How Natural Gas Furnace Works? Cost, Benefit, Setup Guide


When I crank up the thermostat, it signals the furnace control system to start heating. Air from inside the house is sucked in through air filters and flows over a heat exchanger, which is heated by hot gases from burning natural gas. The warm air is then released into rooms via vents.

How Natural Gas Furnace Works

Natural gas furnaces have controls that keep them safe when in use. When the thermostat calls for heat, the control board opens the gas valve. This ignites a spark that lights and heats the burners. If no flames appear, flame detectors stop the power, preventing carbon monoxide from building up.

Companies like Navien and eComfort have revolutionized furnaces with smart technology that can adjust fuel consumption based on indoor and outdoor temperatures. This boosts efficiency while maintaining performance standards. But if the Whole House Heating Company doesn’t do a great job, I need more than just warm air!

How a natural gas furnace works

Natural gas furnaces are popular among homeowners as they provide efficient and reliable heating throughout the cold winter months. These devices work by burning natural gas, which heats up the air in the furnace’s heat exchanger. The blower fan then circulates the heated air throughout the home via air ducts.

The heating process begins when the furnace’s control system receives a signal from the thermostat to turn on. An igniter or pilot flame ignites the gas in the burner assembly, which then creates flames that heat the air in the heat exchanger. The blower fan then draws in cool air from the return air plenum, which passes through the furnace’s air filter to remove any dust or debris before entering the heat exchanger. This heated air is then distributed to various rooms through the air ducts.

One unique detail is that natural gas furnaces have safety features that help prevent combustion or gas leaks. For instance, the furnace has a flame detector that shuts off the gas supply if it detects any flames outside the burner assembly. The ignition switch also ensures that the gas valve only opens after the igniter or pilot flame is lit and verified.

In my experience, when our old natural gas furnace broke down during a particularly cold winter, we were in need of a replacement unit. We contacted a great company that provided excellent customer service and recommended a high-efficiency gas furnace. The installation process was smooth, and our home was warm and cozy again in no time. It’s essential to take good care of these products, as they can last for many years if given proper maintenance.

My gas supply and pipe network may be invisible, but they’re the backbone of my warm and cozy home. Kinda like my skeleton, but less spooky.

Gas supply and pipe network

Natural gas furnaces need a steady supply of fuel. Plus, they need the network of pipes that distribute gas to houses. Gas leaks can be risky, so proper installation and regular maintenance is key. Pipework must be designed correctly for consistent pressure throughout the delivery network. This needs regular testing and repairs.

Pipes come in different sizes, depending on their purpose. They are made from materials like steel, copper, or plastic. After getting natural gas from underground reserves by fracking or drilling, it’s piped to regional hubs. There, it’s filtered and compressed to increase pressure for houses.

You probably don’t think much about pipework until something bad happens. A friend of mine had their furnace stop working, with no warning. A plumber found out a rodent bit the piping connected to the furnace. This caused a leak of methane gas, which could have exploded at any time. It put his family in danger.

Natural gas furnaces know how to bring the heat – whether it’s warming your home or costing you money.

Heating process and cycle

A natural gas furnace warms up your home via air-blowing ducts. The thermostat triggers the furnace to switch on. A valve then releases natural gas into a burner assembly. An electronic ignition system then ignites the gas, creating a flame that heats the heat exchanger.

The heat exchanger transfers its heat to the air. The furnace’s blower motor pushes the heated air around the home. When the desired temperature is hit, the thermostat tells the furnace to turn off.

Natural gas furnaces use an inducer fan, which creates negative pressure in the heat exchanger. This helps combustion and stops hazardous gases from escaping.

The history of natural gas heating goes way back. Our ancestors used wood or other materials for warmth. Over time, they moved to coal and eventually natural gas. Now, technology has made natural gas furnaces efficient and safe.

Ignition and burner assembly

The ignition and burner assembly have an essential role in a natural gas furnace. A table explains:

            Component                      Function
Ignition switchStarts spark
Pilot lightGives initial flame for ignition
Gas valveControls fuel to burners based on thermostat signal
BurnersMerges air and gas to produce heat

The ignition switch sparks to light the pilot light. The gas valve then adjusts fuel inflow to the burners according to the thermostat’s command. Burners combine air and gas to make heat.

