Although my husband and I debated different types of heating systems for the house we built, we decided on a forced air gas furnace. This style of heating unit is quite popular because they are energy efficient and reliable. A forced air furnace operates by drawing cool air from the home through return ducts, heating the air in the furnace, and then distributing the heated air via vents located in the various rooms. The furnace creates heat through a combustion process, which provides fast and energy efficient comfort. Modern furnaces are typically dependable and deliver many years of consistent heating. Like any other type of appliance that carries a heavy workload, furnaces require annual maintenance and cleaning. Yearly service eliminates the accumulation of dust and other contaminants, which can block airflow, diminish heating capacity and cause wear and tear. Through regular inspection, any potential concerns are detected and resolved, before they graduate into sudden and costly malfunction. With conscientious maintenance, the furnace will continue to operate safely and at peak efficiency. While the initial purchase price and cost of installation of a forced air heating system is considerable, a furnace costs less to operate than most electric or hydronic heaters. There are now furnaces available that achieve up to 98% AFUE ratings. Plus, gas heaters are able to heat up the living space very quickly. Variable speed furnaces bring the room up to the desired temperature and automatically reduce speed to maintain even comfort while minimizing energy usage. Another benefit of a forced air furnace is that it is compatible with central cooling, or even central vacuum systems.