Whether your home is heated by a forced-air furnace, an oil-fired gravity furnace, electric radiant heaters, a heat pump, or some other means, the key to affordable comfort is making sure that you have an efficient system that’s operating properly. Older, inefficient heating systems—or improperly maintained equipment—can waste a tremendous amount of energy.

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If you are in the market for a new, high-efficiency heating system, now is the time to consider buying. Incentives and rebates are available from some state governments and utility companies—these can save you hundreds of dollars when you purchase a qualifying model.

This section of HomeTips will guide you through issues related to buying new heating equipment, installing certain types of appliances and materials that affect your home’s heating, repairing problems with furnaces, and basic maintenance.


When buying a new furnace, it is critically important to choose a model that will heat your home quickly, completely, and efficiently. To do this, you will need to understand the various types available, how efficiency is rated, and how to choose just the right size—one that it isn’t so large that it wastes energy but is large enough to heat your home sufficiently. For a complete guide to buying a new high efficiency furnace, seeBuying a High-Efficiency Furnace.

Also See:如何购买炉子

Furnace Fuels

For their heat source, furnaces use either natural gas, liquid propane, oil, electricity, or even wood or wood-based pellets. Where available, natural gas tends to be preferred because it is clean-burning, piped directly into the house, and relatively inexpensive.


In contemporary homes, ducted air systems are the most common type of central heating and cooling. There are two main types of ducted systems: forced-air and older gravity furnaces. Forced-air furnaces are by far the more common of the two. Though both forced-air and gravity furnaces take advantage of duct work to circulate room air through the heating system, forced-air furnaces have a blower to assist delivery. They can be combined with an air conditioner or heat pump to deliver cooled air in the summer. For more about how they work, see中央供暖方式.



Don’t put off dealing with furnace problems. At the very least, they can be uncomfortable and/or waste a lot of energy. At the worst, they can be dangerous. Though it is necessary to call a qualified HVAC repairperson for many issues, you can handle some types of diagnostics and repairs yourself when given some basic instruction. For step-by-step information on solving common furnace problems, seeFurnace故障排除和维修.

Do-It-Yourself Heating Tips


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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort开发了30多年的专业知识,作为日落书籍的建筑编辑,家庭杂志的高级编辑,30多本家庭改进书籍,以及无数杂志文章的作家。他出现了3个赛季的HGTV的“修复”,并担任MSN的家庭专家几年。唐成立于1996年的统计。Read more about Don Vandervort