Furnaces 101: How Gas Furnaces Work
When it comes to heating your home, you have several options to choose from to keep your living space nice and warm during the colder months of the year. Out of the many types of heating systems available, gas furnaces are often the most sought-after choice among homeowners.
Generally speaking, gas systems offer residents plenty of benefits including a reduction of heating costs by up to 50%, improved efficiency, greater comfort and reliability, and increased home value. So, it is easy to see why gas furnaces are the most common method of heating residential properties.
But, even if you are familiar with the advantages of using gas furnaces, you may not know how it actually works. To help you gain a better understanding, we have written the ultimate guide explaining everything you need to know about this type of heating system.
The main parts of a gas furnace
A gas furnace contains several components, all of which work together to help the system work properly and keep you comfortable. These include:
- Thermostat. It measures and controls indoor temperature;
- Burners. They’re small outlets where gas emits within the furnace;
- Ignition switch. It’s responsible for lighting the gas in your furnace’s combustion chamber;
- Blower fan. It directs warm air from the furnace to various parts of the home;
- Heat exchanger. This is a series of thin-walled metal tubes where air passes over;
- Air filter. This keeps dust and debris from entering the furnace;
- Gas valve. It prevents more warm air from being pumped indoors.
Although gas furnaces are relatively simple to operate and understand, they still need to be installed by professionals to ensure efficiency. For example, if you live in Oakville, Ontario, make sure you look for the best Oakville furnace installation services so you can get a professional gas furnace installation in your home.
The basic heating cycle
In order to know how a gas furnace works, you should first understand the heating cycle. The cycle starts with natural gas being ignited in the furnace’s burner. Next, the flames heat up the heat exchanger and the exhaust flows out of the flue. The heat exchanger then transfers its heat to incoming cold air and the blower forces the heated air into the ductwork, distributing it throughout the home. As each room gradually warms up, the colder air is drawn back into the furnace through the return ducts, repeating the process all over again.
Types of gas furnaces
There are three main types of gas furnaces you can install in your home and these are single-stage systems, two-stage systems, and modulating systems. The type you choose will mainly be based on your climate, your heating needs, and your budget.
For instance, single-stage systems are the ideal option if you live in a place where winters get really cold. Two-stage systems, on the other hand, offer both low and high settings to your furnace and can help you save on your energy bills.
Modulating systems are the most convenient option because it coordinates with your thermostat and can offer you the right amount of heat you need to warm up your home.
Gas furnace maintenance and safety
In order to ensure your gas furnace is working efficiently, there are several maintenance and safety tips you need to follow. For instance, you need to schedule a regular and professional cleaning and maintenance of the furnace and change the air filters often.
In addition, you’ll need to install at least one carbon monoxide detector, keep furnace registers clean and clear of obstruction, and keep flammable items away from the furnace.
By taking these precautions, not only will your gas furnace work properly, but you will also protect yourself from unexpected and costly repairs later on.
Common gas furnaces issues
Even after taking all maintenance and safety precautions, your system can still run into a few problems that can reduce its efficiency. Some of the most common issues your gas furnace can encounter include collection of dust, flickering pilot lights, and loud banging.
For instance, if you notice a strong smell coming out of your furnace, this can be an indication that too much dust has accumulated on the surface or that your air filters need to be replaced. In this case, it is best that you give a furnace expert a call to come in and give your system a deep cleaning.
Gas furnaces are undoubtedly one of the most common methods for heating homes. They provide residents with plenty of benefits, including lower energy bills, increased efficiency, and greater comfort. In case you want to know more about gas furnaces, refer to our guide and read about how they work and how to properly maintain them.
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