Top Picks for the Best Electric Furnaces of 2024

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If you wish you install a new heating system or replace the aging one, then this review on the best electric furnaces should come handy. As we know, heating plays a crucial role in keeping the home, home, and other places cozy and ambient. However, not every accessory will deliver the desired service. It may be too small for space, too large for the small studio or apartment, or it may consume lots of energy. You also don’t want a unit that contributes to environmental destruction through pollution or may require dismantling the walls, partitions, wiring, or piping. The best solution is to go for top electric furnaces.

What is an Electric Furnace?

An electric furnace is a heating system that relies on electricity to produce warmth. This system consists of a sizable unit placed centrally within a house or building, connected to a network of ducts and vents to disperse the heated air throughout the area.

The furnace typically contains a heating element, a blower to move the air, and various controls and sensors to manage the temperature and maintain safe operation.

Electric furnaces are renowned for their efficiency and dependability, making them a favored option for heating in both residential and commercial settings.

Electric Furnace Parts

The main components of an electric furnace include

Heating Element: This part generates heat, typically composed of resistive wire that warms up when electricity flows through it.

Blower: Responsible for circulating heated air within the building, usually comprising a fan and a motor.

Thermostat: Regulates the building’s temperature by controlling the electrical current to the heating element.

Control Board: Manages the furnace’s operation, often including various sensors and switches to monitor and control its functions.

Ducts and Vents: Distribute the heated air throughout the structure.

Air Filter: Filters the air passing through the furnace.

Limit Switch: A safety feature that monitors the furnace’s internal temperature and shuts it down if it overheats.

Relays and Contactors: Control the activation of the heating element and blower as needed.

Note: Specific components and configurations can vary depending on the model of the electric furnace.

Working on Electric Furnace

An electric furnace operates by transforming electricity into heat to warm a building. The process involves the following steps:

  1. The thermostat detects the building’s temperature and signals the control board to initiate heating.
  2. The control board sends an electrical current to the heating element, which produces heat through resistance heating.
  3. The blower, driven by an electric motor, distributes the heated air throughout the building via a network of ducts and vents.
  4. The air filter cleanses the air of contaminants before circulation.
  5. As the building heats up, the thermostat signals the control board to reduce the current to the heating element.
  6. The limit switch keeps track of the furnace’s internal temperature and will shut it down if it gets too hot.
  7. Once the desired temperature is reached, the thermostat signals the control board to turn off the heating element and blower, stopping the furnace until further heating is needed.

In summary, an electric furnace converts electrical energy into heat, distributing it throughout the building with a blower and duct system, and maintaining the desired temperature with the help of a thermostat and control board.

Electric Furnace: The Best Heating Option?

Electric furnaces are a common and efficient choice for heating homes and buildings, though they may not be ideal in all situations. Here are some benefits and drawbacks:

Pros:

  • Reliable with minimal maintenance requirements.
  • Easy to install and versatile for different settings.
  • Highly efficient, converting all used energy into heat.

Cons:

  • Potentially more costly to operate compared to other heating systems, especially if local electricity rates are high.
  • Less effective in extremely cold climates.
  • Not ideal for large commercial buildings due to high energy consumption.

In conclusion, the most suitable heating option depends on factors like climate, building size, and electricity costs. Consulting with a professional HVAC contractor can help determine the best choice for your specific needs.

Cost of Electric Furnace & Factors That Affect

The cost of an electric furnace is influenced by its quality, which is determined by several factors. Let’s explore the key considerations:

Electric Furnace Quality: The quality of an electric furnace depends on its efficiency, brand reputation, materials used, features, serviceability, and overall performance. These aspects should be evaluated in relation to your specific requirements.

Electric Furnace Performance: The performance of an electric furnace can be assessed by examining its efficiency rating, noise level, temperature consistency, and control options.

Sizing an Electric Furnace for Your Home: The appropriate size of an electric furnace depends on the size and type of your living space. Whether you reside in a villa or a small apartment, the furnace should be chosen based on your home’s dimensions and heating needs.

Best Electric Furnace

BTU and KW: BTU (British Thermal Unit) and KW (Kilowatt) are units used to measure an electric furnace’s heat capacity over a set period, such as an hour or a minute. A higher BTU or KW rating indicates a faster, more powerful heating capacity. Most electric furnaces range from 15,000 to 60,000 BTU or 5 to 29 KW. Some models express heating capacity in KW, with 1 KW equating to 3,142 BTU. Generally, for effective heating in moderate climates, each square foot of space requires 25 to 45 BTU. Larger rooms need furnaces with higher BTU or KW ratings.

