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How Does a Furnace Work?

If your home is heated by a furnace, it’s important to know how your heating system works. It will allow you to make better decisions about the maintenance of your furnace and can even help you extend the lifespan of your equipment. Find out how a furnace works from the heating experts at Arctic Air Conditioning. We’ve been providing homeowners in Monmouth, Middlesex, and Ocean County, New Jersey with exceptional heating services and advice since 1977. We can help you understand your home heating system so when it comes time for maintenance, you’ll understand what your furnace needs. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.

How a Furnace Works: A Complete Heating Cycle

A furnace is a type of forced-air central heating that heats the air in your home through the combustion of a fuel. The process of how a furnace works is by regulating the temperature through a series of steps that are repeated until the indoor air reaches the temperature set on the thermostat.

Here’s how a furnace works:

  1. When the thermostat determines that the temperature in the room has dropped below the temperature set on the thermostat, the heating cycle can begin.
  2. The inducer fan in your furnace will start, pulling enough air into the unit to establish combustion airflow.
  3. Once proper airflow is established, the gas valve opens to permit gas to flow through the burners and be ignited by a spark or heat from the igniter. (In older models, there is a “standing pilot” light which is a small flame that burns constantly to ignite the gas.) The spark or igniter will go out immediately after the flame has been lit.
  4. The flame will heat up the heat exchanger for approximately two minutes before the blower turns on. This allows the metal walls or tubing in your heat exchanger to absorb the heat from the flame so it can later be transferred into the air in your home. Another important step that occurs in your heat exchanger throughout this process is the release of toxic gases that are a byproduct of the fuel combustion. As carbon monoxide is collected in your heat exchanger, it is safely expelled through an exhaust vent out of the house.
  5. After the heat exchanger has reached the right temperature, the blower fan will engage, drawing air from the house through the return ducts and blowing over the heat exchanger, where it will absorb the heat energy stored there.
  6. The warmed air is pushed on by the blower into the supply ductwork to be redistributed back into your home.

This process will repeat multiple times until the desired temperature set on the thermostat is achieved. Understanding how a furnace works is very important for any homeowner, so if you have any questions about your heating system, contact Arctic Air Conditioning today. Or if your furnace isn’t functioning properly as you know it should be, we can provide exceptional furnace maintenance or furnace repair in Monmouth, Middlesex, or Ocean County, New Jersey. Our highly skilled and fully certified technicians can handle any furnace service you may need—contact us today to schedule a service call!

5 Rating |

”Jesse was patient explaining my heating system and did a very neat job and arrived right on time.”

- Kerry Snyder
5 Rating |

”They were so kind to me and donated the whole new system to me. I am so grateful”

- Amy Handaly
5 Rating |

”Jesse was a very nice easy to talk to young man. Answered all my questions. Polite and friendly. Explained everything he did . Awesome. Definetly recommend.”

- Jim Shockley
4 Rating |


- Mr Quick
5 Rating |

”Best service ever”

- Megan Moelius
5 Rating |

”The entire experience was fantastic from start to finish. Connor McBride gave me an excellent evaluation and estimate. He answered my questions patiently and professionally and responded to my phone…”

- Mary Sullivan
5 Rating |

”I've never written one of these reviews, but felt this one was necessary. I just had both my furnaces fail within one day of one another and needed heat as…”

- Marc Tauber
5 Rating |

”Michael was on time, very professional, he explained the issue and fixed it quickly”

- joyce berg
5 Rating |

”Punctual and professional”

- Meredith Buchholtz
5 Rating |

”They exceeded my expectations. I had a furnace and central air unit installed. Not only did they install the equipment, but also redid all the ductwork and routing of the…”

- Howard Wolsten
5 Rating |

”We had a new furnace, AC and Hot water heater installed this week by Arctic Air. I can't say enough about the excellent service we received. From the moment the…”

- Barbara K.
5 Rating |

”Wonderful experience. Technician was on time, professional, and made sure all my questions were answered. A+ rating.”

- Elizabeth Seidler
5 Rating |

”Timely, efficient, effective, and above all honest. What more could you want in a local company?”

- Michael Rosenberg
5 Rating |

”Arctic air is top notch. Always reliable and dependable. We have used many other conpanies in the past and no one compares to them. From the appointment making to the…”

- craig bender
5 Rating |

”I've been using Arctic HVAC for years. I bought my furnace from them and they service it. They also maintain our AC and dehumidifier. They have plumbers, so they installed…”

- David Streit
5 Rating |

”All around great service. Very neat and clean. would highly recommend.”

- Frank Ricca Jr
5 Rating |

”All around great service - they installed furnace, AC and water tank neatly and cleanly. They even re-arranged the units for better positioning and spacing which is a big help.…”

- Frank Ricca
5 Rating |

”Fast to respond, they show up when they say they will and are very efficient at identifying and solving problems.”

- Scott Wyden Kivowitz
5 Rating |

”Sammy was knowledgeable and completed my winter service. I was particularly impressed with his information on cancer and how you would contribute to the cause. In summary, I received excellent…”

- Sara Sorgeralli
5 Rating |

”The team that replaced my A/C and furnace were outstanding. It was a big job but their team did an excellent job. I highly recommend Arctic for furnace or A/C…”

- steve z.
5 Rating |

”We have used Arctic Air for many years. They seem to run a very efficient operation and really look out for their clients. If their tech is running late they…”

- Frank DiPaola
5 Rating |

”Sammy was a wonderful serviceman. He was respectful, punctual, and explained everything to me. Thank you Sammy for a job well done! 7 hope to see you again.”

- Joan Brownstein
4 Rating |

”Very easy to work with, good quality products and competent professional workers for installation. Competitive pricing. No pressure from salesman. Courteous and pleasant, knowledgeable. Came recommended by friends.”

- Bob C.
5 Rating |

”I have Arctic come every year to check out my heating system before the heat season kicks in. The technicians, this year Kevin D, are always friendly, professional and can…”

- Jonathan Simbol
5 Rating |

”We used Artic Air to do our conversion from oil to gas. They installed a new furnace, air conditioner and hot water heater. The four Mikes and one Doug who…”

- Kathy Dallavalle
5 Rating |

”Mr. Jesse Smith, Technician for Arctic Air Conditioning was on time, professional, pleasant, and neat. He completed the work in less tiime than projected. He was knowledgeable answered all my…”

- Lise-Marie Maida
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