Furnace Terminology All Homeowners Should Know
Your furnace is one of the hardest working appliances in your home. Although you may not think much about it, you most certainly are aware of the warmth and comfort it provides. Whether you are in the market for a new furnace or just want to become more familiar with the furnace you have, knowledge of some common furnace terms is always helpful.
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace.
British Thermal Unit (BTU): One BTU is the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Furnaces with higher BTUs have higher heating capacities.
Downflow Furnace: A unit that takes cool air in from the top and blows warm air from the bottom, typically installed when the ductwork is located below the furnace.
Dual Fuel: A heating system that uses two sources to heat the home. An electric heat pump is paired with a gas furnace, and the two sources alternate to maximize efficiency.
Ductwork: A system of ducts run most commonly inside walls and ceilings that transport air from the HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) unit throughout your home.
Heat Pump: Part of the HVAC system that heats (or cools) by moving heat. Depending on the season, the heat pump will either draw heat from outdoors to circulate throughout the home or remove heat from the home and release it outside.
Horizontal Furnace: Lying on its side and pulling cool air in from one side and pushing warm air out the other, horizontal furnaces are used in areas where space is limited, such as a crawl space.
HVAC Zoning System: Using dampers in the ductwork to redirect air to specific areas of the home, a zoned HVAC system allows heating customization in different areas of the home.
MERV Rating: The measuring unit used for rating the efficiency of air filters. A higher MERV rating indicates smaller holes in the air filter, which allows fewer particles to pass through, making the air filter more efficient.
Upflow Furnace: Circulates the air through the sides or bottom of the HVAC unit, and then out through the top. An up-flow furnace is most commonly used in basements, closets, or attic installations.
Knowing more about the components and types of furnaces, you can now power through the remainder of the winter staying warm and comfortable.
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