Floor furnaces are a type of gas furnace that pumps warm air into rooms through furnace units located at the floor level. These kinds of systems are often used because gas is a cheaper form of fuel and placing the furnace near the floor helps heat travel with its natural bent to rise. However, there are many problems that can arise from using floor furnaces as well.
Venting is often an issue with floor furnaces. In some cases the units are unable to vent properly, which increases energy costs and wasted energy. Floor furnaces are also often located far away from traditional home vents, such as chimneys, which can actually be a health risk because gas and other heating elements are lingering inside the house instead of traveling outside of the house. The best way to control this problem is to get the system inspected and add additional vents if necessary.
Floor furnaces can also get dirtier than other heating systems. Since they are next to the floor, dirt and other contaminants can get swept into the vents causing circulation and combustion problems. Dust naturally gravitates toward lower surfaces as well, which means the floor furnaces are usually dusty. This not only causes problems with heat distribution but it also can pose a health risk. If the dust and dirt get caught in the combustion chamber, the furnace could explode. The best way to prevent this is to keep the vents clean and clear and have the system professionally cleaned at the end of each summer.
Since floor furnaces are close to the ground, children and babies can easily touch the furnace and potentially burn themselves. Objects and furniture set too close to the furnace can become dried and warped. Anything draped over the furnace vents such as curtains or other flammable materials have the potential to catch fire. The best way to prevent this danger is to keep furniture and other objects away from the furnace. If young children are in the house, you may want to consider another form of heating.
Floor furnaces can sometimes be costly to operate. If the system is operating at full potential and has no clogging problems, then the cost will be comparable to that of other heating systems in the area. However, if the floor furnace suffers any other problems then the cost of use will go up. The maintenance cost of the system is also higher because of the potential risks. The best way to keep costs low is to use a high-efficiency floor furnace system and to keep it maintained.