Let’s start off by identifying what a furnace is and its categories. Typically, a furnace is used for high temperature heating. It originated from the Greek word, fornax, which means oven. The word furnace on its own refers to the residential heating system based on a central furnace, either a boiler or a heater in a more common language. The source of heat energy is produced by means of fuel directly supplied through combustion, by electricity such as electric arc furnace or through induction heating furnaces.
The residential furnaces are classified under large furnaces which are permanently installed to provide the necessary warmth to an interior area through intermediary fluid motion, which may be in the form of air, hot water or steam. The most common fuel source for contemporary furnaces in the United States is natural gas which includes items such as fuel oil, wood or coal. Electrical resistance heating is also an alternative which provides lower cost in electricity.
There are basically four categories of residential furnaces which heating repair service contractors should know, based on design and efficiency.
The first one is classified under natural draft. These furnaces are made up of cast iron heat exchangers built with outer shell steel. The heat exchangers are then emitted through brick chimneys. As air circulation happens, it goes through specialized pipes and would then channel the warm air into the floor or wall vents inside the house. It practically follows the principle of warmer air rises or natural convection.
The second classification is through forced air or an atmospheric burner style with a cast iron or sectional steel heat exchanger. The warmer air is being moved through a blower and is controlled based on the preferred speed of the user or homeowner.
The third category falls under forced draft. The main differentiator with that of the forced air is that it is more compact than the previous design. These are equipped with combustion air blowers that would collate heated air which would be more fuel efficient and would work best as central air conditioning system.
The fourth and last category is the condensing furnace which is considered a high efficient furnace. It includes a sealed combustion area, combustion draft inducer and a secondary heat exchanger mechanism. As the heat exchanger filters the most of the heat from the exhaust gas, it condenses water vapor and other chemicals as it undergoes the process. The combustion draft inducer allows for the exhaust piping to move vertically or horizontally and brings the fresh combustion air.
With the complex system as well as the equipment’ subjection into heat, chemicals and changes in temperature, it is vital to ensure a regular or annual furnace check up and furnace servicing to ensure that it still provides the necessary efficacy and efficiency . Without proper cleaning and inspection, you can expect the system to wear itself out quickly, to pump dangerous gases or carbon monoxide into your home or to simply seize to operate.
Before doing any system maintenance or check, whether personal or through heating and cooling repair service technicians, it is important to switch off the device and the fuel supply. It is important that every homeowner or user knows where the power switch plate is as well as the fuel shutoff valve which controls the oil tank or incoming gas pipe. Misaligned burners can seriously pose hazard by allowing gas to build up causing a back fire or flash fire. It is advisable to make sure that these are properly set up.
It is very common that deposits of carbon soot in the combustion chamber can cause corrosion on its walls. In order to avoid high cost in furnace fix brought about by such reasons, regularly clean these chambers with extra caution and attention.
Heating and cooling repair service experts are also very particular for any holes in the exhaust shaft or duct which could possibly lead to carbon monoxide lead inside homes which could be very lethal, specifically in areas where the pipes meet the furnace or boilers. By this inspection and application of furnace problems and solutions, it would greatly increase the efficiency level which could save money and life as well. If you have an extra resource to put up, it is also best to install a carbon monoxide alarm in each floor. Since this gas is odorless and colorless, it is really hard to detect if there has been any gas spills inside your area. Given enough concentration, this could really be fatal and it is best to be safe than sorry.
In the process of furnace boiler repair, a common activity done is to replace the oil filter. This prevents the tiny impurities from clogging the oil burner nozzle which may result in a misfire that will eventually shut down the system. Other than replacing the oil filter, it is also important to have a timely change in the air filter, as well as adjusting the blower’s belt wear and tension.
Heating and air conditioning companies would also have combustion analyzers which will calculate the furnace efficiency by measuring the gas in the exhaust file. Technicians would ensure that the burner’s air gates are adjusted to reach the balance between fuel to air. A regular check up of the oil nozzle is also important which controls the fuel just before it ignites and verifies the flame color and shape of the igniter.
It is a must to clean floor vents and remove floor registers as well as to vacuum ducts which are main attractors of dust, pet hairs, small toys and food scraps. With these present, it can definitely reduce the efficiency of the furnace forcing to boost up more heat. This also provides more fresh air inside the home.
When it comes to furnaces, an ounce of prevention definitely equates to a pound of cure. Given the proper knowledge and a few basic hand tools, one can do the routine maintenance check up. If not, you may always call your local heating and repair contractors for additional help and expertise.