SERVING LOCAL FAMILIES, LIKE YOURS, FOR OVER 100 YEARS!
Furnaces produce heat by burning fuel. Hot gasses travel through metal tubing. This is called the heat exchanger. When air passes over the exchanger, heat is absorbed from the metals surface. The heated air is dispersed amongst your house to heat all the rooms.
If a heat exchanger cracks or contains holes, leaks can release carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide is nearly impossible for humans to detect on their own due to its characteristics of being colorless and odorless. Because of this, it is referred to as “The Silent Killer”. Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. It is extremely important to have a HVAC technician perform a furnace inspection annually to prevent problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning. UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers yearly maintenance packages and service agreements that include yearly maintenance and furnace inspections.
The Components of a Warm Air Furnace
The thermostat is placed indoors and acts as a control, monitoring the temperature and telling the furnace when to turn on and off.
Gas or Oil Burner
The burner can be fueled by gas or by oil. It is the component that creates the required heat. It can be controlled by a thermostat or by the fan limit control, which is located in the plenum chamber. A dirty air filter or a blocked fan can cause the burner to turn off and on more frequently than necessary. If you are experiencing this issue, the first thing you should try is to change the air filter. If that does not help the issue, contact UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing and we will send an expert technician to further troubleshoot your gas or oil furnace burner issues.
When natural gas, propane or heating oil are burned in a furnace, the resulting hot combustion gasses by burning natural gas, propane or heating oil circulate through a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger will, in turn, release that heat to be circulated by the furnace’s blower. The flue gas then travels through the flue vent, which carries the gas outside of the home. When a heat exchanger is cracked, it generally will require a complete system replacement. That is one of the reasons why we highly recommend annual preventive maintenance on your home’s furnace – this preventative furnace inspection and maintenance can greatly prolong the life of your home heating system.
The blower assembly is located between your main furnace and the cold air return. The blower is responsible for pulling air from your home and then sending it through the furnace and the heat exchanger. The air gets circulated throughout the home via the duct work. The furnace’s air filter is contained within the blower compartment. Regular-style filters should be replaced or cleaned each month.
Air Ducts and Registers
Air ducts come in two forms: cool air ducts (also known as “return ducts”) and warm air ducts (also known as “supply ducts”). Warm air from the furnace enters the home through the warm air registers. No more than 20: of these warm air ducts and registers should ever be closed off – this hinders air flow and could result in the overheating of the heat exchanger, causing costly damage to you home heating system.
Combination Fan and Limit Control
The fan limit switch controls the furnace blower. The fan limit switch has three settings: “Fan On”, “Fan Off”, and “Limit”. In the “Fan Off” setting, the blower will only operate if there is warm air in the plenum to prevent cool air from blowing into the home. The “Fan On” setting will keep the blower operating even after the burner has shutdown, making sure that all of the hot air produced is circulated. The “Limit” setting is a safety control that will turn the burner off in the rare event that the air in the warm air plenum reaches an unsafe temperature. This may be the case if ducts are blocked or if the system controls are malfunctioning.
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