Learn the Parts of Your Furnace

Learn the Parts of Your FurnaceBeing familiar with the parts of your furnace gives you a basic understanding of how combustion furnaces work. Knowing the basic operation will help you communicate with an HVAC pro and lay the groundwork for basic maintenance and troubleshooting.

  • Hot surface ignitor. When the thermostat calls for heating, it turns the hot surface ignitor on, which in turn ignites the gas.
  • Burners. The burners are similar to the burners found in gas grills where the fuel burns. HVAC technicians adjust the fuel to air ratio so that the flames are nearly all blue. Orange
  • Heat exchanger. The heat exchanger sits next to the burners and absorbs the heat. This part is metal and needs to be kept clean to achieve maximum energy efficiency. A dirty heat exchanger will hold too much heat, which can prematurely crack this part, resulting in an expensive repair or a system replacement because cracks can allow carbon monoxide (CO) to enter your home’s air.
  • Blower. The blower motor powers a fan that pulls air into the furnace that blows over the heat exchanger. As the air travels past it, it heats up.
  • Supply plenum. This metal part joints the furnace to the ductwork and is either an updraft or downdraft, depending on where the ductwork is installed.
  • Air filter. All forced-air HVAC systems used air filters to trap airborne particulates before they enter the blower compartment. Although it seems like an inconsequential part, the air filter impacts the system’s performance and energy efficiency. Dirty filters increase energy bills, lower indoor air quality and cause premature part failures.
  • Flue. Central combustion furnaces create gases as the fuel burns. These gases contain harmful chemicals, like CO and nitrogen oxides. They exit through the flue or chimney to the outdoors.

These are the most essential parts of a furnace, although there are others that include safety switches and mechanical components that contribute to its operation and efficiency. If you’d like to learn more about improving its performance, increasing its longevity and lowering energy bills, contact C.R. Wolfe Heating & Air Conditioning, proudly serving Middletown homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace components and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 845-367-4482.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “petelinforth/Pixabay”

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One Comment

  1. Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I wasn’t aware that the blower was the part that pulls air into the furnace that blows over the heat exchanger. I’ve heard that the majority of the parts are universal and can be found in almost any type of furnace. Is that true? I’ll have to study these parts and get them into my memory so that I’ll be ready to go if I have to replace a part.

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