Before modern technology, natural gas furnaces used standing pilots 24/7 to burn gas. This resulted in decreased energy efficiency.

Modulating and controlling the system

A natural gas furnace’s modulating and control system is a key factor. To understand it, let’s look at its components and what they do. For example, the gas valve regulates fuel flow into the furnace. The air intake damper controls air entering the combustion chamber. The thermostat checks the temperature and tells the furnace to turn on or off. Sensor probes measure temperature, pressure, and airflow, and the control board makes adjustments.

The modulating and controlling systems is precise. It uses sensor probes to make real-time adjustments, so fuel is only used when it’s needed. Newer systems even adjust the burner output in tiny increments to keep temperatures consistent. This can bring comfort and cost savings. According to ENERGY STAR®, upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace can save up to 20% on heating costs. Nothing beats a heat exchanger and air plenums for cozy warmth!

Heat exchanger and air plenums

The table shows us the components and their descriptions:

  Component              Description
Heat ExchangerConverts natural gas into heat
Air plenumsDucts that take the heated air to different parts of the home
Blower fanThe heart of a natural gas furnace
Air filtersThe lungs of a natural gas furnace, as they constantly filter out dirt and debris from the air

It’s important to hire a professional technician annually to inspect and clean the heat exchanger. This is to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Regular maintenance of the furnace can prevent breakdowns and lengthen its lifespan. This will save you money on repairs and replacements. Don’t forget to schedule routine maintenance for your heating system.

Blower fan and air filters

  • The furnace heats up, so it’s essential to remember the Blower fan and air filters. They are an important part of its operation.
  • The Blower fan distributes hot air around your home. It draws in cool air, passes it over the heat exchanger chamber and exhausts heated air via ducts.
  • There are multi-speed and variable-speed blowers, that vary in terms of energy consumption and noise level.
  • If the furnace isn’t producing enough heat, troubleshooting the blower may be necessary. In some cases, cleaning or changing the blades can fix the issue.
  • Air filters stop debris, dust and other pollutants from entering the house with the hot air. Most furnaces use paper filters that last one month to 6 months before needing to be changed.
  • Upgrading to high-efficiency air filters can influence indoor air quality and HVAC system life.

Changing air filters regularly is key to optimal performance and preventing airflow problems.

In ancient times, people lit fires in caves as a way of heating them. Eventually, these fires grew into centralized systems with ducts distributing hot air. Alice Parker invented the first automatic furnace in 1885, and natural gas furnaces became famous around the mid-twentieth century due to advancements in combustion technology.

Imagine if dating apps had a flame detector and thermostat feature, we’d never have to worry about getting burned again!

Flame detector and thermostat

When it comes to a natural gas furnace, the flame detector and thermostat are two central components. The flame detector makes sure there’s always a flame burning in the furnace, and the thermostat communicates with the control board to regulate the temperature. Check out the table below to see the functions of each part:

Flame detectorEnsures continuous flame within furnace
ThermostatRegulates temperature by communicating with control board

These two components work together to keep your home warm. If either one has an issue, the heating process won’t be efficient or safe. It’s important to do regular maintenance, like replacing air filters and cleaning ducts. Plus, getting an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace yearly is a must. My friend Tom didn’t do his yearly checkup last winter and ended up with a broken thermostat. He suffered through cold temperatures for days. Now, he never misses his inspection. Don’t forget – when it comes to your natural gas furnace, don’t forget about the flame detector and thermostat. Regular maintenance is key to preventing problems and keeping you cozy all winter.

The gas valve and control board

The gas valve and control board are two must-haves for any natural gas furnace. The gas valve regulates gas flow, and the control board manages furnace operations.

A table can provide the specs and functions of these components. The gas valve typically carries an auto shut-off switch, a pressure regulator, a manual shut-off valve, and a pilot light with a thermocouple. The control board handles fan activation, blower motor speed, temperature limits, and ignition timing.

