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Terms to Know Before Buying a Furnace

The type of furnace used to heat a commercial or industrial facility may be different from the system used to heat a residential dwelling. Many types of units are available, though most are either powered by electric current, or burn gas, oil or wood to generate heat. If you need to purchase or repair a furnace, here are some important terms to know.

  • HVAC – An abbreviation of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, used by dealers and service people.
  • Hydronic Heating – An alternative to the traditional furnace, a hydronic heating system uses insulated tubing to run hot water from a boiler beneath the floor or along base board heaters to heat a home.
  • Heat Exchanger – The part of the furnace that transfers consumed fuel into heat, or from a boiler to water for hydronic heating.
  • Load – In the HVAC industry, load refers to the quantity of hot air necessary from the furnace or hot water tank to achieve the desired temperature in an interior space.
  • Plenum – The part of the heating system that distributes heat through ducts and vents into the various rooms of a home or business.
  • Multi-Poise – A type of furnace that can provide heat through four different air flow configurations – upflow, downflow and horizontal left and right.
  • Power Vented Furnace – A power vented furnace is necessary to heat a home without a chimney.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector – A malfunctioning furnace can cause hazardous carbon monoxide to circulate through the vent system. A carbon monoxide detector monitors the level of carbon dioxide and sounds an alarm when it becomes a danger.
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    Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association
    Falls Church, VA 22046
    Furnaces Heating (wholesale), Furnaces, Heating, Wholesale Furnaces, Petoskey Furnaces. Top notch Wholesale Heating Equipment, Wholesale Heating, Winter Heating, Petoskey Furnaces Heating.
    Top Rated Furnace Cleaning & Repair Services
    Prescreened and Rated with HomeAdvisor. Hire with Confidence Today!
    Locally Rated Major Appliances Service & Repair
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    M & M Plumbing, Heating, Cooling
    3464 S Straits Hwy, Indian River, MI 49749
    M & M plumbing, heating, cooling was built on a tradition of hard work, commitment, and family values.
    (231) 238-7201
    West Climate Control
    4309 S Us Highway 131, Petoskey, MI 49770
    (231) 348-5996
    Ginop Plumbing & Heating Inc
    2951 S Us Highway 31, Alanson, MI 49706
    (231) 347-4242
    MacGregor Plumbing and Heating
    235 Franklin Park, Harbor Springs, MI 49740
    (231) 526-9633
    Ace Hardware
    6675 M 66 N, Charlevoix, MI 49720
    (231) 547-6232
    R W Energy
    7984 North St, Central Lake, MI 49622
    (231) 544-2303
    Bedell Plumbing and Heating Inc
    795 W Vfw Rd, Cheboygan, MI 49721
    (231) 627-7604
    Wittock Supply Kitchen & Bath
    1100 Gornick Ave, Gaylord, MI 49735
    (866) 994-9488
    Jp Heating of Northern Michigan
    1830 Dickerson Rd, Gaylord, MI 49735
    (989) 732-7571
    Wittock Supply Kitchen & Bath
    1100 Gornick Ave, Gaylord, MI 49735
    (989) 732-1690
    Niepoth E H & Sons Plumbing & Heating Co
    6805 Bellaire Hwy, Bellaire, MI 49615
    (231) 533-8118
    Northern Heating & Refrigeration
    734 E Cayuga St, Bellaire, MI 49615
    (231) 533-8173
    Bob's Furnace Service
    Suttons Bay, MI 49682
    (231) 271-4064
    K&K Heating and Cooling
    6211 S Railway Cmn, Williamsburg, MI 49690
    (231) 267-2000
    Northern Mechanical Contractors
    1415 Keyport Ln, Grayling, MI 49738
    (989) 348-6574


    It's difficult to send hot air through a building without a furnace of some type. Mostly, the term is used to describe a residential heating system based off of a central furnace, but can also be a reference to a direct fire heater used for boiler purposes or to industrial equipment. The term comes from the Latin word "fomax," meaning "oven." It's believed that the first furnace was made by the Indus Valley Civilization during the height of its maturity, around 2500-1900 BC, and was used to make ceramics. As time has progressed, these appliances have become significantly more sophisticated. Units that are installed in the home or commercial building use air, steam, or hot water as a source to send heat through the ducts. In the United States, natural gas is the most commonly used fuel for these systems, but oil, coal, and wood can also be used. On occasion you'll see a furnace run by electricity or propane. Sometimes a unit runs too hot or too cool. When a furnace needs repairs or replacement, an HVAC contractor is called out to assess the situation. If smaller parts like the pump, filter, or condensate drain hose for excess water are broken, the contractor can often replace them to keep the unit going. If something larger like the boiler or the exhaust vent pipe in non efficiency systems, the HVAC person may consider the condition too severe and recommend replacement. These folks may be able to get you price deals from the manufacturer since they'll be able to purchase parts in bulk.
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