Room Size and Furnace Selection:

  • 1,000 – 1,200 sq. ft.: 36,000 – 72,000 BTU or 5 – 15 KW
  • 1,500 sq. ft.: 45,000 – 90,000 BTU or 10 – 30 KW
  • 1,800 sq. ft.: 54,000 – 108,000 BTU or 10 – 40 KW

Range: Besides BTU rating, it’s important to check the furnace’s range. A furnace with a range smaller than your room size won’t heat efficiently, while one with a higher range will heat the room quickly but may shut off frequently.

Energy Rating or SEER: SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) measures the energy efficiency of the furnace over a season. A higher SEER rating means the furnace uses less energy for heating. Look for models with a SEER rating above 16; many range from 17-20, with advanced models reaching 21-23.

HSPF: HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) indicates the heating efficiency of the furnace. A higher HSPF rating means better heating performance, even in freezing temperatures. The ideal range is 8-10 HSPF.

Additional Factors: Consider other aspects like furnace features, size, dimensions, and warranty to find the best model within your budget. This article provides detailed information on top electric furnace models, their features, and a buying guide and FAQ section for further assistance.

List Of The Best Electric Furnaces

1. Garrison Electric Furnace

Garrison is a well-respected brand in the U.S. and Canada, known for its extensive range of electric furnaces and space heaters. Among their top models is the MBR 1200AA1HKR20C, which has been a bestseller since its release. This model boasts an impressive 68,240 BTU and 20 KW power, providing ample warmth even on cold, snowy days.

Additionally, it holds an Energy Star certification, ensuring long-term savings on your electricity bills. The unit comes factory assembled and tested for reliable performance.

Garrison also offers excellent warranty features, with a ten-year warranty covering the entire machine and all its parts. Customers can access support through Garrison’s dedicated telephone hotline.

Features:

  • Control circuit staging and ETL listing for improved energy efficiency.
  • Constructed with a rust-proof heating element.
  • Equipped with wiring for easy installation with air handlers.
  • Dimensions: 17.5 inches (W) x 21 inches (D) x 26 inches (H).
  • Ten-year warranty for the entire machine.

Pros:

  • Fully assembled with pre-installed heating coils for easy installation.
  • Generous warranty period.
  • Excellent service with rapid heating.

Cons:

  • Installation may require a trained HVAC expert if you’re not familiar with wiring or electrical components.
  • Requires copper wires for proper operation.
  • Some users have reported receiving units with incorrect pre-wiring.
  • Requires a 200 amp service to function properly.

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2. Garrison 51 Electric Furnace

The second model on the list is the Garrison MBR1200AA1HK Electric Furnace, known for its exceptional energy efficiency and rapid heating capabilities. With a power capacity of 15 KW and a 51,180 BTU rating, it delivers reliable heating performance.

Constructed from alloy steel, this furnace resists rust and other damage. It features adjustable airflow directions to ensure uniform heating throughout the room.

Unique to this model is its ability to function as both a furnace and a cooler. The cooling fan is separate from the heating components, allowing for a cool breeze during hot summers. Garrison also provides a ten-year warranty and 24/7 customer support.

Features:

  • Multi-speed PSC blower motor for airflow in various directions: downflow, upflow, and horizontal flow.
  • Dual functionality as a cooler and furnace.
  • Isolated cooling fan for cooling mode.
  • Foil-faced insulation with glue for noise reduction.
  • Fully electric operation, eliminating the need for refueling.
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 17.5 x 26 inches.
  • Weight: 62 pounds.
  • Ten-year warranty with customer support via Garrison’s hotline.

Pros:

  • Quiet operation during both heating and cooling.
  • Dual heating and cooling functionality.
  • Multi-directional airflow.
  • Energy-efficient.
  • 24/7 service helpline.

Cons:

  • Requires professional installation.
  • Some users have reported receiving damaged units.

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3. Goodman Electric Furnace

The third electric furnace model comes from Goodman, a prominent HVAC systems provider in the US since 1975. Known for their affordable range of models, Goodman offers a versatile selection. The recommended model features a heating capacity of 34,120 BTU and 10 KW power, making it suitable for small homes with easy installation.

This furnace includes a rust-resistant nickel-chromium heating strip for efficient cooling and separate testing of heating coils to ensure precise temperature control. Pre-installed components facilitate straightforward installation, even for DIY enthusiasts. Goodman backs this model with a comprehensive ten-year warranty on parts.

Features:

  • Ten-year warranty on selected parts.
  • Rust-proof body with compact wiring.
  • Energy Star rating from reputable brands.
  • Factory-installed circuit breakers and branch circuit system.
  • Dimensions: 21 x 17.5 x 26 inches.
  • Weight: 79 pounds.

