Upflow and Downflow Furnaces: What’s the Difference?

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You won’t be limited by choice when it comes to choosing the perfect furnace for your home. A wide selection on the market means that you can choose a unit that suits your home design, your climate, and your budget. The only major hurdle in the selection process is choosing between upflow variable speed furnaces and downflow variable speed furnaces. This simple guide will explain the key differences, so you can make the right choice.

The Ideal Furnace Depends on Your Home

Choosing between upflow and downflow variable speed furnaces is not as simple as going for the design and price that you like. Both types operate on similar principles but distribute air in different ways. The choice will ultimately come down to the design of your home, and the space that you have available to install a furnace.

Upflow Variable Speed Furnaces are Suitable for Basement Installation

upflow variable speed furnacesAs the name suggests, an upflow variable speed furnace is designed to distribute air to your home from below living areas. This typically means installing the furnace in a basement or garage. There are a few significant advantages that come from using this type of system.
  • The system works on the basic principle of warm air rising. This means that the unit can use less energy to deliver warm air throughout your home. Overall, you could save money by using an upflow variable speed furnace.
  • Installation in most cases is simpler and more affordable because the unit can be housed in a garage or basement. Units can be mounted directly onto concrete surfaces, which is much more convenient when compared to downflow systems.
  • Most people find the air delivery of an upflow furnace to be more comfortable. Warm air will come from vents that are either on the floor or mounted on the bottom quarter of your walls.
If you have a suitable location and adequate space for an upflow furnace, then this is the recommended system to install. Cost of the unit is comparable to a downflow system, but the low cost of installation and high efficiency will mean that you come out better off. Of course, not every home is suitable for upflow, and that’s why downflow variable speed furnaces exist…

Downflow Variable Speed Furnaces for Home Installation

A downflow system is essentially the opposite of an upflow system. Instead of the unit being mounted in a basement or garage that is lower than main living areas, it is mounted in the attic of your home. Air is forced downward through ducting systems to deliver warmth wherever you need it. (In rare cases, downflow furnaces are installed in the main level or garage of the home.) The biggest downside to this type of system is that it is less efficient. It will use more energy to create the same ambient temperatures that can be achieved with an upflow furnace. Installation for a downflow furnace can be difficult. The weight of the average furnace means that you will need to have it mounted on a reinforced subfloor. If you don’t have a suitable space in your attic, then minor construction work may be required. The advantage of this type of system is that you can still get warm air delivered throughout your home, even if you don’t have a basement to use for your furnace.

Explore Your Furnace Options at HVAC Direct

Whatever space you have available for a furnace, you can find the best solutions at HVACDirect. We have a complete range of upflow and downflow variable speed furnaces, including multi-fuel furnaces and gas furnaces. We carry top brands like Goodman and AirQuest, and offer the most competitive prices in the industry. You can even use our handy calculator to find the perfect sized furnace for your home. Keep your home warm, dry, and comfortable throughout the colder months. Free freight is offered on most of our furnaces, and you can order online for the ultimate convenience. Build a furnace right into your new home or upgrade the home you love today.  
October 8, 2018
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