Types of Airflow Patterns for Furnaces

a man checking the furnace

There are three efficiency levels for natural and propane gas furnaces. These include standard, mid and high efficiencies. The level of efficiency your furnace achieves depends on several elements. The furnace’s ignition system type, shape, and type of the heat exchanger and its airflow pattern are the most crucial elements. There are two types of ignition systems including electronic and pilot ignitions. The electronic furnace ignition system is the more efficient of the two since it only uses energy when your furnace is on.

The airflow pattern primarily depends on the furnace installation on your property, conducted by experts from companies like acautah.com. Your furnace’s airflow pattern describes its physical orientation relative to the flow direction of your heated air into the ductwork. Here are the types of airflow patterns that might work for your property’s furnace.

Upflow Patterns

An upflow furnace draws cold air from the exteriors through its base or top. Its distinguishing feature is the pushing of warm air through the furnace’s top. As such, this airflow pattern is generally used for properties with ductwork located above a furnace like in the basement.

There are two primary categories of upflow furnace patterns including lowboy and highboy. A lowboy is shorter compared to the highboy and thus used for basements with a height of approximately four feet. The highboy furnace, on the other hand, is used in basements with heights of around six feet. Upflow furnaces are generally considered more energy efficient and comfortable compared to other alternatives.

Downflow Patterns

In a downflow furnace, cold air enters from the top, and warm air is discharged through the bottom. The furnace is hence sometimes called a downdraft or counterflow furnace. Downflow pattern furnaces are generally installed in properties where the furnace is above the ductwork such as those which only have attics. They can also be used in properties where a furnace room is found on the first floor, and there is a crawl space for the supply ducts.

performing maintenance

Horizontal Patterns

Furnaces with a horizontal airflow pattern draw in cold air from one side then dispense warm air through the opposite side. They come in two classifications. These are the horizontal right side and horizontal left side furnaces. The left and right of the furnaces refers to the side through which the furnace dispenses warm air. Horizontal airflow furnaces are used in places with minimal vertical space including basements and attic crawl spaces.

Multipoise Patterns

This is also called a multi-positional airflow furnace. This is because the airflow pattern can be configured in an upflow, left or right horizontal or downward pattern. As such, this furnace allows a universal airflow pattern.

The ideal airflow pattern from the above for your property primarily depends on your building’s construction. There are, however, extra steps you can take to improve the airflow from your furnace to your interiors irrespective of the type of pattern. You should clean and unblock your vents and change the filters periodically so that you do not impede airflow. Sealing leaky ductwork will also significantly boost your airflow.