How a Furnace Works

Furnaces are the most common type of residential heating system in Visalia, CA. Once fueled with wood or coal, most furnaces today are either run on electricity or gas. You can find a wide range of efficiencies in furnaces, and these days the tendency is to look for high-efficiency models that cut down on energy usage.

As a homeowner, it’s important that you have at least a basic understanding of how your furnace works in Visalia, CA, because you’ll need to keep it properly maintained and know when a replacement may be necessary. Here’s a quick overview of some of the key points you should know about furnace operation.

What to know

Furnaces use forced air to heat up your home. The general idea is that the furnace transfers heat into the air, which gets pushed by blower fans through your home’s ductwork. It exits through the open vents in each room of your home. The furnace will use the same ductwork used by your air conditioner during the summer.

There are some slight variations in operation based on whether you have a natural gas or electric furnace. Make sure you know which type of furnace you have so you know how it operates.

In a natural gas furnace, there is a pilot light that lights up a set of burners inside the furnace’s combustion chamber. This heat enters the heat exchanger, where the heat then gets transferred to the air. As a result, the temperature increases to the level set by the thermostat in your home. Blowers then capture the air and push it through the ducts. This is the same method by which propane furnaces operate, as well.

With electric furnaces, there is no pilot light. Instead, the ignition occurs electrically. Rather than burners, there are heating elements with conductive coils. The coils begin heating the air when the current passes through, and then the blowers capture that heat and push it through the vents in your home. More heating elements turn on when higher temperatures are selected using the thermostat.

Of course, these are just the basics—there are a lot of other important components within a given furnace that will ensure the processes of heat exchange and distribution occur properly and safely. If you’ve had any issues with your furnace, there could be any number of problems with the system, from the thermostat to the ducts. This is why it’s important to have a relationship with an HVAC professional who can come in and take a look at your system and correctly identify the problem you’re experiencing.

Interested in learning more about how furnaces operate? McGee Refrigeration can help. We encourage you to contact an experienced HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA with any questions you have, and we will be happy to provide you with further information. Remember that ongoing maintenance is crucial to keeping your HVAC systems in efficient operational condition for as long as possible, so make sure you prioritize preventative maintenance appointments with your HVAC technician!

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