Your home’s furnace should be considered a major investment in your property because it is an essential part of your home’s day-to-day comfort, especially during the winter! In choosing a furnace upgrade or installing a new one, it makes sense if you thoroughly research any available options before making a decision. Here is a guide that you can refer to when selecting the right furnace for your home or residential building.
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What is a furnace?
A furnace is a device used to heat air for homes and residential buildings. It is a major part of the central heating system and has its basic parts: blower motor, burner, and hot surface ignitor, heat exchanger, flue, return ducts, and air filter.
The blower motor can normally be found at the base of the furnace near the blower chamber. It is similar to a hamster wheel that contains a fan or a blower.
The hot surface ignitor is the receiver of the electrical current when temperatures drop below thermostat setting causing the burner to get hot.
Heat exchanger deals directly with heat and it’s the first place where combustion gases arrive after the burners produce them.
Flue, which is also known as the exhaust stack, disposes unwanted exhaust that results from gas and oil combustion. This part of the furnace is the one that keeps you warm.
Return duct is where cool air is being retrieved from your home and cycle back through the furnace repeating the process of producing warm air again.
Air filter is located near the blower motor and it collects, dust, and other particles. Only professionals can handle this part of the furnace.
How does a furnace work?
Furnaces work on the principle of forced air heating. It heats the air which is distributed to the house through a ductwork or in-room vents.
Once the thermostat notices a drop in temperature below thermostat setting, cold air from the home is pulled into the system, passing through the air filter while it removes allergens such as dust and pollen. It will then blow air through the air handler and the air becomes warm due to the heat source of the furnace, spreading warm air through the ducts via the blower motor.
As the heating process goes on repeatedly, the temperature of the home will eventually match the temperature set at the thermostat.
There are two types of furnaces: electric furnace and gas furnace.
What is an electric furnace?
If you do not experience harsh winter weather in your area, an electric furnace may be the right choice for you. It is considered energy efficient in areas where the temperature remains above freezing. It is typically small and can be installed and maintained with ease. It can last up to 15-20 years and it does not require any special venting or piping. An electrical ignition begins its heating process ad activates the heating elements that contain the conductive coils. As current passes through the coils, heating of air begins.
What is a propane furnace?
For areas with harsh winter weather, the gas furnace is a popular choice. Gas furnaces are highly efficient in producing heat in your homes. However, it often comes with additional costs in terms of installing, replacing and maintenance requirements. If you have a gas furnace, you will regularly clean the ductwork and inspect the main unit and replacement filters every year. A pilot light is used to ignite a series of burners inside a combustion chamber. As burners produce heat, it then enters the heat exchanger where heat transfer to the air raising it to the temperature that is set by the thermostat. The blowers then take air and distribute it through the ducts.
If you are shopping for a new furnace, consider asking your HVAC technicians to make a recommendation. The information that they will provide will make it easier for you to make a decision and reduce your burden in researching the right furnace for you.
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