You may have one in your home, but you may still be wondering what is a forced-air furnace. By learning exactly what it is and how it works, you can better see that it's maintained and maximize its efficiency.

What is a Forced-Air Furnace?

A forced-air furnace heats air and disperses it throughout your home via ductwork and vents. Forced-air furnaces heat air in various ways, including by burning natural gas, propane or heating oil, or less often with electricity. Most of today's forced-air furnaces are energy efficient and their blowers can be used to distribute cool air from the A/C in the summer.


How Energy Efficient Are Forced-Air Furnaces?

A forced-air furnace's efficiency is measured by its annual fuel utilization efficiency. AFUE shows how much of the fuel or energy going into a furnace gets converted into heat for your home. An AFUE of 90 percent means that 90 percent of the energy is used as heat, and only 10 percent is wasted, usually up the chimney. Older furnaces can have an efficiency as low as 60 to 70 percent. igh-efficiency condensing furnaces, on the other hand, feature AFUE percentages ranging from 90 to 98 percent.

Replacing Your Forced-Air Furnace

Replacing your furnace isn't especially complicated, but you do need the expertise of an HVAC-system professional. He or she can not only help you choose the right model, but also:


  • Properly size your new furnace for your home.
  • Ensure proper ductwork design and installation.
  • Perform a combustion-efficiency test.

How Much Does a Forced-Air Furnace Cost?

The actual cost of a new furnace depends on the product selected, efficiency rating, installation and other factors. Typical cost ranges include:


  • $750 to $1,500 for a wall furnace.
  • $1,500 to $2,000 for a floor furnace.
  • $3,000 to $6,000 for a typical natural gas, propane or oil furnace. High-efficiency furnaces can cost up $10,000.

For more information about forced-air furnaces, please contact us at Gilman Heating & Cooling. Since 1917, we've proudly served homeowners in and around the Richmond area.

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