When the temperatures outside start to drop, people spend more time inside curled up on their couches with the furnace going strong. Whether it’s a heat pump, a state-of-the-art heating system, or a new furnace, everyone has to have heat. While you already know that you should change the filter in your furnace every month, that you need to have a reputable HVAC technician come out and inspect it every few months, and that you need to keep the area around the outside unit clean, there are a few things that you probably didn’t know about your furnace as well. Read on below for a few of those things to be revealed.
1. Furnaces are the most common heating system.
Forced air furnaces heat the majority of homes in the United States. These furnaces can burn propane, oil, natural gas, or electricity. Gas furnaces seem to be the most popular, with electric furnaces coming in second. The furnace in your home heats the air, then pushes it through the ductwork into the vents in your home, warming each room nicely and with ease.
One great thing about furnaces is that you don’t have to turn them off when you’re not at home like you do with space heaters or fireplaces. For example, if you’re traveling abroad and have a medical emergency, while you’re checking into your travel insurance and wondering what to do in a medical emergency abroad, you can still have the peace of mind in knowing that your furnaces heat exchanger is still warming your home for when you get back from your vacation.
2. Furnaces are durable.
While there’s no guarantee as to how long your furnace will last, the life expectancy for most furnaces is between 16 and 20 years on average. While furnaces are durable, homeowners have to take care of them properly for them to last that long. Regular maintenance for your furnace is a must—especially if it’s an older furnace.
If you have regular inspections of your furnace, keep the system clean, and change the filter monthly, your furnace should last you for many years to come. Having your furnace inspected every few months ensures that minor problems are caught before major problems occur.
3. Your furnace has three main components.
Although your furnace has filters, ductwork, and fittings, all furnaces have only three main components. The first component is a burner featured in gas furnaces or a heating element featured in electric furnaces. The burner or heating element is how the heat is created and circulates through your home. The second component is the heat exchanger, which separates combustible gas from breathable air. The third and final main component is the blower, which circulates the breathable air and sends it through the vents in your home to keep it toasty warm. There are quite a few different parts that make up these three components, but they are your heating system’s main components.
4. Correct Size
Many homeowners mistakingly believe that the bigger the furnace, the warmer their home will be. Actually, an oversized furnace in a small home will overheat it, making you and your family members uncomfortable, while other parts of the house will be too cold. By the same token, a furnace that’s too small for your home will struggle to keep it warm, resulting in the same issues. A professional HVAC service can help you determine which furnace is best for the size of your home—all you have to do is ask them.
These are just a few of the things you might not have known about your furnace. Keep your furnace in good working order, and it’ll last you for many, many years to come.