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Understanding Your Home’s Heating System – HVAC 101

Did you know – An HVAC heating system is likely to be the single most critical modern technological convenience found in either your home or office? It’s what keeps your office space cool and comfortable during a sweltering summer. And it’s also what maintains your home’s cozy and inviting atmosphere through even the most frigid winter. As the fall and winter months hasten on their approach, this latter function is going to become especially important.

That being the case, it’s worthwhile to learn a bit about what an HVAC heating system is. So that you know how it works its magic all year long. That’s we’re going to do here. We’ll break down the basics of how this incredibly important heating system works. Plus, how its various parts and aspects fit together. Along the way, we’ll focus special attention on the heating system component of the whole operation. As well as present some critical information about the importance of furnace maintenance and furnace repair. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to spot problems and call on the services of a professional from The Original Flame to help you with everything from repair, maintenance and furnace installation.

What follows will be the first step in empowering you to keep your home or office warm this winter. And of course, keeping the climate well-regulated throughout the year. Let’s get busy!

HVAC Heating System Basics

Gas Furnace Heating SystemFirst things first: What is an HVAC heating system? “HVAC” stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. Making it responsible for those three all-important regulatory functions of the indoor climate. Your HVAC setup combines a furnace or heating system that warms air up. As well as a series of ventilation ducts and air circulation mechanisms. Plus an air conditioning system that cools air down. And let’s not forget a thermostat that regulates air temperature.

In the summer months, when you turn the thermostat down, the system responds by sucking in warmer air and passing it through the appropriate ventilation ducts until it reaches the cooling coil in the air conditioning system. In the cooling coil, meanwhile, refrigerant gas is supercooled until it reaches a liquid state. Thus, when warmer air comes into contact with the coil, it swiftly cools down. The cooled air is then passed through ventilation ducts yet again and released back into your home.

By contrast, when the weather is cold and you turn the thermostat up, the system again takes in the now colder air through its ventilation system. This time, however, it passes the air through to its furnace or heating system. Your furnace; which is generally powered either by natural gas or electricity – is meant to create heat. It generates heat and warms the air that has been directed to it until the air reaches the temperature that has been indicted on the thermostat. The heated air is then released and spread throughout your home via a network of ducts and radiators.

More Detail on Furnace Repair and Maintenance

With that general overview of the HVAC system out of the way, let’s delve a little deeper into the workings of the heating system. More specifically, let’s talk about a few signs that your furnace may not be working properly and about whom to call when you notice these signs.

Before we begin, though, a general note: Whether or not you notice any of the following warning signs, it is a wise policy to invite a trained technician over to perform regular furnace maintenance and other HVAC work for you at least once per year. This work could range from a simple check-up or tune-up to a replacement of some major parts. The reasons for this are fairly obvious. Not only is it much better to catch potential problems early, since problems that persist for too long without being addressed will eventually force you to completely replace your furnace. But most warranties on HVAC equipment require annual maintenance checks as a condition of remaining in effect.

As for signs that you’re in need of furnace repair. Remember first that as a general rule, any furnace that’s more than 15 years old should probably be replaced outright. Typically, furnaces’ shelf lives don’t extend much longer than that, and if you must initiate new furnace installation, it’s better to plan this big event and do it before the winter hits than to be caught unawares and have your system suddenly break down.

Secondly, if you notice that your house is cold even when your furnace is ostensibly working, or if you notice a sudden and inexplicable spike in your heating bills, these are commonsensical but important signs that something may be seriously wrong. If these things happen, call a technician over immediately, and have him assess the problem.

Other Things to Watch For With Your Home’s Heating System

Something less obvious but no less important to watch out for is if your house suddenly becomes extremely dusty. A well-functioning heating system will take air in from the outside and filter it before running it though the furnace. Dusty air is unfiltered air. So if you find your radiators coughing up dust, some furnace maintenance — if not outright furnace repair or replacement — should be in your future.

A good understanding of the importance of proper repair and regular maintenance is the bread and butter of keeping your HVAC system properly cared for. We recommend seeking out a little bit more information on this topic here.

If you’re in any situation at all similar to those described above, don’t hesitate to turn to the Original Flame. Our HVAC repair arm, JRH Enterprises, will be there to help. We proudly serve the Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes regions of northeastern Ontario. And we carry, repair and install Continental Heating and Cooling products in our warehouse. If a new furnace installation is in the cards for you this winter, furnaces from Continental Heating will put you on a superb footing.

You can learn a bit about the Continental Heating products we deal with and our furnace maintenance, repair and installation services here.


A smoothly functioning HVAC system is essential to any real level of home comfort. Our team at The Original Flame, are dedicated to ensuring you and your home stay warm during the colder season. Especially now that winter is quickly approaching and your heating system is of top priority. Whatever you need this fall and winter — be it furnace installation for a new house, or maintenance and repair for your old warhorse heating system that still serves like a trooper — The Original Flame is ready to help you.

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