To be clear, you may have a different heating system, such as a boiler, heat pump, or active solar heating. If your heating system heats water and you have radiators, you have a boiler. A heat pump is basically an air conditioner that works in reverse. Keep in mind that many homes have a hybrid heating system, which combines the energy efficiency of heat pumps for mild weather with the powerful heating capacity of furnaces during more extreme temperatures.
Schedule a professional tune-up every fall (before you first turn on your heating system). They will be able to test your heat exchanger for cracks, clean your pilot light, inspect the ventilation system, and much more.
An efficient and well-maintained heat exchanger is essential for a working furnace. During the process of heating the heat exchanger, combustion gases should be venting safely out of the house.
Welcome to Furnace 101, where we teach you the basics of your furnace and how it works to provide heating to your home.