A HVAC technician checking a furnace with the words, what is a gas furnace?

There are many heating options from which to choose for your home. Electric furnaces, gas furnaces, and convection heaters all have their strengths and weaknesses, so it can be difficult to decide which is the best for your family. The dedicated team at Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning created an information guide for the different types of heaters that you can use for your home. For our first comprehensive look, we will review how a gas furnace works.

Parts of a Gas Furnace

A gas furnace is a home heating appliance that runs off of natural gas. The natural gas is ignited in the furnace, warming up the air, which is then delivered throughout the home. A fully functioning gas furnace requires all of its components to be working in sync.  Here are the different parts of a gas furnace:

  • Thermostat is the communication center for your HVAC unit. When the air in your home gets too cold, the thermostat commands the heater to turn on.
  • Draft Hood/Fan draws air towards the burners where it combusts, warming the air for redistribution around the house.
  • Burners are the metal tubes through which the natural gas travels; burners heat the incoming air.
  • Heat Exchanger is made up of metal tubes that are heated by the burners to warm the air inside of the furnace
  • The blower directs air coming in through the ducts towards the heat exchanger and then redirects it once back through the ducts to be distributed throughout your home
  • Flue is a vent that collects the combustion gas waste and directs it outside and away from the home.

How a Gas Furnace Works

Understanding the different components of your gas furnace can help you better understand the different cycles of the heating process. Knowing this can help you pinpoint a potential problem. Here are the heating stages in more detail:

Step 1: Thermostat Tells the Furnace to Warm the Home

When your home is too cold, your thermostat will kick in to tell your furnace that it needs to warm the home. Without this command, your furnace will fail to turn on. If you are having furnace issues, it is important to check your thermostat first. A simple battery change may be able to get your heating system up and running.

Step 2: Natural Gas Is Ignited in the Burner

When your thermostat sends its low-voltage command to warm the home, a valve opens allowing the natural gas to begin flowing towards the burner. The blower then directs the incoming air from the ductwork towards the burner to start warming.

Step 3: Ignition of the Burner

As the gas is directed towards the burner, a pilot light, also known as electronic ignition, lights the burner from inside the combustion chamber. This heats the natural gas, which the incoming air passes through, allowing the air to be heated up before it is transported back towards the ducts.

Step 4: Filtering the Good Air from the Combustion Waste

You want the air in your home to be healthy. Your heater is in charge of ensuring that the waste isn’t accompanying your air as it is reintroduced into your home. This is accomplished by the air being pushed through a hot-air plenum. A flue captures any exhaust and sends it away from the house and outside, protecting those who are inside from any toxic fumes.

Step 5: Distribute and Repeat

As the warm air leaves the ductwork and enters its home, the cold air is forced back towards the furnace by the ducts, leaving the warm air alone in the room. This helps keep you and your family nice and cozy. As the original warmer air cools, the new warm air will come to replace it, and the process will continue until the heater is told to turn off.

Gas Furnace Experts

Gas furnaces were designed to quickly and efficiently warm the air in the home. If you have a gas furnace and are noticing that it isn’t warming your home as it should or isn’t coming on, then there may be a problem with one of its components. The experts at Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning provide swift and thorough gas furnace and HVAC repairs, ensuring that your home stays at the perfect temperature. Contact Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning today for more information about our services and an estimate on gas furnace repairs or installation.