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A Guide to How a Furnace Works

The furnace is an essential part of your household. It is instrumental in ensuring your home remains warm during the cold season, and without it, winter would be miserable. You should always make sure your furnace is clean and properly maintained so that it serves you well and for a long time. A furnace works in a heating cycle to produce warm air, and that warmth is largely what turns your house into a home. Our team at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems knows how vital this equipment is to your safety and comfort in Whittier, and we’re always prepared to assist with your HVAC needs. One way we can do that is by helping you learn how a furnace works. Let’s start by looking at some of the components.

Parts of a Furnace

A furnace has several parts that are important to its function. First, there is the thermostat, which is instrumental in measuring the temperature in the house and controlling that indoor temperature by regulating the furnace’s heating cycle.

There is also a control board that sends electrical signals that prompt various processes in the furnace, such as opening and closing the gas valves and turning on the burners and blower. The burners allow gas to be emitted and ignited to produce flames for heating the air coming in.

The igniter is responsible for the lighting of the gas from the burner. It does this by creating sparks. There is also a flame detector that works more as a safety option. It shuts off the gas flow if the flame or heat is not produced. The heat exchanger is responsible for warming the air and making sure that only warmed air gets into the house.

The ductwork distributes the heated air throughout your rooms and brings back cool air from the rooms to be heated again. A gas valve regulates the pressure and amount of gas entering the furnace. The gas either comes a utility supply line or from an LPG tank.

The air filter helps to keep dust and other small particles from entering the furnace along with the cool air. This also helps to keep the air in the house clean and fresh. A transformer is present and works to supply electricity into the furnace while also stepping it down to a voltage that will not damage it.

How a Furnace Functions

A furnace works through heating cycles to ensure the air is thoroughly and properly heated. A pipe connects gas to your furnace either from underground pipes or your LPG gas, which is normally placed outside the house. The burner lights the gas as it enters the furnace. Cold air is sucked into the furnace from your home. The cold air is then warmed in the heat exchanger, which is composed of a series of sheets.

Any exhaust from the heating process is led through a vent and out of the house through an exhaust pipe. The blower fan now comes into action, blowing the warmed air into the house.

The supply-air ducts ensure warm air is distributed into the rooms. The return-air ducts collect the cold air from those rooms and bring it back into the furnace for further heating. While this happens, the thermostat notes the air temperature inside and switches off the gas once the required temperature is attained.

Maintaining Your Furnace

Some of the safety and maintenance practices you can conduct at home include keeping flammable objects and substances away from your furnace and keeping the furnace clean. All the openings should be free of dust or debris that could obstruct the air from flowing freely.

When the airflow of a furnace is obstructed, several detrimental things occur. The equipment has to work much harder, causing wear and tear to the system and costing you more in utility bills. The problem can even lead to carbon monoxide leaks. You should inspect your air filters once a month and replace them whenever it’s needed, usually in three-month cycles. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to determine which ones will work best with your system. You should also have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. It will alert you to the presence of this gas before injuries occur.

Make sure your furnace works appropriately by conducting random checks and cleaning it from time to time. It’s also important to get your furnace professionally inspected and tuned up at least once a year. You can count on our certified technicians at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems for that. We offer comprehensive heating, cooling and indoor air quality installation, repair and maintenance services throughout Whittier, NC, and beyond. We even handle wine coolers. Call us today to arrange an appointment.