Clockwork Heating & Air Conditioning Athens, GA

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How Does a Furnace Work

Wondering How a Furnace Works?

Living in the southeastern United States, we really depend on furnaces to keep warm. Even though our winters are mild, a furnace that does not work can be a huge stressor. Understanding how your furnace works will help you identify any potential malfunctions. While some things are easy to fix, others require an experienced professional to solve. Either way, it’s helpful to know a bit of background.

Basic Furnace Function

The furnace cycle is actually quite simple in its design and execution. Here are the steps of the cycle.

Step 1: Generate heat. This is usually done by burning propane or natural gas in the combustion chamber.

Step 2: Transfer that heat to the air. The generated heat warms an exchanger, which is a vented metal plate through which air flows. A circulating fan draws the air and forces it through the heat exchanger, warming it up.

Step 3: Distribute heated air. As the heated air passes through the heat exchanger, it is then sent into the duct system, and distributed throughout the house.

Step 4: Draw colder air back and start again. While the heated air is being circulated throughout the house, the colder denser air is being drawn down and back to the return duct. This return flows back to the furnace to allow the cycle to continue.

While this is a very simple process, maintaining it can become quite complex depending on the particular furnace.

Primary Furnace Components

It is really the components of the furnace that make it complex. Knowing at least the primary components can help you when talking with a qualified repair profession. Here are the primary parts most furnace systems have.

  • Thermostat
  • Combustion chamber
  • Burner
  • Pilot light
  • Gas valve
  • Circulating fan
  • Exhaust fan
  • Heat exchanger
  • Furnace filters

While anyone can replace furnace filters and thermostat batteries, you need a qualified professional to help when it comes to working on the internal parts of the furnace. The team at Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning has been serving the Athens, GA, area for over 35 years. Whether you need help with your furnace, air conditioner, or indoor air quality, we have the expertise to help. Give us a call today.