Six Ways Your Furnace Keeps You Safe

Dec 21, 2018 | Heating

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Your fuel-burning furnace has a number of mechanisms that allow it to run safely and effectively. These features prevent fires and protect your indoor air quality. They also work to prevent internal errors from damaging large portions of your furnace.

From the team at Vailes, here’s six ways your furnace is working to ensure your safety:

1. Air Filters

This component protects your furnace’s internal parts, and your indoor air quality. Air filters catch dust and debris, which would otherwise be circulated by your air ducts. Not only does dust make you sneezy; it can actually hurt some of the mechanical parts in your system over time. Remember to change your filter before it gets clogged, or else you’ll end up with a variety of problems due to poor airflow. Check your manufacturer’s recommendations to see how frequently you need to change it out.

2. Thermocouples

These sensors protect you from gas leaks. If your pilot light won’t turn on, the valve is leaking gas into your home. Thermocouples use thermal imagery to detect a flame source. When the thermocouple doesn’t sense your pilot light, it will automatically shut down your furnace to prevent the harmful fumes from circulating.

3. Pressure Switches

These switches detect changes in pressure that could indicate an error in your heating system. One such error is called “backdrafting.” Backdrafting is when exhaust is reintegrated into your furnace instead of exiting through the flue. This can be potentially deadly to breathe in, and is indicatory of other problems within the system.

4. Rollout Switches

“Rollout” is when the burner flames become too hot, or too high, leading to fire hazards. This is often a symptom of a cracked heat exchanger. Rollout switches sit near the burners, and shut the furnace off if things get too hot. This prevents a fire, as well as CO production due to combustion.

5. Limit Switches

Limit switches “limit” the overall temperature of your furnace to keep it from overheating. Your heating system will have one that is factory-designed to meet specifications for your particular make and model. Once the switch detects the temperature to be past a set peak (for example 200º F), it will cut off the power to your system.

6. Flues

Your furnace flue is a pipe that sends exhaust out of your home using a blower. Exhaust is deadly to breathe, and may contain flammable gas. It’s important to make sure no obstructions exist within or near the pipe. Obstructions to the pipe restrict airflow, and can cause backdrafting.

At Vailes, promoting home safety in Fishersville, VA is a priority! For more questions about your furnace, or to schedule service, you can reach us today at 540-942-0198.


Vailes Heating & Air is proud to offer services to Waynesboro, Staunton, Augusta County, and near by communities. Call us at 540-942-0198 or request service online today!

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