Furnaces offer forced-air heating which is a common way of keeping warm during the colder parts of the year. If you live in an area that has all four seasons, you are likely familiar with furnaces and other heating systems. A broken furnace is not something you want in the middle of winter as it’s not only an annoyance, it can also be very dangerous. Regular maintenance and repairs keep your furnace running at its best and help you keep warm when you need it. The parts of a furnace system include the following.
The Parts of a Furnace System
The Pilot Light: Found in older furnaces, a pilot light ignites the gas to start the heating process when the furnace is turned on.
Thermocouple: The thermocouple works with the pilot light and when it senses the pilot light is lit it signals the gas valve to open.
Hot Subsurface Igniter: If you have a newer furnace, this part replaced the pilot light. This type of igniter is electric-powered, and it raises the internal furnace temperature to ignite the gas.
Flame Sensor: This part works alongside the hot surface igniter. A safety device, the flame sensor detects heat and when no heat is detected it shuts off the gas supply.
Gas Valve: This part serves two important roles. First, it controls the gas sent to the furnace, and second, it adjusts the pressure of the gas coming into your home, so it is suitable for use in the furnace.
Burners: Burners work by mixing air and gas to make a flame which in turn generates heat to warm your home.
Heat Exchanger: When fuel is burned, toxic gases are created. The heat exchanger holds these toxic gases, so they can be safely vented away from your home. The exchanger also gives off the heat these gases produce, warming the air.
Draft Inducer Motor: This motor turns on before the gas is pumped into your furnace. Its role is to help push toxic fumes out of your home via the vent pipe. The inducer motor creates a vacuum to help do this.
Pressure Switch: This part works with the inducer motor. This switch is activated by the vacuum the draft inducer motor creates. Once activated, this switch allows gas to flow into your furnace.
The Blower Motor: This is the part of your furnace that pushes warm air into the duct system and throughout your home.
Blower Motor Capacitor: This is the part that helps start and regulate the blower motor’s speed to ensure it runs constantly.
Limit Switch: This switch detects the temperature in the furnace itself. If your furnace runs too hot, the limit switch shuts off the gas to prevent any safety hazards.
Knowing what parts make up a furnace can help you take better care of it and know when professional help is needed.