Your gas furnace has a variety of mechanisms that allow it to run safely and effectively. These features protect your indoor air quality (IAQ) and prevent fires. They also work to prevent internal problems from damaging large portions of your furnace. From our team here at Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling, here are six ways your furnace’s technology ensures your safety.
Your furnace’s air filter protects the system’s internal parts and your indoor air quality. Air filters trap dust and debris, which your air ducts would otherwise recirculate. Not only does dust adversely affect your breathing, but it can also eventually damage the mechanical parts in your system.
As we often remind our customers, it’s wise to change your filter regularly – before it gets clogged – or you’ll end up with a variety of problems due to restricted airflow. Review your manufacturer’s recommendations to see how frequently to replace it. We recommend every month or at least every three.
A thermocouple is a sensor that guards against gas leaks. For example, if your pilot light doesn’t turn on, its valve can leak gas into your home. A thermocouple detects a flame source, and when it doesn’t sense your pilot light’s flame, it automatically shuts down your furnace to prevent the potentially dangerous unburnt gas from circulating.
3. Pressure switches
Your furnace’s switches detect changes in pressure that could indicate a problem in your heating system. One such issue is back-drafting. This happens when exhaust gas is reintroduced into your furnace instead of leaving through the flue. This gas can be deadly to breathe and may indicate other problems within the system.
4. Rollout switches
A rollout condition is when the burner flames become too hot or too high, leading to a fire hazard. This is often a sign of a cracked heat exchanger. Rollout switches reside near the burners and shut the furnace down when the area gets too hot. In turn, this prevents a fire and carbon monoxide (CO) production from combustion. Experts say up to 30,000 people each year in the United States are sickened by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and around 500 people die.
5. Limit switches
Yet another safety feature in your furnace, limit switches restrict the overall temperature of your furnace to keep it from overheating. Factory-designed to meet the specifications of your particular make and model of furnace, once this specialized switch detects that the temperature has exceeded a preset maximum, it cuts off the power to your system.
A low-tech but essential part of your system, your furnace flue is a pipe that sends exhaust gas out of your home using a blower fan. Exhaust is deadly to breathe and can contain flammable gas. Therefore, it’s essential to be sure nothing obstructs the flue, as this can restrict airflow and cause back-drafting.
Call our experts!
At Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling, promoting home safety in Northeast Ohio is our priority! For more safety questions about your furnace or to schedule service, you can reach us today at 844-HEY-NEIGHBOR or request service online.