A furnace operates by taking in cold air, cleaning it with a filter, heating it up, and distributing the warm air through existing ducts.  In colder climates, up to two-thirds of residential electric costs can be attributed to heating.  As the cost of energy skyrockets, it is imperative that you maintain your central heating system, just like your air conditioning system, by changing its filters and cleaning its humidifier.

First, however, you must know what type of furnace your HVAC system uses.  Generally speaking, furnaces provide heat, which is created through the combustion of fuel, or through electricity.  Gas furnaces are the most common furnace found in residences; they are often very energy-efficient, and use an electronic ignition device instead of an old-fashioned pilot light.  The efficiency of natural gas and propane furnaces can be compared by consulting the ENERGY STAR sticker located on new models.  Electric furnaces use electricity to power a compact central heating unit with a blower fan, and are easily adapted for use with central air conditioning through a heat pump system.  Oil furnaces substitute a low-grade petroleum derivative as their heat source.  Wood furnaces are best reserved for outdoor settings, due to the amount of smoke they generate; wood burning furnaces also require significant labor to produce the wood necessary to fuel the furnaceWater furnaces utilize a natural resource found in your backyard to produce heat, and are perhaps the most energy-efficient and cost-conscious of all furnace types.  Furnace prices will vary based on the sophistication of their technology and the fuel burned; consult your local air conditioning repair or furnace contractor for details.

In order to keep your home furnace in tiptop shape, furnace filters like air conditioning filters should be changed monthly for maximum efficiency.  If your furnace contains a furnace humidifier, it should also be cleaned monthly, in order to prevent mold and mildew from tainting the circulated air.  If someone in your home suffers from allergies, investing in professional furnace cleaning by a furnace technician could significantly improve air quality.  One of the dangers posed by a furnace system powered by gas is the potential for carbon monoxide leaks.  Carbon monoxide is an odorless, insidious gas produced by burning fossil fuels, that is harmful to humans and animals when it enters their atmosphere.  To discover the presence of carbon monoxide, consider installing a carbon monoxide detector badge to your furnace.

Whether you have a wall furnace or a floor furnace, at some point you will probably encounter furnace problems.  Chances are the issue is as simple as replacing your furnace air filter; troubleshooting the furnace will give you a more accurate sense of your situation.  If you have a fiery furnace that is smoking and shooting sparks, the furnace motor or furnace blower may be to blame.  Another possibility is that your heating and air conditioning system’s thermostat needs service, or your furnace’s electric ignition may have burned out.  Replacement furnace parts for your Goodman furnace, Carrier furnace, Trane furnace, Lennox furnace, Coleman furnace, or Bryant furnace can easily be sourced by your local furnace repair technician.

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