As a homeowner, you rely on your furnace to keep your home warm and comfortable during the cold months. But have you ever wondered how this essential appliance actually works? In this post, we'll explain the basic principles behind furnace operation so you can better understand your heating system.
How does a furnace work?
A furnace works by burning fuel to create heat. The heat is then transferred to the air that is blown over the furnace's heat exchanger. This warmed air is then circulated throughout the home via ductwork and vents.
Here are the basic steps involved in furnace operation:
- Thermostat senses the temperature: The thermostat senses the temperature in your home and sends a signal to the furnace when the temperature falls below the desired set point.
- Burner ignites: When the furnace receives the signal from the thermostat, the burner ignites and begins to heat the heat exchanger.
- Heat exchanger warms the air: The heat exchanger is a metal component that gets hot as the burner heats it. Air from your home is blown over the heat exchanger, which warms the air.
- Blower motor circulates the warm air: Once the air has been heated, the blower motor turns on and circulates the warm air throughout your home via ductwork and vents.
- Combustion gases are vented: As the fuel burns, it produces combustion gases that must be vented outside the home. This is typically done through flue vent or chimney.
- Thermostat senses the temperature again: Once the temperature in your home reaches the desired set point, the thermostat sends a signal to the furnace to turn off the burner and blower motor.
In summary, a furnace works by burning fuel to create heat, which is then transferred to the air that is blown over the heat exchanger. The warmed air is then circulated throughout the home via ductwork and vents. Proper maintenance of your furnace, including regular filter changes and professional inspections, can help ensure its reliable and efficient operation.