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What is a Furnace?


By ProMatcher Staff



Furnace 101

A furnace is an appliance that is typically part of a forced air heating system. The furnace heats air that is then blown throughout the house using a duct system. The cold air throughout the home is exchanged for warmer air that has been heated by the furnace. Furnaces are most commonly fueled by natural gas, but they can also be powered by electricity, oil, or liquid propane.



Not a Boiler

A furnace is not the same thing as a boiler. A furnace distributes air through ductwork that is hidden behind the walls and ceiling. A boiler heats water that is then distributed through a system of pipes to radiators and heaters. This is often called a hydronic heating system.

Furnace Maintenance

Unlike a boiler, a furnace has an air filter that needs to be replaced periodically. At a minimum, the filter should be replaced at the beginning of the heating season. It may also require periodic cleaning throughout the heating season when it is used most heavily. If dirt and dust is allowed to build up, the furnace will not be able to perform at its highest level.

Related: Furnace Filter Efficiency

Air-Conditioning and the Furnace

The furnace and forced air heating system may also be used as part of an air conditioning system. The furnace blower can also distribute air that has been cooled by a refrigerant or other cooling agent.

Related: Cost of Furnace Installation



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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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