Furnaces are an essential variable when it comes to home heating and cooling. Furnaces heat and distribute air throughout the home, providing a comfortable and efficient way to keep your home warm and cozy during winter. But what is the purpose of a furnace, and how does it operate? This blog post will look at what a furnace is and how it works to keep your home warm.
What is a Furnace?
A furnace is a type of heating unit that generates and distributes heated air throughout your home. It is one of the earliest heating system types and is still prevalent in residential and commercial buildings.
Furnaces are typically installed in the basement, attic, or closet and are built to last many years if properly maintained. They can run on various fuels, but natural gas or oil are the most common. Older versions use coal and wood to generate heat, whereas modern versions use natural gas, propane, and electricity.
How Does a Furnace Work?
Furnaces have a thermostat, gas valve, burners, heat exchanger, blower, and air ducts.
A thermostat activates a furnace when the temperature drops below the controller’s setting. The burner sends gas to the heat exchanger when a gas valve is opened. Air combustion using gas fuel from the valve creates heat. New furnaces use ignition switches to ignite gas instead of pilot lights.
Your home’s air ducts distribute heat from the heat exchanger’s air and gas fuel intake. This system mixes heated exchanger air with colder home air from a separate vent.
Heat is filtered to the furnace plenum. A plenum box connects the furnace system and ductwork. A blower distributes heated, clean air through air vents/ducts.
The system’s flue and vent pipes release harmful combustion byproducts from the exchanger. Return ducts draw colder air to the exchanger until the thermostat temperature is reached. The gas valve turns off and on when the temperature drops or the thermostat is adjusted.
Furnaces are often used with central air conditioners, and heating pumps to keep homes comfortable year-round.
Benefits of a Furnace
It’s critical to keep the house warm during winter, thus the need to turn on our furnace. Fortunately, today’s furnaces are both dependable and efficient. While every home has distinct needs, furnaces come in various models to cater to one’s preference. Right below are some of the advantages of having a furnace at home.
Furnaces are highly efficient home heating systems. An AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating denotes furnace efficiency. The greater the AFUE percentage, the more heat the furnace produces for the amount of fuel consumed. For example, a standard natural gas furnace has an AFUE rating of 78-84%, but it can go even higher. Lennox Furnace in Alaska offers first-rate products with greater AFUEs.
A furnace is a great way to heat your home because it does it so quickly. They start up faster and warm up your whole house in just a few minutes.
Most furnace systems are powered by natural gas, a highly cost-effective fuel source. Furnace systems have a higher initial cost, but because they are so cost-effective and have an average life expectancy of 15-20 years, you will quickly recoup this cost.
Excellent Indoor Air Quality
The great thing about a furnace is that it can help you improve your indoor air quality. Because this is a forced air system that uses your ductwork, you can incorporate an air purifier, dehumidifier, humidifier, or air filtration system directly into your furnace system. This is an excellent option because it allows you to condition all the air in your home at once instead of using small, spot conditioning systems such as portable room humidifiers.
The Importance of Furnace Maintenance
Like any other appliance, furnaces require regular maintenance and safety checks to maintain good working order. This includes checking the filters, inspecting the vents and ducts, and ensuring that the thermostat works properly. Furnace maintenance not only improves efficiency but also extends the life of your appliance. Therefore, it is also critical to have your furnace regularly inspected by an expert to ensure that it operates properly and safely.
You can always rely on the HeatSource Mechanical team for furnace service and repair in Wasilla.
To give you an idea of why we encourage people to have their furnaces checked on a regular basis, we’d like to share with you the numerous benefits of doing so.
Regular use makes your furnace suffer a great deal of wear and tear. This is because it draws in cool air, heats it, and forces heated air into the ductwork distributed throughout the home. This entire procedure may cause the filter to clog over time. Therefore, furnaces should be cleaned regularly to ensure proper airflow and reduce the time it takes to heat the air.
It’s a good idea to set a regular schedule for your furnace for tuneup to keep your manufacturer’s warranty valid. On most good-quality furnaces, you can get a 10-year warranty option. If you ever need to use your warranty, they will ask for service records to prove that you’ve been taking care of it. If you haven’t done so, you’re not likely to get the desired result. Spending money on annual furnace maintenance is the best way to be safe rather than sorry.
A furnace can account for up to 50% of your energy bill. That adds up, particularly if we have a long and cold winter. But a well-tuned furnace will use less energy and be more efficient, allowing you to save more.
It’s not a secret that regular furnace maintenance helps keep your heating system in top shape. The longer your furnace will last, the cleaner and better-taken care of it is. A professional service won’t just clean your furnace. They will also test and check all of its parts to find problems before it’s too late. They will also check the safety controls. If you can make your furnace last longer, you’ll save money and get the most out of the money you spend on it.
Routine maintenance would ensure that your HVAC system requires fewer repairs and is in good working order. Avoiding regular maintenance may necessitate furnace repairs, such as a breakdown or poor airflow. Furnaces emit carbon monoxide as part of their operation, and a leak can be hazardous. Professionals can assist with potential carbon monoxide leaks by inspecting and repairing any source of leaks and protecting your family from such leaks.
The Bottom Line
Even though furnaces usually last up to 15 to 20 years, their lifespan can be affected by several things. To ensure your furnace lasts as long as possible, keep it in good shape, change the filter often, and buy a programmable thermostat.
If your furnace is older and doesn’t work like it used to, you might want to replace it with a newer, better, and more efficient model. Although this is a significant investment upfront, it can help you save money by paying less on your energy bills in the long run.
To make the best use of your furnace, choose a brand known for producing superior products that last a long time. Based on Consumer Reports’ research, Lennox is one of the best furnace brands to consider. The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval also labels Lennox forced air furnaces as the most efficient (98%+ AFUE) and quietest on the market.
HeatSource Mechanical is your Matsu Valley Lennox Premier Dealer. If you need expert help with your furnace, give us a call.