Systems can vary in design. Some use just one integrated circuit board for both functions. Other systems need separate boards.

Pro Tip: Regular maintenance is key for proper function. Get a licensed HVAC technician for cleanings and tune-ups to keep your furnace in tip-top shape. #SorryEnvironment

Return and outdoor air

Your natural gas furnace works hard to keep your home warm during the winter. It uses a combination of return and outdoor air. Return air gets drawn back into the furnace from your home through ducts and vents. Outdoor air enters through the system’s intake vent.

This exchange helps keep your furnace’s temperature consistent and enables healthy indoor air quality. The return air goes through a filter to remove dust and debris. The outdoor air is filtered and sometimes preheated before entering the system.

It’s important to note that this process differs based on the furnace type. Some furnaces may use separate intake vents for combustion air instead of outside air.

Pro Tip: Keep furnace filters clean to ensure proper airflow and functioning. Check and replace them regularly.

Exhaust and chimney

The exhaust and chimney are important parts of a natural gas furnace. The furnace needs them to get rid of fumes and combustion byproducts. To understand how they work, let’s take a look at the table.

Exhaust vent pipe Expels fumes and combustion byproducts outside
ChimneyHelps the gases escape and stops them from flowing back inside

Both components make sure harmful gases don’t accumulate inside your home. Modern natural gas furnaces use power-venting systems instead of chimneys. Fans draw out gases through special pipes that direct them outside.

Chimneys have been used for centuries for ventilation. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used them in hearths and stoves. Later, they found out they are also great for furnaces.

Installing a natural gas furnace can be tricky – and there’s a chance you’ll get a gas leak!

Installation and maintenance of natural gas furnace

Ensure your natural gas furnace functions smoothly and safely by following these 5 steps:

  1. Get a pro to install the unit with the proper paperwork.
  2. Stick to the manufacturer’s instructions when hooking up the gas piping and electric wiring.
  3. Change filters often for optimal air quality.
  4. Inspect all components yearly or as required by local codes.
  5. Place carbon monoxide detectors around the home as a safety precaution. Additionally, keep the area around the furnace clear of debris and flammable stuff.

To get the most out of your furnace, try these tips: check airflow; unblock vents and registers; ensure combustion air supply isn’t blocked; repair any issues quickly.

Pro Tip: Have your furnace serviced annually by a licensed technician to find potential risks. Natural gas furnaces: Cosy warmth without the worry of an unexpected explosion.

Benefits of natural gas furnaces

Did you know natural gas furnaces have lots of advantages? Let’s explore them!

  • Natural gas is cheaper than electricity or oil, saving you money in the long run.
  • It also produces less emissions when burned, being better for the environment.
  • Plus, natural gas furnaces are known for their reliability and efficiency, needing less maintenance.
  • Using natural gas can even increase the value of your home.

But remember, natural gas isn’t perfect. It’s a non-renewable resource and if not handled properly, can be dangerous. With the right installation and maintenance, you can enjoy the benefits of natural gas furnaces.

For over 150 years, natural gas has been used as a heating source. In 1816, it was used in England for street lamps. In 1859, North Americans used it to heat homes. Today, with modern technology and safety standards, natural gas furnaces are still a popular choice.

So, discover how to get the best natural gas furnace for your home!

Buying guide for natural gas furnaces

Natural gas furnaces are essential heating units that work by converting natural gas into heated air, which is then circulated throughout your home. When looking to buy a natural gas furnace, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure that you get the best unit for your home and budget.

  1. Determine the appropriate size of your furnace-based on the square footage and layout of your home.
  2. Consider the energy efficiency of the unit to save on costs in the long run.
  3. Look for high-quality components such as a durable heat exchanger, reliable ignition system, and efficient blower fan.
  4. Choose a reputable company with excellent customer service and a proven track record for quality products.

It’s important to note that some gas furnaces may not be suitable for every home, such as those without a natural gas pipe network or outside of a serviceable area. It’s essential to consult with a professional to determine the best heating system for your specific needs.

