Heating season is coming to an end for another year, and homeowners throughout the area will be powering down their heating systems in favor of their air conditioners. That makes now a good time to schedule a maintenance session and have a professional technician give your furnace a close look.
Among the most important components in any forced-air furnace is the burner array, which provides the heat that makes the furnace function. Any technician worth their salt will give the burners a thorough examination as part of every maintenance session. As a homeowner, it pays for you to understand a little more about how the burners work and what happens when they run into trouble.
Heat to Be Transferred
You can’t warm your home without a source of heat and with forced-air furnaces, that means the burners. They’re typically gas fed, and activated via an ignition switch, which provides a safer alternative to the pilot lights that used to ignite the burners. Burners don’t heat the air directly, since they can’t transfer the heat very well in and of themselves, leading to a lot of lost energy. Instead, they burn below a heat exchanger: a shaped piece of metal that warms the air more evenly. (It also channels toxic gases and vents them safely out of the system.)
A good way to explain this is to light a candle and notice how little its heat disperses. You can place your hand surprisingly close to it, and you still won’t feel the heat. If you place a metal plate over the flame, however, the metal will heat up very quickly. The same principle applies to the burners. The metal distributes the heat and transfers it to the air without a lot of waste. The heat can then be transferred to your home by blowing the heated air through the ducts.
Problems with the Burners
Problems with the burners usually come down to non-operation in some capacity or another. Clogs in the gas line, for instance, my shut one or more burners down (though gas line problems often result in the system not turning on for safety reasons), while dust and dirt can create clogs that prevent the burners from running.
That’s a problem primarily because it lowers your furnace’s efficiency: forcing it to run longer to warm your house. That, in turn, adds stress to other components, as well as raising the monthly cost of running your system. Unless the issue is addressed, that will eventually lead to a breakdown and far more expensive repairs. The good news is that burner issues can often be treated with a very simple repair call. Furthermore, routine maintenance can often take care of minor burner issues (such as clogs), ensuring that the burners are free of clogs and always function exactly the way you need them too.
If you have burner issues, or any other problem with your furnace here in Fort Wayne, IN, call the service professionals at Collier’s Comfort to get it taken care of the right way!