Types of Furnaces
Modern furnaces are run by gas, oil or electricity. Some very old buildings may still use coal to fuel their furnaces. In the modern era, most furnaces use gas to deliver heat.
Furnaces work by heating cool air that travels from a return duct through a filter and then into a heat exchanger. The air is heated either by flames or electricity and then is pushed into a system of ducts by a blower. The heated air rises through registers in the rooms and warms them.
Though all three types of furnace basically work the same way, they have different components. The electrical furnace has heating elements that come with their own fuses, a transformer that controls the amperage, and relays that turn the furnace on or off according to signals from the thermostat.
The gas furnace has a gas supply pipe, control valves, burners and manifolds that feed the right mix of gas and air, a heat exchanger, and an inspection port. Gases from the furnace’s flue port are vented to the outside, often via the chimney. Because of this, a chimney that’s attached to a gas furnace needs to be inspected regularly to make sure that carbon monoxide gas is being vented properly.
An oil furnace is the most complex type of furnace in popular use. It has a combustion chamber, a fuel pump, an ignition transformer, safety controls and a combustion blower.
Have Furnaces Inspected before the Cold Months Hit
An HVAC specialist should inspect a furnace and its ductwork in the fall to make sure they work properly throughout the winter months. The heat exchangers in a gas and oil furnace need to be inspected along with the chimney, because a crack in a heat exchanger can also allow carbon monoxide to escape. Filters need to be replaced. Belts, fans and motors need to be checked, and may need cleaning or replacing. The thermostat should also be tested to see if it’s working properly, as should switches, fuses and burners. Oil valves and safeties need to be inspected and cleaned, if necessary. The oil valves in an oil-fueled furnace also require changing or cleaning every year.
When the furnace is working during the winter, the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced every month. The blades of the fan in the blower also need to be cleaned monthly.
Given the ferocity of Canadian winters, a well-maintained furnace with clear, leak-proof ducts is a must. To keep your ductwork in good condition, give us a call at Dial One Duct Cleaning in the Toronto/GTA today at (416) 896-4799.