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What Kind of Safety Features do Furnaces Come With?

Technician working on electrical aspects of a furnace


Winter is kicking into full gear, and that means it’s time to winterize your home or business. While you go through the checklists, don’t forget about your furnace. It’s easy to take it for granted, but regular service is important. The first step to good care is learning more about how it works, so here is your first opportunity to do just that. Check out these four safety features you probably didn’t know were built into your furnace.

Key Safety Features

1. Thermocouple.Gas furnaces have pilot lights. On older, more traditional models, the thermocouple works in conjunction with the pilot. It detects the heat from the pilot, and if it drops too low, the thermocouple shuts off the gas flow to prevent any leaks.

2. Mercury Flame Sensor.Newer furnaces have replaced traditional pilots with electronic ignition or intermittent pilots. The mercury flame sensor replaces the thermocouple for these devices. While it works differently, it still detects conditions that could lead to gas leaks and shuts down the flow.

3. Limit Switch.The limit switch is another temperature based device. This one keeps an eye on conditions near the combustion chamber. If things get too hot, it kills the gas to prevent excessive combustion.

4. Air Pressure Switch.In newer systems, fans are used to clear unburned gas when the furnace switches off. The air pressure switch uses air pressure monitoring to notice when this process isn’t functioning correctly, and it disables the gas flow to prevent a dangerous buildup.

Staying on Top of Safety

There are tons of redundant systems in a modern furnace. The entire design is aimed at promoting safe conditions, but their preventative techniques work best in conjunction with proper maintenance. Repairing redundant systems prevents the greater potential for calamity, and it is the best way to keep your furnace safe and efficient. Feel free to check out our Preventative Maintenance Program, or contact us for more information.

 

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