Of the many kinds of heating systems, forced air furnaces are among the simplest in Pittsburgh and monitoring the flow of heat is as simple as checking the registers and feeling the flow.
The Basics of Hot Air
At your Pittsburgh furnace, usually in the basement or a central location, air is heated to a temperature set by the thermostat. Once large and dominant, over the years, technological improvements have enabled furnaces to be much smaller and fit into closets.
With a fan, the warm air is circulated through a system of ducts and distributed at registers or grates usually in the floor. A second grate takes the cooler air back to the furnace to be heated.
Going With the Flow
While a forced air system tends to fluctuate between cycles, temperatures should be consistent throughout the home from room to room. As heat is distributed, rooms get quickly warmer, then cool several degrees as heat dissipates until the thermostat setting starts the cycle over.
If there is poor circulation, the efficiency of the system is greatly reduced. The furnace runs more often, adding strain and cost to the heating of your home. Some rooms remain comfortable while the rise and fall of temperatures in others may be more radical or remain too cool.
Monitoring the Flow
By turning the thermostat higher, the furnace will engage and begin to force air to the registers.
Most registers have adjustable slats that can be rotated to allow more or less flow. Checking to make sure all are fully open is the first step. There is usually a lever or gear in obvious view.
Make sure all registers are free to allow air movement and not blocked by furniture or carpets.
After testing with your hand to see if there is adequate air flow, using an infrared or dial thermometer will more accurately identify if there are differences from register to register which could indicate a blockage of some sort in the vent or a problem with the system at the furnace.
Furnaces should be maintained on a yearly basis by contracting with a company like Boehmer Heating & Cooling who can regularly change the filters, inspect the internal elements and ensure proper and efficient functioning of this most important part of your home.