How Your Home Heating System Works

When the hot summer days turn into cool and cold winter nights, you rely on your heating system to keep your home comfortable.

Most households in America rely on a central heating system to heat air and then distribute it throughout the house. While you may understand how a furnace thermostat works to set your desired temperature, you may not know how a furnace works in a home.

Knowing how a furnace works will allow you to understand how your home is heated and how you can calculate your various utility bills.

How Furnace Heating Works

A furnace heats your home by blowing air that’s heated through the ducts in your home. That heated air is then delivered to rooms throughout your home through registers or grills that are — in most cases — located on the floors.

You may also hear a furnace system referred to as a forced-air heating system. It’s merely a description of how the heating system distributes the air in your home.

The furnace will either use gas, oil, or electricity to fuel the heat. In electric furnaces, electricity will power the appliance to heat the air. In gas or oil furnaces, the furnace will mix the type of fuel with air. The furnace then burns the fuel through a metal exchanger, and the heat transfers into the air.

In all three versions, the furnace fan will push the heated air into the ductwork.

How a Furnace Humidifier Works

When you use heat in your home, you may notice that the air is quite dry. Surprisingly, dry air can result in your home feeling colder. Many furnaces will come equipped with a humidifier to prevent dry air.

A home needs humidity to keep you feeling warmer. If there is a lack of moisture, you’ll feel colder and likely turn your thermostat higher. A humidifier can help you feel warmer and, in turn, save you money on your utility bill.

A furnace humidifier adds moisture to the air. It connects to a source of water, then uses evaporation to push the humidity through the ductwork.

Rowland Air can provide you with several furnace choices that will work best for your home. Your furnace must be efficient to help you reduce your utility bills, and one way to do that is to ensure it has a properly-working humidifier and the other is the furnace is the right size.

Safety Properties for Gas and Oil Furnaces

Any time an appliance uses gas or oil, it needs to have safety mechanisms to protect leaks. A pressure switch is one of these safety features.

How a furnace pressure switch works is it will automatically turn off the furnace if it senses any negative pressure. The draft inducer motor would be the source of this negative pressure. The pressure switch prevents exhaust fumes from being introduced back into your furnace and then distributed throughout your home.

How a furnace flame sensor works is it detects whether or not there’s a flame present in the furnace. If the sensor doesn’t notice a flame, it will shut the furnace off. The sensor prevents gas from leaking into your home, which could be extremely dangerous.

It’s also important to know how a furnace gas valve works. The valve is another safety feature of your furnace, and it includes two valves. They open and close to allow gas to flow through the furnace and prevent gas from doing so when not necessary.

The first valve allows gas to flow through to the pilot light. The second valve, which is sometimes called the main valve, then allows gas to flow through to the furnace’s burner trays.

All of these furnace features are essential components to keep your system running safely.