Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

How Does a Gas Furnace Operate?

The most common heating fixture found in homes is the gas furnace. While they’ve always been a standard in home heating, today’s systems are more reliable and efficient than they have ever been. And since most homes already have a gas hookup and a duct system already in place, a gas furnace often just makes sense.

Few homeowners think about what powers the heat in their home and what happens when they switch on the thermostat. We’ll go over that here briefly, but be sure to call the people at Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing for more information about your furnace or to schedule repairs, maintenance, or new installation.

In order for a gas furnace to operate, you of course need a gas line in the home. In the past, the gas line would remain open in order to keep a pilot light on that would keep burning at all times. Today, however, furnaces are far more efficient in large part because updated ignition systems only ignite the gas once heating is called for by the thermostat. This happens in the combustion chamber, and the byproducts–namely carbon monoxide and water vapor–are vented through a flue and out the home.

The flame heats up a heat exchanger which directly heats the air. A blower fan sucks in cool air from your home. The cool air then blows over the heat exchanger and the now-warm air moves to the vents around your home. The blower fan will not start, though, until the furnace plenum reaches a preset temperature.

Another thing to keep in mind about the gas furnace is that there are many safety features that help to keep the furnace from leaking gas or even explosion. When one of these detects a problem, the unit will shut down. One important safety component, for example, will keep the furnace plenum from overheating. Another will stop gas from leaking should the flame go out.

Call the friendly technicians at Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing for furnace repairs, installation, or maintenance in Gaithersburg. We have experience with gas heating system, so you can feel confident that services have been completed properly and safely.