Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Combustion Science Courtesy of Your Furnace

The fire triangle, composed of fuel, oxygen and heat, needs to go through the process of combustion to release energy. Not only does this release the energy stored in fuel, it also makes sure that there’s enough heat to be reused in the process.

To better understand the science behind combustion, here are a few details, using your furnace as an example, to help you out.

Your Furnace Needs Heat
So you rely on your furnace for heat. The interesting thing here is that your furnace also relies on heat in order to give you heat. As long as the three elements are present, combustion can go on for practically forever. The process derives heat from the heat it produced with byproducts, such as soot.

Believe it or not, this phenomenon has been the talk of some handyman forums on the Internet. They claim that furnaces refuse to start if the weather gets cold enough.

Heat Depends on Fuel
As heat is basically energy, the type of fuel used determines the amount of heat released into the environment. Natural gas is one of the most common furnace fuels used because of the immense amount of energy it contains. While its energy content dwarfs that of wood by a great deal, natural gas is advantageous for furnaces in the big city.

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