Even in a desert climate like Nevada, a furnace is an important investment into your home. While the area may be sweltering on most days, there are winter evenings that dip below the comfort level. When this happens, you’ll want a furnace on hand to warm up the air and keep you toasty in your house.
There are a variety of different furnace systems and each one uses a different source of heating. It’s valuable to learn the difference between units, so you can make the best decision for your household. You need to know what furnace will run efficiently, safely, and not put a strain on your bank account.
A gas furnace is a classic choice. They’ve been around since the early 1900’s and they’re still around today because they work so well. But what are the downsides of this type of furnace system? How does it do what it does? And how can you, as a furnace owner, keep your system running at the top of its game? We’ve got the crash course on gas furnaces, so you can be educated and understand this big investment you’re about to make.
How does a gas Furnace Work?
When you set your thermostat for a specific temperature on a cold night, it keeps track of the current temperature in the house. If the temperature drops below that specified point, meaning it’s too cold, the gas furnace turns on.
At this point, a valve opens and sends natural gas to the burners. A pilot light then ignites the burners and they heat up very rapidly. This heats the little chamber that the gas and the burners are in.
Air is pulled into the system through what is called a cold-air return. The cold air then circulates around the burner chamber until it is heated to the desired temperature. Once it is warm enough, the air is pushed through the duct system and sent to every room in the house. You can now enjoy your evening without chattering teeth.
What are the benefits of gas of Furance?
There is a myriad of furnaces out there, each boasting about why you should choose them. So what makes a gas furnace so special? These are just a few of the top reasons you’ll want a gas furnace in your home.
- Speed – because the system uses gas and burners, it heats up very quickly. Compared to an electric furnace, the air in your house can be warmed faster with a gas furnace. That means less time spent shivering in a sweater in your own home.
- Cost – electricity plays a minimal role in the heating process of a gas furnace. The gas and burners do all of the work. So your monthly electric bill be much lower if you are using a well maintained gas furnace.
- Repairs – while preventative maintenance can keep your gas furnace running longer, it will experience minor breakdowns every once in awhile. Luckily, gas furnaces are much cheaper to repair than their electric counterparts.
What are the drawbacks of a gas Furance?
All of those benefits sure do add up to save you time, money, and hassle. But you’re probably wondering if a gas furnace has any major drawbacks that may deter you from choosing this style unit. Here are the main concerns you will want to consider before making the investment.
- Initial Costs – though the monthly bills are lower with a gas furnace than an electric one, the initial cost to install the unit are much higher. And it can take longer. So you will have to decide whether low monthly costs or low installation is better for your bu
- Shorter Lifespan – an electric furnace, when maintained properly, can have a lifespan of 20-30 years. Gas furnaces are comparatively shorter, with a lifespan of 10-20 years. Even when well maintained, that means replacing your furnace more often.
- Louder Units – because the system uses gas valves and burners, the unit can run a little on the loud size. Some may find this disruptive as they go about their day, others don’t mind. Proper maintenance can decrease the sound, but it’s an important factor to take into consideration.
How do I maintain my gas Furnace?
You’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in a gas furnace. But, now that you have the system, do you know what precautionary steps you should take to keep it clean and running smoothly? Maintenance is crucial to help your system run more efficiently and running at all. So here are some basic tips on how to best maintain your new gas furnace.
- Clean the Filter – this is most likely the easiest cleaning step you’ll take with your gas furnace. Most systems have a slot to slide out the old, dirty filter and slide in a new, clean one. It’s recommended to check your filter monthly for a buildup, so you can keep the dust and grime out of your system and your ducts. We have a full article on how to choose and replace furnace filters that you can read here!
- Clean the Air Blower – read your handy dandy owner’s manual to locate where the air blower chamber is in your system. Once you find it, unscrew or snap off the safety cover to gain full access. You’ll need to use a toothbrush to loosen up all the built up dirt and dust and then take a soft cloth to wipe it all off. Be sure to get all of the blades and the sides of the chamber so that it doesn’t clog up and break.
- Clean the Vents – if the vents around your home are covered in dust, they could be blocking a lot of the airflow from the furnace. Not only does this keep your home from warming efficiently, but it can be damaging to the system. You’ll either need a ladder or a feather duster with a long pole to reach all the vents, but cleaning those once or twice a month can make a huge difference in the productivity of your unit.
- If you have any questions that were not answered here, visit our heating system FAQ.