How Does a Propane Furnace Work?

Getting Familiar with Your Home’s Heating Equipment

propane heating system new jersey Let’s be honest: your furnace is one of the priciest pieces of equipment in your home—and one of the most vital!

A furnace, and the forced-air heating system it powers, are like an investment in your family’s safety and comfort. You want to ensure it’s working at peak performance and efficiency. As the temperatures drop in Bucks County, Cape May County and other parts of Southern New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, the Blue Flame team handles many furnace maintenance calls. We’ve found that many homeowners don’t know how a furnace keeps them warm!

With that in mind, here’s a rundown of how a propane furnace works so you’re familiar.

How Do Propane-Fired Furnaces Keep You Warm?

  1. Your home’s thermostat determines that indoor temperatures are lower than your preset levels. It signals the furnace to turn on.
  2. Propane from your propane tank ignites in your furnace’s burner.
  3. The air in the furnace’s combustion chamber becomes incredibly hot, then travels to the furnace’s heat exchanger.
  4. Your furnace’s blower forces the heated air through ductwork and into your living area.
  5. While this happens, another vent brings cooler air into the furnace system to be warmed.
  6. Your furnace continues heating cool air and cycling it into your home via ducts until your thermostat determines that its preset temperature has been reached.
  7. The thermostat signals for the furnace to turn off.
  8. During this process, combustion byproducts vent through a flue out of your home.

Are There Different Types of Propane Furnaces?

There are three types of residential furnaces, separated by the rate at which they distribute fuel and heated air.

Single-Stage Furnace

Essentially, the burners of these furnaces have only two settings on their fuel valve. Either the propane enters the burner at full blast, or it is completely shut. This means that the furnace heats air at full blast the entire time it’s on.

Two-Stage Furnace

The burner on these furnaces has a valve with a medium speed. It feeds propane into the burner at roughly 65 percent capacity. As such, the burner can operate at a lower intensity when heating needs are less significant. Two-stage furnaces are more efficient than one-stage furnaces.

Variable-Speed Furnaces

The variable speed does not have to do with the burner. It refers to the furnace’s blower, which operates at different rates depending on the heating requirements.

Propane—The Ideal Fuel for Your Furnace!

You can feel great powering your home’s heating with propane. It is a robust, efficient, American-made fuel. Propane furnaces consistently heat air to 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Today’s high-efficiency propane furnaces have fuel efficiencies of up to 98.5 percent! In addition, propane is incredibly clean burning. It’s methane-free, has the lowest carbon intensity of any heating fuel besides natural gas and contains virtually no particulate matter. So, you can be confident that you’re minimizing your home’s carbon footprint.

Get in touch with the Blue Flame team today to set up your annual furnace tune-up, or to schedule any needed maintenance or repairs.