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What Is a Furnace and How Does It Work?

A furnace is an essential part of your home’s central heating system. It heats the air and sends it through ducts to different parts of your house. If you live somewhere cold, this is a necessity for comfort and safety. There are many reasons why furnaces can malfunction or break down. In this guide, we will talk about Furnace repair in Ashburn VA, what furnaces do, how they work, furnace repair, furnace maintenance, and what you can do if there are problems with yours.

What is a Furnace, And How Does it Work?

A furnace is a piece of equipment that heats your home or business. It accomplishes this by converting a fuel source to heat via combustion, producing hot air, and distributing it throughout your home via ducts. Furnaces are classified into gas-powered and electric-powered (or ‘forced’ if both are used).

Furnace services are essential for comfort and safety if you live somewhere cold. A furnace works by forcing air over a heat exchanger, which heats it. This process generates hot and cold airstreams, with the warm one distributed throughout your home via ducts, and the cool one is directed outside via an exhaust pipe.

Combustion Furnace

This is the most common type of furnace. It runs on either natural gas or propane and has a heat exchanger, blower, combustion chamber, flue vent connector, air ducts to transport hot air throughout your home/business, and a heat exchanger.

Electric Furnace

This is more expensive to run, but it offers greater energy efficiency, can warm up your home faster than gas-powered furnaces, and works well for homes with limited access to natural gas. It also has a blower, combustion chamber, flue vent connector, air ducts to transport hot air throughout your home/business, and a heat exchanger.

Did you know? Furnaces are complex appliances that must be serviced regularly to stay in working order. If yours has a problem, you should call for Furnace repair Ashburn VA as soon as possible; it’s the only way to avoid major issues later on (like carbon monoxide poisoning or a fire).

Furnace Repair: What Are Typical Furnace Problems?

There are many different furnace problems that you may encounter when it comes to your home’s central heating system, but there are a few that happen more frequently than others.

Some of the most common problems include: 

  • No heat – this is the most common issue with furnaces because many furnaces can shut down as a safety precaution if they begin to overheat.
  • No air – this is also common, especially with rising furnace repair bills and people attempting to use their furnaces less frequently. A lack of flow caused by clogged filters means you won’t get any warm air from your vents.
  • Clogged filter – Another common issue is a clogged filter, which prevents airflow.
  • Thermostat not working – A faulty thermostat can interfere with your furnace’s ability to detect when you are home and require heat, as well as how it responds to temperature changes outside. It could also mean that your furnace isn’t starting and running correctly.
  • Leaking gas – a leaking furnace can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, hazardous to everyone in the house.
  • Noisy operation/vibrating sound – this typically means you have a problem with your blower.
  • Popping sounds – this usually indicates that there’s something wrong with the furnace belt or pulley.
  • Banging sound – if your furnace is banging, it could mean that one of the other components has come loose and needs to be reattached by a professional.
  • Running out of gas or having an empty propane tank (this is why we always recommend having an emergency fuel source on hand, just in case).

What Can You Do If There Are Problems With Your Furnace?

Many furnace problems can be easily avoided with proper care and service. To keep your home’s central heating system running as smoothly as possible, schedule yearly inspections (at the very least) with a qualified professional to look for any problems that could lead to costly repairs or severe injury. Every year, you should also have your furnace serviced.

In addition, you should be aware of common warning signs such as a loud noise when turning on your gas or the pilot light going out frequently (which indicates a blockage in the venting system). If your furnace malfunctions and causes problems with your central heating system, or if it completely fails, you should contact furnace service as soon as possible.

Furnace maintenance tips:

  • Change your furnace filter regularly. If you don’t, it can reduce airflow and prevent proper ventilation—which harms the overall performance of your heating system (and increases energy bills).
  • Be careful when cleaning around or vacuuming near your furnace. You should avoid touching any part that’s hot to touch (like the heat exchanger), removing dust from the vents, or emptying ash from the combustion chamber.
  • Don’t try to fix your furnace yourself if you don’t have experience—not only is it dangerous but also illegal in some areas! Instead of doing things that could make matters worse and lead to expensive repairs (or a lawsuit), call for furnace service ASAP and let an expert handle it.

Safety Precautions When Dealing With Furnaces

If you smell gas or hear a leak, don’t turn on your furnace. Instead, leave the area immediately and call for help from the fire department to inspect your home’s central heating system. If possible, wait outside until someone arrives—and if not, go out onto an unoccupied part of the property so that there aren’t any people nearby.

If your furnace malfunctions and causes problems with your central heating system—or if it breaks down entirely—you should call for furnace service right away. You can also check online to see which companies are offering the best deals on furnaces, as well as how much they cost (both new and used). 

You should always have a backup fuel source in place, whether it’s an emergency furnace or a generator. Never rely on your central heating system alone—and if you’re not sure about what type of heater is best for you and how much they cost, ask us!

All Your Heating Needs, Done Right

A furnace is an essential component of your home’s central heating system. It reacts to temperature changes outside and may indicate that your furnace isn’t starting up and running as it should. Cardinal is proud to be your go-to for HVAC, plumbing, and furnace repair Ashburn VA. We are dedicated to providing excellent customer service, quick turnaround times on installations, repairs, preventative maintenance visits, and reasonable prices for all of your requirements. When you need heating or cooling services done right without any hassle, call us at (703) 721-8888.

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