Furnace Repair in Kansas City
If you’re considering furnace repair in Kansas City, there are a few things you should know about furnaces first. In this post, we’ll go over the different parts that make up a gas furnace, as well as how these parts interact to give you a heated home. For troubleshooting purposes, this can be a good guide to determine exactly which part of your furnace is in need of repair. Though we don’t recommend conducting furnace repair in Kansas City on your own, understanding how your system works can always be beneficial.
Parts of a Gas Furnace
A gas furnace (aka ‘home furnace’) turns gas to heat and keeps the circulation of indoor air warm. Most gas furnaces operate at 95% efficiency. They are made up of three parts, the first part is composed of a burner, heat exchanger, vent and draft inducer. The second part contains the safety devices and controls (i.e. circuit board relays, thermostat, flame sensors, etc.). Lastly is the blower and air movement. We’ll go over each of these parts to help you better understand how the system works and determine whether you require furnace repair in Kansas City.
The furnace burner is the part where air and fuel are combined, resulting in heat. After this step, the heat is distributed throughout the home. In some cases, the burner has a pre-mixer that mixes the air and fuel. Because of this, combustion is more efficient. Fuel sources can include gas, oil or propane, and a furnace can have more than one burner. Once the thermostat calls for heat, the fuel valve opens and the air intake sucks in air from the exterior of the home. This mixes with the fuel and the pilot light engages. Heated air travels across the heat exchanger, sending warm air into the ductwork. Blower fans take care of the rest.
A heat exchanger makes it possible for heat from a fluid to pass to another fluid without the two fluids mixing together or coming into direct contact with each other. Through this process, it transfers hear from one medium to another via conduction. There are different types of heat exchangers; An air-cooled heat exchanger moves cool air through a core of fins to lower the temperature of the liquid. Shell and tube heat exchangers, on the other hand, move the fluids through and over tubes. What’s important to know about a heat exchanger is that is transfers heat without transferring the fluid that carries the heat. As far as furnace repair in Kansas City goes, this is a part that you need to maintain.
Furnace Vent Pipe
Why is a vent pipe so important? Because it transmits emissions from the combustion process outside the building. This means you never have to worry about toxic gases and harmful byproducts of the heating process. In addition, this part prevents fires. There are three types of vents: natural, direct and sidewall. A natural vent is powered by natural air convection, and they’re standard in most modern gas furnaces. It takes air from within the home for combustion. Since warm air rises, the gases created during combustion rise through the vent. From there, the air is vented outside via a vertical pipe in the roof. A direct vent uses two pipes that are different sizes. An outer pipe sucks in the air from outside to be used for the combustion process, and the smaller pipe inside vents the exhaust fumes. They’re more costly than natural vents, but also have easier installation and less environmental pollution. Finally, the sidewall power vent (aka induced draft fan) is positioned at the end of the exhaust pipe, drawing out combustion gases and expelling them outside. It works with the furnace and is one of the most budget-friendly options out there. These types also are highly efficient and safe.
Essentially, a draft inducer is a fan that’s positioned within the furnace near the heat exchanger. It’s one of the first parts activated once the furnace starts up the heating cycle. It turns on prior to the burners igniting in order to remove the combustion gases that hang around after the previous heating cycle. Draft inducers provide the burners with a consistent source of oxygen. The draft inducer blows the combustion gases out of your furnace before flames are lit, ensuring your furnace is safe for the home. They also improve the system’s efficiency by ensuring you get the most out of your burner’s efforts. Heat production is maximized since it runs the whole time, and heat is evenly distributed within the heat exchanger’s walls.
A thermostat senses the temperature of a system to ensure the desired set point is maintained. This is a ‘closed loop’ control device, because it works to reduce the error between the desired and measured temperatures. With gas furnaces, a thermostat will start drafting the fan to create a column of air flowing up the chimney. Then, the ignitor will be heated. Open gas vales ignite the main burners, and the heat exchangers eventually reach a proper operating temperature for the main blower fans to be activated. Mechanical thermostats work by using the thermal expansion principle (things get bigger when they heat up and smaller when they cool down) to switch an electric circuit on and off. Most thermostats use bimetallic strips or gas-filled bellows.
A furnace blower moves the heated air throughout the duct work in your home, ensuring all rooms are heated evenly. The blower motor is one of the hardest-working parts of your furnace. There are a couple different types to choose from as well. The single speed blower has only two settings: on and off. It’s either at full capacity or nothing. A variable-speed blower motor, on the other hand, gives you a soft start. This means that blowers don’t start out on full throttle when the heater is activated, but rather increase as runtime goes on. This saves on energy, because the blower motor only runs at full capacity when needed. The blower is activated when the heat sequence is initiated. The relay in the circuit board closes, thereby powering up the motor of the blower. When a desired temperature is achieved, the blower is activated by a blower relay in the circuit board.
To ensure optimal safety with your gas furnace, you should follow these steps. For one, make sure your furnace is cleaned and checked every year by a certified Anthony PHC technician. Do this before the heating season. Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home and change your furnace filter regularly. This filter will be located inside the front cover of the furnace and can be accessed via a door on the front of the furnace. When your filter is cleaned regularly, dust doesn’t circulate around your home. Additionally, you should maintain a clean area around your furnace and keep the burner area of your furnace clean. As a rule of thumb, you should never operate your furnace without the front-panel door properly in place. This is where carbon-monoxide poisoning becomes a possibility, since some older models don’t have a safety switch that prevents furnace operation when the panel to the blower compartment is not in place. Keep any combustibles, like paint thinners or gasoline, away from your furnace to prevent fires. By following these steps, you ensure that your furnace can run worry-free. If you’d rather a professional take care of these safety measures, you can call out an Anthony PHC representative to work on your furnace repair in Kansas City.