How Your Furnace Safely Vents Gases

Have you ever wondered how your furnace safely vents the gases that are produced as it burns fuel?  After all, combustion always gives off waste products such as carbon monoxide, and carbon monoxide can be poisonous if it gets into the air.  So, unless your heater is entirely electric, this is a matter that any homeowner should be familiar with!

While MAS Duct Cleaning Services does not service furnaces or vent pipes, we still think this is vital information that too few homeowners know about.  So, in this article, we’ll briefly talk about how your furnace prevents harmful gases from escaping the system.

How Heaters Vent Their Combustion Gases

There are two different methods, depending on how powerful/efficient your heater is.  

I. Mid-Efficiency (<90 AFUE)

A mid-efficiency heater contains a single chamber called a heat exchanger, which is where the heating happens.  The fuel – usually natural gas – is pushed into this chamber, and combusted.  This creates the heat which is moved through the vents in your home.

The byproducts of this process are always gases – like carbon monoxide – and they are lighter than air.  So, these systems have a single flue pipe which extends upwards through your home, to the roof.  All the waste gases simply float upwards and out into the sky.

II. High Efficiency (>90 AFUE)

High-efficiency heaters get that name because they have two heat exchangers and are therefore able to pull more heat out of their fuel.   The first heat exchanger is a combustion chamber, like in a mid-efficiency model, but then the combustion gases go to a second chamber.  Here, the heat in the gases is extracted, and in the process, the waste gases are converted to a liquid.

This is good by itself since it doesn’t vent more waste gas into the atmosphere.  However, the liquids can’t be allowed to build up.  So, these systems have a horizontal flue pipe that, along with a blower fan, sends the liquids out the side of your house.

Always Keep Your Ducts & Vents Properly Cleaned

If your heater is running inefficiently, one of the most likely reasons is that your ducts are dirty or clogged.  Any obstructions will increase the strain on your heater, reducing its ability to control your climate, and causing it to waste power.  Regular duct and vent cleaning in Surrey prevents this!

If it’s been more than 2-3 years since your last duct and vent cleaning, call MAS Duct Cleaning Services MAS for professional, affordable service.