Initially, sources of heat like wood fires and small-sized furnaces fueled with waste wood were used for a very long time. These were later replaced by furnaces that functioned by burning coal and other fossil fuels.
Then the energy crisis and environmental issues resulted into the development of gas furnaces, which are now being replaced by electric furnaces (also called domestic furnaces).
The functioning process of the latter is totally different from the ones that consumed fossil fuels. An electric furnace is different from the industrial type, and must not be mistaken with the one used to melt metals.
Working of an Electric Furnace
The basic function of this device is to maintain a higher temperature in a house or any building. As compared to furnaces that consume fossil fuels, electric ones are economical to operate due to their unique functioning process.
The operation of any furnace depends upon the thermostat, which is a simple unit that acts like a thermometer. This unit is set at a particular temperature. If this value falls below the set level on the thermostat, then the house starts to become colder.
The drop in temperature is sensed by the thermostat, which alerts the electric furnace that is usually situated in the basement of a building. The most important component of the conventional electric furnace is the heating coil, which turns extremely hot when an electric current is passed through it.
The heated coil in turn heats the temperature of the air around it. This air is then routinely blown into the house through a blower. The pressure that is exerted by the blower on the heated air warms it further. This air is blown into the house, and the uncomfortably low temperature rises to a very pleasing level.
The cold air that was initially present in the house replaces the hot air in the electric furnace. This air is in turn heated by the heating coil of the furnace, and is blown back into the house. To maintain a supply of fresh air in the house, some furnaces also suck air from the outdoor atmosphere.
However, this air is very cold, and heating it drastically increases the energy consumption of the furnace. After the air in the house reaches a particular temperature, the thermostat automatically shuts off the electric furnace.
The application of these furnaces is slowly being accepted universally, and has boosted the effort in energy savings and prevention of global warming.