About 60% of American homes use forced-air systems for heating and air conditioning. These systems are typically powered by a furnace which, in turn, is fueled by natural gas. Understanding how your furnace works is essential in identifying common problems that plague this quintessential household fixture.
Furnace-heated forced-air systems operate in a fairly straightforward cycle. Blower fans draw in surrounding air, causing an ignition to light up in the heat exchange. The heat exchange heats up the surrounding air and another blower fan circulates the heated air into the rooms. Meanwhile, the gases combusted in the heat exchange are released through a vent valve away from living areas.
This cycle is controlled by the thermostat which measures ambient temperature. Some programmable thermostats can be set to automatically turn the furnace on or off depending on how much heat is needed by a room.
Maintaining Furnace Efficiency
It’s uncommon for furnaces to break down but it does happen occasionally. When breakdowns occur, it’s best to call in a qualified heating and air conditioning professional. However, there are a few steps you, as a homeowner, can take to keep your furnace running efficiently.
Sweeping or vacuuming away soot, dust and other build-up around the blower regularly and cleaning out the fan with a small brush, can greatly improve circulation. If you are able, you can also opt to lubricate the motor at least once a year.
Addressing Cycling Problems
Furnace cycles can be disrupted by a number of factors. Anything that obstructs air flow can have an adverse effect on the usual cycles that furnaces take during normal operation. To mitigate these issues, clear out any possible obstruction to the air flow within the vents, blower fans and other areas where airflow is necessary. You can check the cycle by turning up the thermostat and observing any difference.
Finally, clogged filters can also cause abnormal on-off cycling in your furnace system, in addition to reducing its efficiency. Ensure that filters are replaced regularly to avoid recurring problems.
Trust Only the Best Heating and Air Conditioning Professionals
Keep your furnace and heating system in tip-top shape this season with M & M. Call us today at (209) 952-6580 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment. We serve Sacramento and the surrounding areas.