Natural gas furnaces have come a long way since their inception in the early 1900s. With advancements in technology and safety features, they have become a popular and reliable choice for heating homes and buildings. However, it’s essential to provide good care and maintenance regularly to maintain their efficiency and longevity.

“I may not know much about BTUs, but I do know that efficiency ratings are like Tinder profiles – you can’t always trust what you see.”

BTU and efficiency rating

To help you get the most out of your natural gas furnace, we’ve created a table of BTU and efficiency ratings. This will help you decide which furnace is best for you, based on your property’s size and heating needs.

BTUEfficiency Level
100,000-120,00090% or higher

Besides BTU and efficiency ratings, you should also consider the type of ignition system that comes with your furnace. An electronic ignition system uses less gas than a standing pilot light. Pro Tip: When shopping for a natural gas furnace, make sure it has the right BTU and efficiency ratings. It’ll save you money in the long run. And don’t forget to get one that’s big enough for your heating needs!

Size and capacity

Choosing the right size furnace for your house is essential. Consider factors like climate, insulation, and square footage to achieve effective operation.

The ideal output capacity should meet your preferences. Higher-capacity furnaces tend to last longer – but might overheat large rooms.

Gas furnaces have been around since the early twentieth century. They quickly replaced coal stoves due to their efficiency in converting fossil fuel energy into heat.

These furnaces are used globally in homes and offices for heating. But don’t worry, they’re still user-friendly with features and controls.

Features and controls

Natural gas furnaces boast various features and controls for reliability and efficiency. Such as: programmable thermostats to set heating schedules; air filters to trap airborne pollutants and allergens; and zoning options to customize temperatures in different areas of the house.

It’s important to check the furnace’s AFUE rating. Higher ratings mean more efficient energy use and cost savings.

Annual professional inspections by licensed technicians ensure a longer lifespan.

The Environmental Protection Agency states that heating accounts for 42% of household energy use. Investing in an efficient gas furnace is an investment for your wallet and the environment. Plus, all you need for customer service is a phone and a good lawyer!

Brand and customer service

When choosing a natural gas furnace, brand and customer service are key. Get a well-known brand with superb customer service for peace of mind. Reputable brands come with lengthy warranties, so your investment lasts. Quality customer service can help with any surprises or maintenance needs.

Carrier, Lennox, and Trane are top brands in the natural gas furnace market. Their furnaces are dependable and they have customer service teams to assist.

Check if the brand offers smart technology for their natural gas furnaces. This tech lets you manage and control your system from a distance, saving money and increasing efficiency.

A friend of mine bought a cheap, lesser-known brand and encountered problems. The company had poor customer service and was unresponsive. They ended up paying more money on repairs than if they’d bought a reliable brand with better support. You don’t want that to happen – get a famous brand with quality customer service.

Cost and warranty

Natural gas furnaces come with varying costs and warranties. The cost depends on the brand, efficiency level, and installation cost. Before buying, think carefully about these factors.

See below for a list of some popular natural gas furnace brands and their associated costs and warranty details.

Brand NameAverage CostWarranty
Carrier$2,500 – $5,50020 years (heat exchanger), 10 years (parts)
Trane$2,500 – $4,800Lifetime (heat exchanger), 10 years (parts)
Goodman$1,900 – $3,500Lifetime (heat exchanger), 10 years (parts)

Also consider extra features like variable speed blowers and air filtration systems. These can add to the cost, but they provide energy efficiency and air quality benefits.

Consumer Reports suggests American Standard, Trane, Carrier, Bryant, and Lennox as the most reliable natural gas furnace brands. It’s best to consult a professional to figure out the best choice for you. Enjoy the warmth of a natural gas furnace!

Alternative heating options

As the temperature drops, people start looking for alternative options to keep their homes warm and comfortable without relying solely on their gas furnace. Here are some other heating options to consider:

Heating Option          Pros              Cons
Electric Heat PumpEnergy efficient, can cool during summerExpensive to install, may not work well in extreme cold
Wood-burning StoveGood for power outages, ambianceRequires a lot of upkeep, not practical for everyone
Propane HeaterPortable, good for small spacesCan be expensive to run, may produce carbon monoxide
Radiant HeaterEfficient, targeted heatingCan be expensive to run, not effective for larger areas

If you’re looking for unique details, consider geothermal heating or solar heating as alternative options. These systems may have a higher upfront cost, but they could save money in the long run. Geothermal heating uses the ground as a heat source, while solar heating uses the sun’s energy.

