If you have just installed your first furnace, it's advisable to understand the major parts of the system and how they operate. This knowledge can help you maximize your furnace's efficiency and spot problems early. Below are some of the major parts of a typical gas furnace.
The pilot light provides your furnace with the heat it needs to ignite the fuel and keep it burning. In old furnaces, you light the pilot light manually, and it must stay on as long as the furnace is on. In newer furnaces, an electronic ignition system acts as the pilot light and acts automatically.
The blower motor is responsible for getting the heated air moving so that the air can circulate through the house. The blower comprises of two major parts — the motor and the fan. The motor converts electrical energy into kinetic energy. A fan belt connects the blower motor to a fan. The motor thus turns the fan, and the fan gets the air moving.
Furnaces have two duct systems: the supply ducts and the return ducts. The supply duct sends heated air into different rooms to facilitate heating. The supply ducts send cool air from different rooms into the furnace for further heating. The two duct systems thus keep air circulating in the home.
Furnace burners are parts of the furnace that burn the fuel to provide the heat that warms up your house. The pilot light provides the heat that lights the burners so that the burners can combust the fuel and produce heat. Since the burners are extremely hot, there is a burner cover to shield you from accidental contact with the flames. The cover also prevents the byproducts of combustion, such as stray particles, from getting discarded.
Your furnace heats your house by "exchanging" or giving up the heat from the burners with the cool air in your house. The heat exchanger is the part of the furnace in which this exchange takes place. The heat exchanger is a system of looped coils that gets heated by the burners. The coils then heat up the air above them, and the heated air gets circulated in your house to warm up your indoor air.
The furnace draws some moisture out of the air as it cools the air and blows it throughout the house. The moisture cools and condenses into water, and it needs a place to drain out of the furnace safely. The condensate drain acts as the channel for getting this water out of the furnace.
Contact a local HVAC service to learn more about how your furnace works.