There's a funny smell, a rattling noise in the night, or maybe your house just isn't warming up. You could call your team for heating in Atlanta, but you really want to try going DIY first. Only one problem:
You know nothing about the parts of a furnace.
While understanding the anatomy of your gas furnace won't guarantee you can fix the issue at hand, it's a start. So, let's dive into what you need to know about the parts of a furnace.
Components of a Furnace
Above, you can a helpful diagram pointing out all the parts of a furnace. But, different models might have a slightly different layout, so you cannot rely on that picture alone. Let's dig into the different parts now.
The return register is the part of a furnace from which air returns to your furnace after being heated. It's right below where hot air leaves, and it's usually next to an outside vent or hole in the wall that brings cold air into your home.
The return duct is the part that brings air back into your furnace from its final destination. In a house, this would be any vents or rooms where hot air is being pushed out of the home - usually through an HVAC vent cover on each floor.
An air filter is the part that catches dust and other particles in the air before they get blown into your home. It’s important to regularly change the air filter as it gets dirty over time—especially if you have pets or live near a busy street.
The blower is the part that blows air through your components and into your home. They can work with either electricity or be powered by a belt, so if you hear a loud noise coming from this area - it might need to be replaced.
The blower motor is the part that powers your furnace's components. The belt turns this, which then heats the air and blows it into your home. If there are loud noises when you turn up or down the heat, this might need to be replaced too.
The blower chamber is the part that houses your components. It's usually located within a metal casing to keep it protected, which can get hot when components are running, so be careful!
The burners are the components of your furnace that actually heat up air and make it usable. It usually consists of a gas valve, igniter, flame sensor (to keep you safe), and vent ports to let out carbon monoxide, which is poisonous if not released properly.
The flame sensor is the component that stops components from working if it doesn't detect a gas burner lit. It's important to make sure this area works properly, as your furnace can shut down or malfunction without one in place!
Pilot Light or Electronic Ignition
The pilot light is the little flame that lights up components and keeps them working. Without this, your furnace would be useless - so make sure to take care of it!
The burner cover is the component that surrounds your burners.
The combustion chamber is the component that surrounds your burners. It's usually made up of a heat exchanger, tube sheet, and blower housing, all to keep components working properly!
The heat exchanger is the component that heats air. It's usually located next to your burners, and it needs to be cleaned regularly for optimal performance - especially if you have pets!
The supply plenum is the component that sits above your furnace and delivers air to components. It's usually covered in insulation, as it can get super hot; you definitely don't want anything touching this area!
The damper is the component that controls how much air gets into your home. It's usually located in a metal casing atop components, and it can have manual or automatic components, depending on your specific furnace model!
The supply duct is the component that delivers air from your plenum to components.
The supply register is the component that delivers air from your plenum to components.