The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

How Does a Furnace Work?

P. Gagnon & Son can take care of all things related to your home’s furnace

furnaces maine P. Gagnon & Son provides expert furnace installation, maintenance, and repairs with our team of trained and experienced service technicians.

Thanks to our propane and heating oil delivery services, you don’t have to worry about your furnace running out of fuel in the middle of winter. We’ll make sure it always has enough to keep your home warm, safe, and comfortable.

So, you have a furnace in your home. But what do you really know about it? Get to know your furnace better with these commonly asked questions.

What is a furnace and how does it heat my home?

A furnace is an appliance that creates and circulates warm air to heat your home. The first attempt at a central heating system was done in ancient Rome. It was called a hypocaust and was used for heating baths and other public buildings. It then became a status symbol for the wealthy and was used throughout Europe and Africa. The hypocaust, however, proved to be dangerous because of the risk of fire or suffocation.

The furnace is one of the oldest types of heating systems still in use today. Alice Parker invented and patented the modern central heating system in 1919, which went on to the creation of the furnace systems we use now. Furnaces were traditionally powered by coal and wood, but today they use heating oil, propane, natural gas or electricity.

Your furnace will automatically kick on when the indoor temperature falls below the desired setting on your thermostat.

The burner is where your fuel is combusted. The heat exchanger is where the combusted fuel heats the air coming into the furnace through the vent. The blower fan distributes that air throughout your home using your ductwork.

Furnace maintenance tips

You can help your furnace run efficiently and safely in three ways.

The first way is to get an annual maintenance tune-up for your furnace from our skilled service technicians. We will clean and tune up every component of your furnace to ensure that it is running at its best efficiency, which helps save you money on energy costs. A tune-up also allows us to spot any problems and fix them before they become worse, breakdowns occur, and repair bills add up.

A service plan from P. Gagnon & Son for your furnace not only provides an annual tune-up but also covers many parts and labor costs associated with furnace repair, making it a wise investment in the longevity of your furnace.

The third way to take care of your furnace is by regularly changing the air filter. Dirty, clogged air filters reduce your furnace’s efficiency and can lead to damage of parts in your furnace. Check your filter at least once a month and change it as needed.

How long do furnaces last?

A furnace typically lasts 10-15 years, but consistent professional maintenance by the trained and skilled P. Gagnon & Son service technicians can help increase its lifespan.

There will come a time, however, when furnace replacement is needed. Older furnaces tend to become less efficient over time, especially if they haven’t been maintained properly. A new furnace will start paying for itself through lower energy costs from the moment its installed. If you’re debating whether to repair or replace your existing furnace and the repairs would cost more than half of a replacement, going with the latter option is better from a monetary standpoint.

Trust P. Gagnon & Son with your furnace needs. Contact us for a FREE estimate.