Pro Tip: When choosing an alternative heating option, make sure to consider your specific needs and the size of your home. Consult with a professional to ensure proper installation and safety precautions are taken. Why settle for just heating, when you can pump up the heat with a heat pump or mini-split system?

Heat pump and mini-split system

Heat pumps and mini-split systems are great alternatives for heating homes and buildings. They use air or ground heat and transfer it inside, providing both heating and cooling capabilities.

To better understand their differences and advantages, a comparison table is useful. This table includes cost, energy efficiency, noise level, installation process, and maintenance needs. Heat pumps may cost more initially, but they save in the long run due to their high energy efficiency. Mini-split systems tend to be cheaper at first, but may need more maintenance.

These systems allow zoning control for different parts of a building or home, meaning you can have different temperatures in different areas, leading to improved comfort.

Consult a professional to decide which system best fits your needs and save on heating bills while staying cozy in the winter. Get the benefits of heat pumps or mini-split systems now! Stop shivering and start feeling toasty with electric furnaces or boilers – just remember, your utility bill won’t be so cheerful.

Electric furnace and boiler

Electric furnaces and boilers have pros and cons. A furnace is ideal for short winter months as it quickly produces warm air via ductwork. Boilers are designed to provide consistent warmth over long periods with hot water circulating through radiators or baseboard heaters.

In the early 1900s, electric furnaces and boilers were first introduced. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that these devices became widespread due to advancements in material technology. Nowadays, they are energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Why not upgrade to a propane-powered heat machine and an outdoor storage tank that also serves as a backyard barbecue?

Propane furnace and outdoor storage tank

Propane furnaces and outdoor storage tanks are gaining popularity due to their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Check out the table below to see their benefits:

Propane FurnaceOutdoor Storage Tank
Low MaintenanceDurable

Also, propane can be used for other household needs, like cooking and drying clothes.

To get the most out of propane, ensure proper ventilation and schedule regular maintenance. And don’t forget to install a propane detector in your home.

Overall, propane furnaces and outdoor storage tanks provide an efficient and affordable alternative for heating homes. Upgrade your home heating game with smart thermostats and air purifiers for a perfect winter!

Smart thermostats and air purifiers

Smart thermostats are an energy-efficient choice, as they can regulate temperature settings based on your behavior patterns. Air purifiers come in handy too; they help filter out irritants like dust, pet dander, mold spores, and more.

Combining these two devices creates a comprehensive indoor heating solution. Air purifiers are particularly beneficial when placed in areas you usually spend a lot of time, such as bedrooms and living rooms.

Plus, smart thermostats can be controlled through mobile devices from anywhere. When selecting an air purifier, make sure it caters to your needs.

It’s worth noting that some smart thermostats come with geo-fencing capabilities. For instance, Nest Learning Thermostat or Honeywell Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat offer great adaptability and energy-saving benefits. WeMo connectivity in the Holmes Smart Air Purifier also makes it convenient to preset settings through your phone.

In conclusion, these devices can make a great difference in your home’s air quality while keeping energy costs down.


My natural gas furnace is perfect for heating my home. It sucks in air, filters out impurities, and then burns natural gas in a burner. This creates hot gases which heat the air that’s pumped into my home through ducts or plenums.

The furnace control system is made up of a thermostat. When the indoor temperature drops, it signals the ignition switch to turn on the burner. Gas flows in and lights up. The heat exchanger is heated up, and warm air is sent out while cold air is taken back in. The blower fan moves the heated air around.

Modern HVAC systems have smart control boards that can modulate pressure and airflow for greater efficiency. You can also use propane as a fuel instead of oil.

When I set up my heating system, eComfort helped me out. They gave me tips on how to take care of my furnace over the years!