In the height of summer, any homeowner will start sweating at the mere thought of furnaces. But it's essential to ensure that a building's furnace is in working order. But what is a furnace? And why are they so important to help keep us warm when it's chilly outside?

Knowing about furnaces is crucial to knowing more about keeping your home in working order. And you and your family warm during cold nights.

What is a furnace? Let's find out.

What Is A Furnace?

furnace with front panel removed

A furnace is a unit in your home that provides heat in your home through the use of combustion. They're also called boilers and burners. They distribute heat through a home via natural gas, electricity, steam, and oil. If your unit works properly, it can create a warm, comfortable home.

Not all furnaces are the same. That's why it's important to see which furnace is in your home. Let's learn about the different furnace types and why they matter.

Types Of Furnaces

Here are common types of furnaces you'll find in homes everywhere.

Forced Air Furnaces

These types of furnaces are outdated. While they provide heating, they aren't energy efficient. With forced air furnaces, air flows through ducts in your HVAC system. You'll find these units outside, which can heat a home quickly.

Natural Draft Furnaces

As you can surmise, a natural draft furnace uses existing air in the building to raise the temperature. Using fuel, these heating apparatuses create a natural draft that makes its way through your vents and ducts.

These furnaces operate at a moderate efficiency but aren't as efficient as something more modern, like condensing furnaces. They're older but are still present in many homes. The key to making an existing natural draft furnace more modern is updating it with newer parts.

Condensing Furnaces

A condensing furnace converts cool air into hot air through a heat exchanger.

A condensing furnace has a solid air filtration system and can improve indoor air quality in your home.

Condensing furnaces are more energy efficient than their forced air counterparts.

It's crucial to ensure this heating apparatus undergoes regular, necessary maintenance. Otherwise, homeowners can experience dangerous fire hazards. Here are some simple yet vital furnace safety tips.

Furnace Safety Tips

While these furnace safety tips may seem obvious, but a good education is always needed. Especially with heat in your home.

Regular Home Inspections

Firstly, a home inspection ensures that everything in your home, furnaces included, is up to code. Whether inspecting a home's foundation for any cracks or uncovering a nasty source of mold, inspections maintain a safe status quo.

Clean Furnaces Regularly

Keeping the immediate area clean is the easiest and least costly way to keep your furnace running without issue. Lint buildup can pose significant problems for furnace functionality. Think of how important it is to clean the lint collector in a dryer after doing laundry. Cleaning your home's furnace ensures all components run smoothly. And safely.

Likewise, keeping combustible or flammable materials nearby is a major health hazard. That's why installing smoke detectors nearby is crucial.

Install Carbon Monoxide And Smoke Alarms

Keeping a pair or combination of carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms keeps you alerted to any leaks or problems with your furnace. A furnace that uses fuel will give off deadly carbon monoxide. Since carbon monoxide is odorless, you'll likely never know your furnace is leaking the deadly gas.

Having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in multiple areas of your home is a fantastic idea. A furnace isn't the only household fixture that can leak gas or produce smoke. A leak is entirely possible if you have a stove that uses fuel or gas.

If your furnace is performing as it should be, there's no need to worry about carbon monoxide, as it doesn't circulate in the air. However, always be prepared!

Look Out For Furnace Warning Signs

furnace with front piece removed

Sometimes, furnaces show obvious warning signs that show you that it needs some work.

Namely, with gas furnaces, any irregular sounds like banging is a major warning sign. While furnaces make regular sounds, they're usually related to turning on and off. You'll likely notice a big difference.

These noises can signify that the furnace has an ignition problem. When a furnace has an ignition problem, the buildup of natural gas can, you guessed it, create a carbon monoxide and gas leak. Both are fatal results that are avoidable.

Distinctive smells and flame color also point to significant problems with your furnace. As such, you need to call professionals immediately.

What's The Difference Between A Furnace And A Heater?

You'll often hear 'heater' thrown around as anything that keeps you warm. And that's technically true. However, while 'heater' is a handy catch-all for devices that keep homeowners warm, it isn't the same as a furnace.

Long story short, a furnace is a heater, but a heater isn't always a furnace.

Now, let's dig in and explore the key differences that make that true.

What Is A Heater?

A heater is a piece of equipment that heats your home. It could be tied to your HVAC system, or

One of the first things conjured up by thoughts of heating equipment is space heaters. These portable appliances do just that; heat specific areas of your choosing. Need warmth in your bedroom? Your kitchen?

That's where a space heater comes in. However, space heaters aren't without their risks. You must do your due diligence if you're using this heating equipment. Plus, practice some safety tips to ensure you and your family are safe while trying to stay warm.

What Is A Furnace? Learn More With Five Star

If your furnace is on the fritz, it can cause many headaches. And the uncomfortable temperature drops in your home.

As such, you must call on professionals to ensure that your furnace and HVAC system is in good order.

With decades of combined home improvement experience, experts at Five Star Restoration will have your central heating, hot water heaters, and furnaces working.

Since 2016, home repair and reconstruction experts in the Inland Empire have been serving clients and forging strong bonds with the community. Based on stellar customer service and a genuine desire to promote homeowner safety. Five Star Restoration is your home repair and restoration company with hundreds of satisfied customers in the Inland Empire and San Diego.

For more information about Five Star Restoration, what we do, and how we help, give us a call today!

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