How Your Gas Furnace Works

Does your home operate with a gas furnace? That means it heats your home using natural gas. Of course, the process is a little more complicated than feeding natural gas into your furnace.

How Your Gas Furnace WorksThe process starts with ignition. Depending on the age of your furnace, it can start in one of two ways: a pilot light or an electric starter.

With a pilot light, a small amount of gas flows to the igniter and keeps the flame burning, so that it can light the gas when the system tells the furnace to turn on. An electric starter uses a different starting process more like a filament in a bulb to ignite the gas burner. An electric current will flow over the filament when the system turns on, causing the gas to ignite.

Once the igniter lights the gas, it moves into the combustion chamber where gas and air mix. The combustion process requires oxygen, brings clean air in to operate the system, while sending “used” air back out of your home. This is why your ventilation is so important, and why it’s essential to maintain your HVAC system to ensure this process is working correctly. If the combustion system isn’t working correctly, it not only can impact the efficiency of your furnace, but it can also impact your health.

Above the combustion chamber sits the heat exchanger. As the heat warms in the combustion chamber, it rises and heats the air in the heat exchanger. When the air is warmed to the desired temperature, the furnace turns on and blows the warm air into your home.

Your home’s ventilation system is set up to circulate the warm air to keep your rooms at the desired temperature, while sending cooled air back into the returns, into the furnace system, where the process begins again.

If you are having problems with your furnace, it occurs in one of these areas. It may be something simple like a pilot light that won’t stay lit. It may involve a repair issue in the heat exchanger where the system won’t blog conditioned air into your home.

If you have a problem with the heating system in your home, a professional will help diagnose the problem and make suggestions for the best way to fix it. Give us a call today.

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