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Heating & Air News

Top 5 Most Surprising Facts About Furnaces

Posted by Howell's Heating & Air on November 18, 2021

Why is it called a furnaceThe phrase "out of sight, out of mind," applies to many things in life, but it's especially applicable for the parts of our homes that stay in the basement, such as furnaces. These devices are absolutely crucial for our comfort and wellbeing, yet we never think about them unless they're acting up in some way or we're booking a new heating installation in Glen Allen.

In this article, we'll give these unsung heroes of American homes some well-earned recognition by taking a look at 5 interesting and unusual facts about furnaces. Read on.

What are some interesting facts about furnaces?

Furnaces are by far the most popular home heating solution in the US, but that's actually not the case in many other parts of the world. For instance, many European countries use district heating systems, where a single cogeneration plant distributes heat to a large network of residential and/or commercial properties.

Here are 5 more things you didn't know about furnaces:

  1. They keep your pipes from freezing. Unused water lines tend to freeze in low temperatures in about 3 days. This can severely damage your home's plumbing system. Luckily, a furnace can prevent this from happening. This is just one of the many advantages of having a central heating system.
  2. They're incredibly long-lived. With professional installation and regular maintenance, a furnace can easily last 15-20 years.
  3. They were invented by the Romans as early as 1200 years BC. These early heating systems were called "hypocausts" and operated by pumping warm air through the floors and walls. To say that furnaces have a storied history would be putting it mildly.
  4. They were forgotten for a thousand years after the fall of the Roman Empire. During those centuries, most people had to rely on fireplaces or fire pits to warm themselves during the cold seasons.
  5. They can go green. Geothermal heating systems draw on the natural warmth in the earth to heat up your home, which dramatically reduces energy use and ensures long-term savings.

Why is it called a furnace?

The word "furnace" has its roots in the Greek word "fornax", which means oven or "an enclosed structure in which heat is produced". This is because the first furnaces were large structures made of clay or stone that used wood or coal to produce intense heat. These furnaces of old were mostly used for smelting ore or doing ceramic work, and their modern counterparts are still used today in industrial metal production.

How hot is a furnace?

It depends on the type of furnace you use and what you set your thermostat on. For example, a conventional gas furnace will sit between 140 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit at the supply plenum. High efficiency furnaces tend to be cooler at between 110 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature at the furnace's outlet will depend on the temperature of the incoming air. The expected temperature rise for your furnace should be listed in its documentation, and may also be found on its nameplate. You can also ask your HVAC company to provide this information the next time you book your annual furnace tune-up.

Where can I schedule dependable heating installation in Glen Allen?

How hot is a furnaceGiving your furnace the care it needs is absolutely essential. After all, it's what keeps your pets and loved ones warm while it's freezing outside. With over 50 years of industry experience and a highly knowledgeable team of HVAC experts, Howell's Heating & Air is uniquely positioned to do just that.

Our HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services are available throughout Glen Allen and the nearby communities. Reach out to us today and enjoy a relaxing walk by the Chickahominy River with your family while our technicians give your HVAC system the care it needs.

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