How Your Furnace Keeps You Warm
You’re not like other homeowners, oblivious to the innerworkings of their house. No, you’re curious. You like to know how things work. It’s this very inquisitiveness that has you wondering how your furnace keeps you warm. That’s a great question! And while the connections and mechanics of HVAC units require the knowledge of a trained HVAC professional, the basic function of a furnace is very easy to understand. Here’s how it works:
How Gas Furnaces Keep You Warm
How your furnace works will really depend on whether you have a gas or electric furnace. Here we’ll describe the heat cycle of a gas furnace, but to read about electric furnaces, just skip down to the next point.
- Your gas furnace uses propane to ignite a small flame (called a pilot flame) in the base of your furnace.
- This pilot flame heats up the heat exchanger.
- Your furnace takes in the surrounding air and heats it up with the heat exchanger.
- The warmed air is then expelled into your air ducts and through your vents to heat your home.
- As warm air transforms each room into a cozy nook, the cold air that occupied the spaces previously is then drawn back into the furnace to be heated by the heat exchanger.
How Electric Furnaces Keep You Warm
Unlike gas furnaces, electric furnaces do not use propane to ignite a flame inside the unit. That means that the heat produced is purely electrical.
Note: If you were skimming this article, and you know for sure that you have a gas furnace, just scroll up to the previous point!
The heat cycle for an electric furnace looks like this:
- First, air is drawn into the furnace through the cold air return.
- The cold air is sent to the furnace’s heat exchanger.
- The heat exchanger uses electricity to warm up the cold air that was sucked in.
- The furnace’s blower sends the warm air out to the rest of your home, through the ductwork, to keep it nice and toasty.
- The cycle continues: The cold air that was in each room before is then sucked into the electric furnace to be reheated and sent back out.
If the reason you became so curious about your furnace in the first place is that you suspect it isn’t working properly, reach out to the trusted professionals at Roman Electric. We can inspect your HVAC unit and determine what the problem truly is. It might just be that your unit needs maintenance, a few tweaks here and there. You might need a part repaired. Or, if worse comes to worst, your furnace may need to be replaced. In any case, Roman Electric is here for you during these cold, trying times.
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