Understanding And Maintaining Your Natural Gas Furnace

15 March 2016
 Categories: , Articles


Periodic updates on your home are essential, but you may not place much emphasis on your heating and air conditioning system. Considering your home's HVAC system keeps your home's temperature comfortable during the different seasons, proper understanding is imperative for maintaining its function and value. The majority of American households rely on a central furnace to heat their home, so you may also utilize this beneficial option. Using this guide, you will understand the operation of your natural gas furnace and learn how to protect the system's efficiency. 

The 411 on Gas Furnaces

Your furnace has a burner that heats a mixture of gas and air. This heated air is then forced through the system's metal heat exchanger, which moves the heated air into the ductwork. The furnace blower will force the heated air from the ductwork and into your home.

In the warmer seasons where heat is not necessary, the furnace blower circulates return air after it is cooled by the split air conditioning system.

Benefits of a Gas Furnace

Compared to traditional electric systems, gas furnaces are able to reach higher temperatures to heat your home faster in the colder seasons. This effective heating in a faster manner ensures your family is warm even when outdoor temperatures are extremely low. 

In addition, furnaces that use natural gas are a more affordable heating option. Calculating the exact cost of heating your home with natural gas will depend on current gas prices in your local market. However, the AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, rating of your gas furnace gives you details on your systems' efficiency.

Mid-efficiency gas furnaces have an 80 percent AFUE, which means 80 percent of the gas it uses goes towards heating your home. To ensure your system is the most efficient, opt for a higher AFUE of 90 or 95 percent. This prevents waste and allows a larger percentage of gas goes towards heating purposes.

Heating your home with a natural gas furnace is also a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly option. Natural gas produces 44 percent less carbon dioxide than electricity and 22 percent less carbon dioxide than oil. This reduction in carbon dioxide decreases greenhouse gas emissions, improving the air quality inside and outside your home.

Maintaining your Gas Furnace

From a more efficient and effective heating of your home to a reduction in pollution, the benefits of a natural gas furnace are easy to see. However, proper maintenance and furnace repair on your system is imperative to protect its operation.

Replacing the filter every month is smart for preventing the buildup of dirt and dust. This debris can trap inside the filter, blocking airflow into your home, which decreases your system's efficiency. Locate the panel on front of your furnace below the return air duct. Unscrew the panel and remove the filter.

After removing the filter, you should be able to see the blower assembly. Dirt, dust, and debris can quickly trap inside the blower, as well. Use a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt from the blower, belts, and pulleys. Once clean, install the new, clean filter. Use your screwdriver to reattach and secure the furnace panel.

Inside your home, check the vents for heavy buildup of dirt and dust. Remove the vent covers and use your handheld vacuum attachment to suction debris out from the vents. Use a brush to scrub debris off of the actual vent covers. For stubborn debris on the vent covers, soak in a solution of warm water and liquid dish soap. Be sure to rinse off and allow to dry before placing back into the floor, wall, or ceiling opening.

Your gas furnace is an imperative part of your home's temperature and family's comfort, so proper understanding of your system is important. Using this guide, you will understand how your natural gas furnace heats your home and learn the best tips for maintaining your system's efficiency.