition. A furnace is an appliance powered by gas or other fuels that heats up the air and circulates it within a building through a network of ductwork and vents installed in various rooms. The term furnace comes from the Latin word “fornus”, which means oven.

As the furnace definition indicates, not all types of furnaces are fired by gas. Also, not all of them have the same working cycle. So, what is the difference between one type of furnace and another? Let us explain to you below.

Different Types of Furnace

Here are all the types of furnace you will find on the market. Each one has its advantages and benefits depending on your need for heating, the utilities readily available in your area, and the size of your home.

Air Handlers

Electric furnaces are among the most popular types of furnace in areas where natural gas is difficult to supply or expensive. Everyone has electricity in their home, though. Therefore, they resort to an electric furnace as the most convenient way of keeping their house warm.


An added benefit of this furnace type is that it does not generate exhaust fumes, thus, it is also an environmentally friendly option. However, you must call an electrician to inspect your panel and wiring before you decide to buy this kind of furnace. Electric furnaces use a lot of electricity, and they may constantly trip breakers on an older and undersized electrical panel.

Oil Furnaces

The US is rich in crude oil. Therefore, it is natural that these types of furnace are popular among consumers. Also, oil furnaces emit a lot of heat, so they are the perfect solutions for areas with very cold winters. Plus, they are less expensive than gas furnaces.

However, you need space on your property to store the oil tank and a company to come and refill it. When the tank is empty, the oil furnace stops working. Maintenance on these furnaces is crucial and needs to be done yearly. 

Gas Furnaces

As the furnace definition shows, gas furnaces are among the most frequent types you will find on the market. In the last decade, producers have worked on making them more efficient. Thus, if the previous efficiency rating of a gas furnace used to be around 58%, now it is up to 98%.

According to United States Census Bureau, nearly 50% of all American homes have a gas furnace installed. Together with electrical furnaces, these two types of furnaces make up nearly 88% of all heating sources in the US.

Propane Furnaces

Propane furnaces are another type of furnace and a great choice for homes in areas where natural gas is very expensive or not available. Like oil furnaces, you need an LP tank and gas line piped to the furnace.


Modulating Furnaces

So far, we have presented types of furnace based on the fuel they use. Now let us look at various modes of operation. Modulating furnaces are one of the most popular models in areas with long winters where consumers don’t want to burn a hole in their budget.

Single-Stage Furnaces

Simple and without a lot of technology inside them, single-stage furnaces are the most affordable types of furnaces in terms of price. Plus, they tend to be quite noisy compared to other types of furnaces.

Two-Stage Furnaces

This type of furnace is just as simple and affordable as a single-stage furnace, but it gives you more control over fuel consumption. Your thermostat will determine to use low fire on mild days or high fire when it gets colder.  This will save you money and be more comfortable.

We Are Ready to Help You Select from the Best Types of Furnace!

Blue Valley Heating and Cooling is a licensed HVAC contractor that has been in business for over 35 years. We know the pros and cons of all types of furnaces and can advise you on how to select the best model for your home.  

We are located in Longmont, CO, but also serve customers living in:

  • Denver
  • Boulder
  • Loveland
  • Firestone
  • Louisville
  • Frederick
  • Broomfield
  • Thornton 
  • Lyons 
  • Niwot
  • Brighton
  • Westminster

Call us now at 303-993-2645!

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