What Does a Furnace Do?

If you have grown up in a warm climate, there is a chance you have never needed a home heating solution. That might leave you with a few basic questions, like what is a furnace? And, what does a furnace do? Heating and cooling solutions are necessary for comfortable living in most parts of the country. The heating part is usually taken care of by an appliance called a furnace.

What Is a Furnace?

what does a furnace do thermostat controller

This appliance is useful because it can heat a space (home, building, garage, etc.) by creating warm air and circulating it. It’s usually fueled by gas or powered by electricity.

How Does a Furnace Work?

It depends on the type of furnace. No matter what kind of furnace it is, there is a mechanism for heating inbound air.

  • In gas furnaces, combustion is what makes the magic happen. The dictionary explains combustion simply as the process of burning something. In most cases, the natural gas is fed to the furnace through an external gas line from the city. If it is a propane or oil system, it’s likely that a tank holds the reserve fuel.
  • In electric furnaces, parts are called heating elements that consist of coils that create the heat in conjunction with a resistor.

In both cases, the furnace uses a blower to feed the warm air through a duct and vent system that distributes it throughout a home or commercial building.

What Does a Furnace Look Like?

what does a furnace look like

Typically, a furnace has a rectangular shape, and the housing is made of metal. The intake side will have a spot for an air filter to prevent dust and debris from dirtying the inner workings. If it is a gas furnace, you will see a gas line running to it. If not gas, you will see that it is connected to some power source. Lastly, you will see an outgoing vent that distributes the warm air through a duct system to the house.

Replacement Furnace Parts at PlumbersStock

Now that we've answered your questions what is a furnace and what does it do, check out other resources here on our site for more information. We carry discount HVAC parts like furnace ignitors, blowers, blower wheels, and more. Did you know that you can find member pricing here on certain items (typically name brand, MAP priced items) if you log in? For industry professionals buying in bulk, please consider contacting us directly for extra special pricing and extra savings.

Related resources:
Gas vs. Electric Furnace
Furnace vs. Boiler
Furnace vs. Heat Pump
1-Stage vs. 2-Stage Furnaces
Upflow vs. Downflow Furnace
What Size Furnace Is Recommended?

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