in , , ,

What You Need To Know About How A Furnace Works

4 Reasons Your Furnace Has A Burning Smell

Furnaces are the most used type of house heating. Understanding how your furnace operates will help you get the most use out of it and spot problems early.

Knowing how your furnace operates will help you determine what maintenance it requires and how to spot when it’s not operating properly. Let’s talk about the forced-air furnace.

What’s The Process Of A Forced-Air Furnace?

There are three main systems that make up a forced-air furnace:

  • Exchanger of heat
  • The system of distribution
  • The system of control

The air in your home is heated and circulated by these three elements working together. Let’s examine how they combine to create a cozy environment in your home.

Heat Exchanger: What Is It?

The component of your furnace that heats the air is the heat exchanger. It is the location of fuel combustion. You might recall from science class that heat and gaseous waste are produced during burning (carbon monoxide). Your home’s air is warmed by the heat “byproduct.”

This is how it goes:

The Pilot And The Burners

Inside the heat exchanger, the burners are made of metal tubes. Here, the fuel is mixed with air and flame to ignite combustion (combustion). The pilot ignites the fuel, beginning the combustion process. The flue vent exhausts the waste carbon monoxide outside.

Always ensure sure your home is equipped with a functioning carbon monoxide (CO) detector. Carbon monoxide may escape into the home rather than being expelled to the outside if the heat exchanger is outdated or damaged. Your health is at risk from carbon monoxide, and it can even be fatal. Using a detector is a simple and affordable approach to keep yourself safe.


Your furnace may have a problem with the pilot or the flame sensor if you notice that it starts up and then abruptly goes off. The flame sensor detects the flame when the pilot ignites, allowing the furnace to operate. The sensor will turn off the system if no flame is found, preventing gas from accumulating in the heat exchanger or in your house. If this occurs, it’s time to call in a reputable HVAC firm to clean the sensor and check the pilot.

Filtering The Furnace’s Air

What You Need To Know About How A Furnace Works

The chilly air in your house is sucked into the heat exchanger before being heated by the burners. The furnace air filter filters it before it is drawn in through the main vent. Dust, dirt, and pollen are all captured by the air filter. This protects your equipment while also improving the quality of the air you breathe. Dust and debris can over time do major damage to the furnace if the furnace filter is clogged or missing.


Each one to three months, replace the furnace filter (depending on the filter you purchase). This will prevent dust and debris from collecting on your blower and heat exchanger. Your blower may become out of balance due to buildup, which could result in a furnace breakdown. You safeguard the heating system by changing your furnace filter on a regular basis.

The air passes over the heated burners after passing through the filter. This is where the heat is said to “exchange.” The burners have warmed the chilly air, which is now prepared for distribution throughout the house.

What Is A Distribution System For A Furnace?

The blower and duct system distribute the warmed air throughout your home after the heat exchanger has finished. The heated air is circulated through the air ducts and vents by the blower, which is a fan. The heat exchanger is subsequently refilled with cool air to complete a full cycle of heating.

What Is A Control System For A Furnace?

As you have undoubtedly already surmised, the thermostat controls everything. This temperature-sensitive appliance manages the complete heating system.

How Can I Tell If My Furnace Isn’t Running Properly?

What You Need To Know About How A Furnace Works

There are numerous indications that there is a problem with your furnace. The majority are:

  • The furnace starts up, then immediately turns off.
  • Your furnace is making grinding, screaming, or knocking noises.
  • The blower never stops running.
  • Air from the blower is merely cold.
  • The furnace has a foul odor.
  • Your energy costs suddenly increase.

Call your HVAC expert if you experience any of these problems or if something just doesn’t feel right. Many of these problems are fixable. Remember that it might be time for a new furnace if the repairs would cost more than $300 to $400 or if your furnace is 15 to 20 years old.

Does My Furnace Need Professional Maintenance?

What You Need To Know About How A Furnace Works

Before you start using your furnace, it’s crucial to have it professionally maintained once a year. There are four reasons why this is crucial:

  • You stay away from issues like clogged flame sensors and unbalanced blowers.
  • Before they create damage, minor problems can be identified and fixed.
  • A specialist will look for gas and carbon monoxide (CO) leaks.
  • A well maintained furnace operates more effectively and lasts longer.

It’s comparable to getting your yearly physical, having your car serviced, or getting your teeth cleaned. You can identify issues early on by performing routine maintenance.

What do you think?

Written by HVAC Contributor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

4 Reasons Your Furnace Has A Burning Smell

9 Reasons To Repair Or Replace Your Furnace

The Value of The Air Handling Unit

11 Ways to Improve Your Furnace’s Performance