Learn More About Your Furnace and How It Works

technician working on an electrical panelWe all get curious about how things work from time to time but understanding how your furnace works can also be useful when the technician comes to take care of an issue. Understanding a few things about how your furnace works mean that you’ll understand the problem and how the technician wants to fix it. Plus, you’ll be better equipped to choose a furnace if it is beyond repair. There are many kinds of furnaces available in Mt. Pleasant, and you will need to know the benefits and drawbacks of each model. If you’ve never taken the time to get a basic understanding of how your furnace works, look at the information that we have compiled here.

The Parts on a Furnace

There are a few large, basic parts that you’ll find on any furnace system, whether it’s fueled by propane or natural gas or powered by electricity. A blower is one part that every furnace needs, and it is responsible for taking the heated air and pushing it through the ductwork and out through the registers into the rooms of your home.

The heat exchanger is another part that every furnace will have. This collection of metal tubes and shells transfers the heat from the pilot or other heat source to another area in the furnace system. A heat exchanger also heats the air that flows over it. There will be a primary heat exchanger, but there is also often a secondary heat exchanger, which is more common on newer high-efficiency furnaces.

The thermostat is also an integral part of the heating system because it is what tells the furnace to turn on. Then, there is the ductwork that is responsible for dispersing heated or cooled air into your home. The ductwork typically won’t need replacement unless the seams begin to split, but you might have to have it cleaned if you’re having air quality problems.

If you have a propane or natural gas furnace, your furnace will have a pilot light that stays on. But if you have an electric furnace, it has a system of coils that heat up.

The Pilot or Other Heat Source

Most furnaces run off either propane or gas. Either way, the process is the same. The thermostat is always monitoring the temperature of your home. When it senses that the air has fallen below the set temperature, it sends a message to the furnace to start up the heating process. On older systems, a pilot is usually lit all winter long, and the propane or gas is used to keep the flame burning constantly. On newer furnace systems, the ignition switch is pushed each time to start up the furnace. There are also systems that rely on electricity to heat the home using heat coils.

The Heat Exchanger

A heat exchanger is necessary for transferring thermal energy from one fluid to another fluid. The two fluids are separated by a solid wall to prevent them from mixing together. Essentially, the flame heats the metal heat exchanger, which warms up the temperature of the surrounding air. In older systems, the heat simply rises into the heat exchanger, but in newer systems, a venter motor will push the heat to the heat exchanger, which is a more efficient process.

The Blower

The blower in the furnace forces the heated air into the ductwork, where it finally is forced through the registers into the rooms of the house or apartment. This continues until the thermostat registers that the air in the home has reached the set temperature. At this point, the thermostat sends another message to the furnace telling it to shut off. The furnace will cool down until the thermostat sends another message telling it that the house is too cold and that it needs to turn on again.

If you’re interested in finding a quality HVAC technician in the Mt. Pleasant area, talk to us at HERO Heating & Air. Our knowledgeable technicians can walk you through the process of understanding exactly how your furnace works and what you can expect when one of our technicians visits you. If your furnace is beyond repair, we can help you with the process of purchasing and installing a new furnace. We also provide cooling system services, including air conditioner repair, maintenance, and replacement. Give us a call today at (843) 258-1237 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.

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