Pros:

  • Fuse-linked secondary temperature control.
  • Ten-year warranty.
  • Reliable after-sales service.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Easy installation with plug-in wiring harness.
  • Rust-proof nickel-chromium heating coil.

Cons:

  • Incomplete installation kit; some parts may need to be purchased separately.
  • Unclear installation instructions for some users.

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Buying Guide For Electric Furnace

Here is a comprehensive buying guide to simplify your purchase decision. Consider these factors carefully before making your final choice.

1. Size

Choosing the right size of electric furnace for your home or building depends on various factors such as the size of the area to be heated, the building’s insulation, and the local climate. An undersized furnace will struggle to heat adequately, whereas an oversized one may lead to energy wastage.

For accurate sizing, it’s advisable to seek guidance from a professional HVAC contractor. They will consider these factors along with conducting a load calculation to accurately determine the heating needs of your home or building.

2. Power

The ideal power rating for an electric furnace hinges on several factors, including the size of the area to be heated, the building’s insulation, and the local climate. Typically, electric furnace power output is quantified in kilowatts (kW).

To ascertain the optimal power output for your electric furnace, it’s prudent to seek advice from a professional HVAC contractor. They will conduct a load calculation, considering variables like square footage, window types and numbers, insulation R-value, and other pertinent factors affecting the heating requirements of your home or building.

3. Energy Efficiency

The efficiency of an electric furnace is typically assessed using its AFUE rating (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). AFUE measures how much of the furnace’s energy input is converted into usable heat, rather than being lost as exhaust or waste. A higher AFUE rating indicates greater efficiency.

Electric furnaces generally have AFUE ratings ranging from 95% to 100%. For example, a furnace with a 95% AFUE rating converts 95% of its energy into heat, with 5% lost as exhaust or waste.

The US Energy Department mandates a minimum AFUE rating of 95% for electric furnaces. However, newer models often achieve AFUE ratings of 98% or higher.

4. Heating Zone

When purchasing an electric furnace, it’s crucial to consider the designated heating zone where it will operate. These zones are established by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and are defined according to the average outdoor temperatures of specific regions. They serve as benchmarks to establish minimum efficiency standards for heating equipment.

5. Climate

When selecting an electric furnace, it’s crucial to consider the local climate, including the average temperature range and the severity of cold weather in the installation area. These factors dictate the appropriate size and efficiency rating needed for the furnace.

Electric Furnace FAQS

  1. What size of electric furnace do I need for a 2000-square-foot home?Answer: For effective heating in a 2000-square-foot home, you should opt for an electric furnace with a minimum size of 40,000 BTU.
  2. What is the life expectancy of an electric furnace?Answer: The typical lifespan of an electric furnace ranges from 20 to 30 years, providing longer durability compared to gas furnaces, which usually last 10 to 15 years.
  3. What are some common issues with electric furnaces?Answer: While electric furnaces are generally reliable, common issues can include:
    • Clogged filters
    • Faulty thermostats
    • Malfunctioning starting capacitors
    • Defective wiring
    • Blown or dirty fuses
    • Problems with the blower motor
    • Transformer failures, among others.
  4. Is an electric furnace worth it?Answer: Yes, electric furnaces are highly effective for providing consistent heating and comfort during winter months.
  5. Is it better to undersize or oversize a furnace?Answer: It’s not advisable to undersize or oversize a furnace. Undersized furnaces will use more energy to heat adequately, resulting in higher operating costs. Oversized models may not provide efficient heating and could cycle on and off frequently, affecting comfort and potentially causing wear on the system.

Why Electric Furnaces?

When it comes to heating, you have many options. In fact, you may get a little confused when making a decision. Electric-type of furnaces is a popular choice for many people because of the following:

  • Easy Installation: Fitting the accessory is easy and simple. You don’t need to tear down walls, modify the wiring, or change the partitioning.
  • Silent: They don’t produce any noises and are a perfect solution for small spaces or areas that require absolute silence.
  • No emissions: Electric furnaces are the most eco-friendly since they don’t produce any harmful gases or compounds.
  • Energy Efficient: Thanks to advanced technologies, modern furnaces have become more energy efficient. They produce more heat but consume less energy.
  • Versatility: The heating accessories are suitable for many applications. They come in different sizes and shapes to suit small, medium and large spaces.

Conclusion

Electric furnaces are the way to go when it comes to efficient heating. The best type will be easy to install, energy-efficient, produce minimal noise, and versatile. They also come in practical designs, are easy to operate, and keep the running costs low. To find such a product, you will need to review quite some products, compare them, and finally, pick one from the list. This can be effort draining and time-consuming. Fortunately, we have done the hard work for you. All you need to own the best electric furnaces and is going through this review one more time and picking your favorite.

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