There are many different types of heating systems out there that homeowners utilize during the cold winter months. One of the most popular is a furnace that runs on natural gas. Below, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions that people have about this specific type of furnace so that you can get a better understanding of how it works.

How Does a Gas Furnace Work?

While gas furnaces will vary somewhat, there are some similarities in how they function to create heat. Each will convert natural gas into a flame that warms up the heat exchanger inside your furnace. Whenever the heat exchanger reaches the ideal temperature, your furnace’s blower will blow air across the heat exchanger. The warmed air will be blown throughout your ducting to warm up your entire home.

Do Gas Furnaces Have Pilot Lights?

Pilot lights have pretty much become a thing of the past. Newer furnaces have electric ignitions that are more efficient because they use significantly less fuel to light your furnace burners. You’ll usually only find pilot lights in furnaces that are more than 20 years old.

How Long Do Gas Furnaces Last?

Gas furnaces are rated to last anywhere between 15 and 30 years. The climate in your area, how often your furnace is serviced, how often you run your system and many other factors will contribute to how long your furnace holds up. One thing is certain, though. Getting the HVAC equipment serviced on an annual basis is a great way to extend the overall life of your gas furnace.

What Are the Most Common Malfunctions?

Your gas furnace has many different components that all work in unison to produce adequate heat for your home. Over time, the various components will start to wear out. The most common components to malfunction in gas furnaces include hot surface igniters, flame sensors, blower motors, draft inducer motors, and heat exchangers.

Why Does My Gas Furnace Smell Like Burnt Toast?

One alarming smell that may come from your furnace is that of burnt toast. You’re likely to get this smell when you first start your furnace after the summer months or after not having your furnace running for an extended period of time. This odor is simply the result of accumulated dust on your heat exchanger burning off. This smell should go away after running your furnace through one or two cycles.

How Often Should My Gas Furnace Be Serviced?

It’s highly recommended that you get your gas furnace serviced every year. This maintenance service should be performed by a factory-certified professional. Most homeowners don’t realize that their furnace warranty will typically stipulate that they have proof of professional maintenance service each year in order to get warranty work covered.

What Should I Do if I Smell Gas?

Natural gas can be dangerous when inhaled. While you may be aware of the fact that natural gas is odorless, it’s vital to note that gas companies add mercaptan to their gas. This is a harmless chemical that produces a rotten egg smell so that you can identify a gas leak in your home. If you notice a hint of this smell when you’re near your furnace, it’s best to contact your furnace technician to check it out. If the smell is overly pungent in your home, it’s best to turn off the gas meter and leave your home until it gets evaluated by a professional.

How Often Should I Replace My Air Filter?

An essential component of your gas furnace heating system is your air filter. This helps to trap unwanted airborne particles and pollutants from the air inside your home. It’s generally recommended that you replace your air filter every three months. However, the type of filter that you purchase, the number of pets you have and many other factors can influence how often you specifically need to replace the air filter in your heating system.

Will My Furnace Work if the Power Goes Out?

Since your furnace burns natural gas, you may think that you can still run it when the power goes out. In reality, you can’t. This is due to the fact that the other components of your furnace, like the motors and control boards, are powered by electricity.

Excellent Heating Services

Twin Peaks Plumbing, Heating & Gas provides excellent heating services in the Nanaimo area. We’re also here for all of your cooling, plumbing, gas, heat pump, drain cleaning, backflow protection and water heater needs. Contact us today to get assistance from our friendly professionals.

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