As our Central Texas days and nights turn cooler, you may find yourself reaching for the thermostat dial to turn on what we so dearly avoid most of the summer: heat. Although some homes are heated with radiators, boilers or heat pumps, the most common residential heating source is a furnace. In preparation for winter, here are a few things you should know about your furnace to ensure it runs in tip-top shape all season long. If you run into trouble, understanding the basics of how your furnace works could save you time and money down the road.
A furnace uses gas to heat air in one area of your home, and then forces warm air through other areas via ductwork and vents. Acting as your home’s central nervous system, the thermostat sends a signal to the furnace when you adjust the temperature setting. From there, the furnace gas valve opens, igniting a burner and regulating the amount of heat. The heat circulates through the tubes of the heat exchanger, converting the heat to air. The blower then moves the newly created heat through your home’s ductwork and out through vents. The combustion gases are vented out of your home through a flue pipe, leaving comfortable, cozy, clean air to heat your casa
Before you turn your furnace on for winter, it’s a good idea to have your system inspected. In addition to ensuring your system is working efficiently, a professional can inspect the pilot light, ventilation system and look for cracks that can allow dangerous gas to seep into your home. If you smell gas, often described as having an odor similar to rotten eggs, evacuate your home immediately and call your utility company. Do not reenter the home until a professional gives you the green light. Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors monthly as an extra precaution.
Understanding how your furnace works can save money on rising utility bills, and give you an added sense of pride in your home. Visit our preferred vendors list for a heating professional you can trust. Stay warm, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest home maintenance tips, updates on upcoming events and other news.