An Overview Of Furnace Combustion Analysis

Posted on: 21 February 2020

If your furnace is not performing as well as it should, then you should consider a combustion analysis for the furnace. In fact, performing a combustion analysis at regular intervals will help ensure your furnace is always running at full capacity. Below is an overview of the combustion analysis.

What It Means

A combustion analysis is a test to determine the combustion efficiency of a furnace. The combustion efficiency determines how well the furnace burners are turning fuel into heat for warming up your house. Poor combustion means something is wrong with the furnace and you are wasting fuel that you should be using to heat the house.

What is Measured

CO Analysis

Furnace technicians use an instrument (combustion analyzer) that measures the amount of carbon monoxide the furnace emits. This CO is a byproduct of combustion. Too much carbon monoxide means the furnace is not getting adequate air (hence it is burning more fuel than it should).

O2 Analysis

Combustion is basically a reaction between oxygen (O2) and fuel. Too much or too little oxygen is bad for the combustion process. The amount of oxygen in the air is constant, but the burners can be starved of oxygen if something is blocking air circulation. Dense air can also send too much oxygen into the combustion chamber.

Carbon Monoxide Analysis

Just like CO, carbon dioxide (CO2) is also a byproduct of combustion. Again, there are safe levels of CO2 that the furnace should emit if it is running efficiently. For example, lower readings of CO2 might mean that the furnace is not getting enough air and is not producing as much heat as it should.

Temperature Analysis

Every furnace has an acceptable temperature range that the burners should maintain. Extremely high temperatures can damage the furnace while extremely low temperatures mean the furnace is operating at subpar levels. Low temperatures can encourage condensation in the furnace, which can lead to further damages.

Fuel Pressure

Lastly, the furnace technician will also measure the fuel pressure during the combustion analysis. The fuel pressure determines how much fuel is getting into the burners at any time. Too little fuel means the furnace is operating below its efficiency. Too much fuel is just a waste of energy that also contributes to environmental pollution.

Hopefully, the combustion analysis on your furnace won't reveal any major issues. If major issues do arise, your furnace contractor will offer the necessary remedies to get your furnace running efficiently again.

If you have more questions about a combustion analysis, reach out to an HVAC specialist near you like Robison Air.