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How Does a Gas Furnace Work? Everything You Need to Know

February 06, 2020
A gas furnace is a lifesaver that will keep your home warm during the cold winter months. How does a gas furnace work?

Alabama had an average of 2.55 persons per household between the years 2014 and 2018. Household size is expected to steadily increase as populations soar. In turn, many Alabama families are looking for ways to save on their average cost of living.

Home heating is one of the highest expenses a family can face. With the cost of living skyrocketing, many families are now considering the use of gas furnaces. Gas furnaces have grown in popularity as cheaper household heating alternatives to their electric counterparts. But how does a gas furnace work? Read below to find out!

How Does a Gas Furnace Work?

When the thermostat turns on, your gas furnace goes into action. The thermostat triggers a reaction when the room temperature drops below the set comfort level. The functional mechanism in a gas furnace is a low-voltage signal which activates the valve and causes it to open. Once the valve is opened, it allows for the delivery of natural gas to the burners. Your gas furnace has a pilot light (also referred to as an ignition light).

Once the ignition light is activated, the burner creates heat as natural gas is pumped into the combustion chamber. Your furnace then creates heat in the furnace’s heat exchanger, where the air is warmed. The furnace then pushes the hot air into the hot-air plenum. This reaction then allows the warm air to pass through the ductwork, which heats your home.

Your Gas Furnace Operates in a Forced Air System

The underlying principle behind the gas furnace is the forced-air mechanism. It uses air as the primary medium of heat transfer. This is quite different from how an electric furnace operates.

One of the most important parts of a forced-air system is the ductwork. The ducts function as conduits through which heat is supplied into various rooms. Your gas furnace relies on the ductwork and air vents to distribute air to keep your home warm and cozy.

Gas Furnaces and Air Filters

Air filters also play an important role in your gas furnace system. They improve the airflow of your furnace. Your thermostat may be designed to display a message when the air filter needs to be changed. A clean air filter helps you save on other related costs within the heating system. For instance, a clean air filter reduces wear and tear on your furnace’s motor. The filter isn’t a fix-all, however, and you could still have issues even after changing it. If this happens to you, it may be time to call in an HVAC system specialist to help you solve the issue.

Safety Checkpoints

As you use your gas furnace, there are specific safety considerations you should have in mind.

Standing Pilot

The standing pilot gas valve safety is among the unique features in a gas furnace. This element ensures that the furnace’s main valve doesn’t open until there’s a signal from the pilot light.

The standing pilot gas valve prevents the release of gas into the air unless it has been ignited. If you notice any abnormality in the functionality of the standing pilot gas valve, call an HVAC technician to check it out.

High Limit Switch  

The high-limit switch is another essential feature in the gas furnace. This switch ensures your blower is protected from overheating. If the blower overheats, your gas furnace may be exposed to extreme damages, which could be costly.

If you notice any faults with the limit switch, you may need to consult a residential HVAC service provider to ensure that your heating system is rectified in real-time.

Keep Your Home Warm and Cozy with a Gas Furnace

Nothing beats the welcoming warmth of a well-regulated home heating system. With the cost-effectiveness and safety regulations of a gas furnace, you no longer have to endure cold winters.

Do you have any home heating system concerns? Contact us today!