The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers or ASHRAE says that a furnace is a “complete heating unit for transferring heat from fuel being burned to the air supplied into a heating system.” From this, we find that a furnace can be defined by two main characteristics. First, it uses fuel for combustion. Second, its main medium for transferring heat, is air. These two characteristics are important because they separate furnaces from other types of home heating systems.
At J and M Air Conditioning and Heating, we perform hundreds of inspections every year and knowing the basics about furnaces helps us pinpoint possible problems for eventual maintenance, repair, or replacement. If you ask us about the different types of furnaces, here are our answers:
J and M Air Conditioning and Heating technicians follow well defined international standards when identifying and categorizing furnaces. Often, furnaces can be classified using the following parameters:
Heat distribution and airflow
Fuel and Ignition
At J and M Air Conditioning and Heating, our professionals are trained to handle most types of furnaces that run on different kinds of fuel, including: oil, gas, coal, wood, and even electric. If you are not aware of what type of fuel your furnace uses, you can find this in our inspection reports.
Because furnaces make use of fuel-powered combustion, a pilot light is often needed. This is a small controlled flame used as a source of ignition for many older models. You’ll find that high-efficiency models have begun to include a standing pilot light in favor of more energy-efficient ignition sources.
Distribution and Flow
Another important characteristic of furnaces is a description of how they handle air flow and heat distribution. The most common type of heating system makes use of gravity. Warm air naturally rises, which means that heated air will often move up ducts and vents, and as they flow through the house, some of the heat will have dissipated, cooling down the air and causing it to move downward. Another common type of distribution makes use of electric blowers to “push” air flow into the vents.
Perhaps the most common distinguishing characteristic of different types of furnaces is its efficiency. Your heating system’s energy efficiency can be defined by its capacity (often measured in BTUs) and its Annual Fuel Utility Efficiency rating.
The Correct Heating System With J and M Air Conditioning and Heating
With J and M Air Conditioning and Heating, you can be sure that all your heating maintenance, repair, and upgrade needs are fully prepared according to the type of system you have. Give us a call today at (951) 663-4895 and ask us about our inspection services.