Gravity Furnaces: 2 Top Reasons To Replace Yours With A Forced Air Gas Appliance


Although your old gravity furnace may add a certain charm and antiquity to your historic home, it may not be the safest heating appliance to own, especially if it still uses asbestos insulation in the ductwork. Asbestos is known to cause cancer of the lungs and other body areas. In addition, your gravity furnace may also cost you more to operate during winter's toughest weather, because of how the appliance distributes heat. Here are two top reasons to replace your gravity furnace with a newer heating appliance.

Gravity Furnaces Circulate Less Heat Throughout the Home

Unlike today's furnaces and boilers, which use blowers and fans to distribute heat, gravity furnaces rely on the forces of gravity to heat your home. Instead, gravity furnaces solely rely on duct systems called octopus arms to move heated air to specific rooms of the house, such as a large parlor or master bedroom. Once heated air leaves the ducts, it settles along the flooring of rooms and pushes cold air up toward the ceiling.

Gravity furnaces also use chimneys and other openings to release fumes from the home. Because the appliance doesn't use a blower motor or fan to operate, up to 50 percent of the heated air it produces escapes to the outdoors. This means that you may need to use more coal or gas to heat the home to a reliable and comfortable temperature. 

Replacing the gravity furnace with a forced air gas furnace saves you money on your utility expenses. A forced air gas furnace uses natural gas as a power source, as well as recycles cold air in the house. Instead of just pushing cold air toward the ceiling and leaving it there to waste or travel back to the flooring, a gas furnace use a return duct system that sucks in cold air and redirects it back to the furnace. The furnace reheats the air, then pushes it back into the home.

In addition, modern forced air gas furnaces don't use contaminated air ducts to operate.

Gravity Furnaces Can Expose You to Dangerous Asbestos Toxins

The air duct systems of gravity furnaces contain a hazardous and deadly substance called asbestos. If you or the previous owner didn't seal or remove the insulation in the home's air ducts, you may be in danger of a number of lung diseases if the material is damaged or deteriorated.

Before you replace your gravity furnace, you'll need to have an asbestos contractor examine your home. Although some HVAC specialist remove asbestos-containing ducts, many may not want to take the health risk. Disturbed asbestos can be extremely dangerous if it releases contaminated dust into the environment.

A professional asbestos contractor can test the condition of the ducts to see if they should remove them completely or place a protective sealcoating over them. If the ducts have significant damage that can create future health hazards, it's a good idea that you have the contractors remove them before doing any type of HVAC installations in the home. Keep in mind that you should never attempt to remove or seal the ducts yourself because of the health risk involved.

But if the ducts show very little to no signs of damage, you may have the asbestos contractors encapsulate them. If you choose to encapsulate the ducts, your HVAC contractors can connect them to your new furnace safely. However, this is something you want to discuss directly with your HVAC contractors to avoid confusion later on. 

Improving the health and heating of your home is essential. If you have additional concerns about your gravity furnace or why you should replace it with a newer appliance, contact a company like United Heating Cooling and Plumbing Inc today. 


14 December 2015

Shopping For A New HVAC System

After my sister moved into my house with me, she started complaining about the temperature. I had never really thought about it before, or maybe I was just used to it, but my house was pretty cold. She told me that she didn't think the furnace was working properly, so I started checking things out on my own. Sure enough, my furnace seemed to be having some serious problems. I started looking for a replacement, and I was able to find a great furnace for much less than what I initially thought I would need to spend. I wanted to make this blog for anyone out there who might need to shop for a new HVAC system. Check out these great articles for information you might need.