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Choosing The Right Burner For Your Furnace

Choosing The Right Burner For Your Furnace

If you are in the process of updating an old furnace or selecting one for the first time, a common question that may cross your mind is, “What type of burner do most furnaces use?”

An outdated furnace not only wastes energy but also leads to unnecessary expenses. Typically, the lifespan of a furnace is around 15 years. If your furnace has surpassed this timeframe, it is advisable to consult a professional technician for further guidance.

Professional furnace installation services, such as those offered by experts, are available around the clock. Whether you are dealing with a heating emergency or simply want to schedule a routine inspection, contacting professionals in your area is essential for efficient furnace maintenance.

Understanding the Furnace Burner

Choosing The Right Burner For Your Furnace

The furnace burner plays a crucial role in ensuring the efficiency of your heating system. By combining fuel with cool air, the burner, working alongside the heat exchanger, elevates the temperature of the airflow within your home. The burner’s contribution is integral to determining the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of your furnace, indicating its overall efficiency.

Options for Furnace Burners

For gas furnaces that have not undergone recent updates, the prevalent type of burner used is the upshot burner. However, when it comes to efficiency and cost savings on heating bills, upshot burners are generally considered less favorable. Older furnaces, equipped with upshot burners, tend to exhibit lower efficiency levels across the board.

Conversely, inshot burners emerge as a more favorable option. Safer than upshot burners, inshot burners are capable of meeting the heating demands of both large and small homes.

The Most Common Burner for Modern Furnaces

The prevalent choice for most modern furnaces is the inshot burner. Found in various furnace types, inshot burners not only effectively heat homes of all sizes but also contribute to higher AFUE ratings. Moreover, as inshot burners are positioned outside the home, concerns related to noxious backdrafts, often associated with upshot burners, are alleviated.

High-efficiency furnaces commonly incorporate inshot burners. If uncertainty exists regarding the type of burner in your furnace, it is advisable to schedule an inspection with a trained professional to ascertain its specifications.

Identifying Outdated Burners

Historically, standing pilot lights were the norm for most furnaces. Nowadays, if a trained HVAC professional observes a standing pilot light during a survey, it serves as an indication that the furnace is outdated.

Choosing The Right Burner For Your Furnace

Standing pilot lights, although small, are highly wasteful as they continuously burn fuel. Furthermore, these pilot lights are prone to accidental extinguishing, posing safety risks during relighting. An alternative, more efficient option is the intermittent pilot light, which activates only when the furnace is in operation, minimizing fuel consumption.

Ensuring Burner Longevity through Regular Inspections

Regardless of the furnace’s modernity, regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring its longevity. An annual inspection by a trained HVAC specialist can help identify minor issues before they escalate into major repairs, preventing both substantial expenses and uncomfortable living conditions.

Issues Uncovered During Routine Inspections

Routine furnace inspections may reveal several issues that, although minor, can lead to more significant problems if left unaddressed.

  1. Dust and Dirt: Over time, accumulated debris can hinder furnace efficiency by causing blockages. Regularly changing the furnace filter and professional cleanings can prevent these issues.
  2. Fractures in the Burner: Furnace burners, made of metal, can weaken over time, leading to fractures. Annual inspections by professionals are essential to detect and address such concerns promptly.
  3. Cosmetic Damage: Changes in the appearance of metal, such as rust, require occasional monitoring to avoid potential fire hazards. Rust on the burner, if not promptly removed, can lead to lasting damage.
  4. Inaccurate Thermostat: If your furnace fails to heat your home adequately despite adjustments to the thermostat, recalibration of the furnace burner may be necessary. This routine activity is typically part of regular maintenance inspections.
Choosing The Right Burner For Your Furnace


Responsible furnace ownership begins with understanding the type of burner that most modern furnaces use. Inshot burners, renowned for their efficiency and safety, are prevalent in high-efficiency furnaces today. Regular inspections and maintenance by trained professionals are essential to identify and address potential issues, ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your furnace. Don’t wait until your furnace malfunctions; take proactive steps to extend its lifespan and keep your home comfortably heated.

Choosing The Right Burner For Your Furnace

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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