Are you currently in the market for a new furnace? If so, you may have noticed that there are a lot of options available. Looking at all the different type of fuels can be somewhat daunting, and it may also be hard to determine which type of fuel source would best match your needs. At Northeastern Fireplace & Design, we want to help you choose the best furnace to suite your need. You may already know about the capabilities of gas and wood furnaces, as they are the two most common fuel sources used. However, there are two other types of fuels that are commonly being burned as well. Coal and pellet furnace usage is on the rise, and it’s critical to know the pros and cons of each type before making a decision on which type of furnace best fits your needs.
Coal furnaces use coal (usually anthracite coal) as a fuel source. If you purchase a coal furnace, you will probably be surprised at how easy it is to maintain, especially if it is a self-stoking and self-loading furnace. Coal is much denser than wood, so it burns almost twice as efficient. The production of coal is very much alive in the U.S., especially in the coal-rich western and eastern parts of the country – this high, stable production of coal makes it one of the most cost-effective fuel sources available!
However, there are some downsides to using coal. It is not an environmental friendly fuel source. Although coal production is stable, it is not a renewable resource and some predict that coal reserves will be gone in 300 years. Furthermore, burning coal releases CO2 – a greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere. Coal ash is also caustic, meaning that it can corrode your pipes and stove quicker than other fuel source.
Pellet furnaces burn little wood pellets that are made of compressed wood shavings and sawdust. They are relatively cheap to run and cost less than electric and propane heaters. Operation of pellet furnaces is very simple. You only need to fill a hopper with pellets and set the speed at which you want the pellets to be added to your fire. These furnaces are not only environmentally friendly since their fuel is a renewable resource (wood), but they also produce very little smoke. With only a small amount of smoke being produced, this means there will be less creosote build up in your vents than with any other fuel source.
There are also downsides to pellet stoves. Pellet stoves require electricity to run both the fans and pellet feeder. This not only increases your cost to operate pellet furnaces, but it also means that if your electricity goes out, you may end up without heat.
No matter what type of furnace you are looking for, we have the best models at Northeastern Fireplace & Design. If you are in the market for a new one or have questions about which type of furnace is best for you, please call us at 518-767-9314 or visit our showroom today!