Understanding the Relationship Between Gas Furnaces and Your AC
Approximately 87% of homes in the United States have an air conditioner. In areas with a cold climate for most of the year, the AC usually works together with a gas furnace.
One of the common gas furnace safety and maintenance question is, do you need a furnace along with your AC? Most AC repair experts agree, but it depends on several factors. This article looks at how the two work together, and why you can’t ignore either during maintenance.
How a Gas Furnace Works with the AC
Both your cooling and heating systems work as a unit to maximize their efficiency. If any of the two systems is broken, you must upgrade as soon as possible. When both are broken, they ideally need to be fixed at about the same time to optimize the AC and enhance gas furnace safety.
There are three main types of furnaces common in the United States; oil, gas, and electricity. Natural gas is prevalent in many heating systems because it is affordable. Electric heaters have a simpler compact design, but the fuel can be more expensive.
The three systems employ varying techniques for cooling and heating. However, the distribution of air is more or less the same for gas, oil, and electricity.
Electrical furnaces generate heat using heating elements. But natural gas systems release fuel through special valves. The fuel is burned in open flames in an enclosure known as the heat exchanger. The exchanger is important for upholding the gas furnace safety.
In all systems, the thermostat triggers the furnace and the AC to start distributing the warm air around your home. Once the internal temperature matches that of the thermostat, a signal is sent to shut the system off.
Why Prompt Furnace and AC repair is Necessary
The main reason you should get emergency air conditioning repair to check your furnace is that the two systems are usually interdependent. For example, the heating and cooling units use the same ducts. Therefore, duct cleaning will improve the quality of air from the AC.
The air conditioner and the furnace also share other components, such as grilles and vents. Focusing your AC system maintenance on one unit could mean that you are ignoring parts that affect the system. Also, mixing new components with older ones will reduce the efficiency of the whole system.
Additionally, most of the components that will impact the function of the HVAC could compromise gas furnace safety. Filters need to be changed to reduce utility bills and prevent dust particles and contamination from getting into your home. Facilitating airflow within the system will optimize the function of both the AC and reduce the risk of hazards such as carbon monoxide poisoning.
When A Furnace is Not Necessary
Air conditioning systems that use furnaces are more common in areas with cold climates. In warmer regions, more households use systems that apply the heat pump operation. These are electrical devices that push air from the house when it is hot, and the cold breeze out during the chilly season.
Heat pumps are for areas where cold and hot seasons are moderate. Before you choose a heat pump over a furnace, consider the following factors:
- Cold Climate: In cold climates, heating is required for most of the year, as opposed to cooling. Conventional heat pumps will increase your utility bills.
- Natural Gas versus Electricity:If you replace your gas system with an electrical backup system, the electricity bill will go up. Electricity can be as much as three times the cost of natural gas. Before making any changes to your AC, determine the heating and cooling patterns of your home. If in doubt, talk to your HVAC contractor for a professional assessment.
Some AC systems work with gas furnaces to optimize the air conditioning of your home. You need to repair both systems at the same time to ensure they are always at their optimal performance. If you want to make changes, consider factors such a climate and the heating needs of your home. You can contact our HVAC contractors today for any questions or queries.