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How Does My Heat Work?

Without a doubt, cooler temperatures are arriving. It won't be long until we all switch our HVAC systems to heat mode. If this is your first heating season in your home, you may want to understand the basics of how your system works.

A gas furnace can be fueled by propane, oil, or natural gas. When you set your thermostat to heat, the furnace's ignitor will fire up the burners. The burners produce heat that moves into the heat exchanger. The blower then moves the heated air through your ductwork and into the different rooms of your home.

gas furnace burners
Gas Furnace: Burners

If you have a heat pump system, your outdoor unit extracts the heat that is present in outdoor air and deliver it inside the home. The blower on your air handler circulates the air throughout. If it is extremely cold or your heat pump cannot keep up, your strip heat will kick in. When your emergency (or auxiliary) heat is active, electricity powers heating elements which heat the air. The heated air travels through the electric resistance coils and the blower circulates the air throughout your home.

auxiliary or emergency heat strips
Heat Pump: Auxiliary/Emergency Heat Strips


No matter your heat source, your system will continue to run until the set temperature on your thermostat is satisfied.

Until we get back to our warm Carolina weather, furnace maintenance is essential. Our technicians will deliver the TLC that your furnace needs to:

  • reduce wear and tear to components

  • maintain the highest efficiency possible

  • catch issues before they progress into costly repairs

  • ensure all safety features are working properly

If you find yourself without heat, call Helms Heating & Air Conditioning of Indian Trail. Our technicians are trained to diagnose and repair all brands of equipment.

We are available after-hours - at no additional fee - should your family have an emergency.



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