Archive for the ‘Gas Furnace’ Category

What Does a Cracked Heat Exchanger Mean?

Monday, November 6th, 2017

furnace systemFirst off, you may be wondering what a heat exchanger is. If you have a gas-powered furnace, this is a clamshell-shaped object within it that performs an essential part of the heating process. Heat exchangers are unimpressive looking to the untrained eye, but they are of vital importance. This is where hot combustion gasses go after being produced by the burners.

These gasses transfer heat to the walls of the exchangers, and venting pipes remove the cooled exhaust from the gas while fans funnel air through and around the exchangers to receive the heat from their walls. Without heat exchangers, the heat from the gas jets would never reach your indoor air, and you’d feel nothing more than room temperature air wafting from the vents—which, in the winter, can be pretty uncomfortable! (more…)

Help! My Furnace Isn’t Working

Monday, October 17th, 2016

As the temperatures begin to drop, this is certainly not a scenario you want to find yourself facing. The sound of silence as you expect your furnace to cycle on “any moment now” is ominous. Of course, this is a sign that something is wrong—but what is it?

There are a variety of reasons that your furnace may refuse to turn on. Some issues you may be able to resolve on your own, quickly. Others, however, will require the professional services of an expert heating technician, such as one of the members of our staff. Keep reading to learn more about the causes of furnace failure. (more…)

What Exactly Is Furnace Maintenance Preventing?

Monday, October 10th, 2016

A common term you’ve likely heard many times and seen even on this page is “preventive maintenance.” We cannot stress the importance of having your furnace maintained before the winter season comes. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of cold weather with a broken-down furnace. But is this all that maintenance prevents—a breakdown?

Actually, there are a number of benefits to furnace maintenance, and a variety of problems that can easily be avoided by scheduling this service on a yearly basis. Keep reading to learn more about what exactly furnace maintenance prevents. (more…)

HVAC Q/A: What Is an Electronic Ignition?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Gas furnaces in Tacoma are very complex pieces of equipment. Modern ones in particular are designed to use as little gas as possible, and to recapture as much of the heat generated from burning that gas as can be done safely. One of the many safety and energy-efficient advances in furnace technology in the least twenty years is the electronic ignition.

The Purpose of Electronic Ignition

In older furnaces and boilers, a pilot light would stay lit continuously whenever the heating system needed to be available. That meant continuously burning gas throughout the fall, winter and spring months for those times when heat was needed. It was inefficient and unsafe, especially in older devices that didn’t have safety valves.

Today, furnaces are built with electronic ignitions – small devices that only ignite the gas supply when the thermostat is on. there are two types of electronic ignition used in boilers and furnaces today.

  • Intermittent Pilot – An intermittent pilot is unique in that it releases a spark through an electronic component to the gas pilot, lighting the gas burners.
  • Hot Surface Ignition – Hot surface ignition uses an electronic filament (like a lightbulb) to heat up and ignite the burners when the thermostat calls for heat.

Both devices are designed to use a very small amount of electricity and reduce the amount of gas needed for continuous operation of your furnace.

Safety Benefits of an Electronic Ignition

While gas efficiency was a big part of the transition from pilot lights to electronic ignition, safety was an equally big component. Whereas before, the pilot light was continuously lit, meaning gas was continuously flowing into the furnace, today’s furnaces are essentially off when not in use. This means less of a chance that gas will flow unburned or that the pilot will get dirty or burn too soft, releasing carbon monoxide.

If your furnace or boiler still uses a traditional pilot light, consider having it upgraded to electronic ignition, not just to save gas but to keep your home and family safer.  Call Sound Heating for more information.