Olstrad Engineering
Combustion 911
How Low is your Purge Time

Don’t Choke Your Furnace

Like many cultured persons, I enjoy an occasional pipe of tobacco or fine cigar. Sitting at the gentleman’s club the other day, I noticed some difficulty in keeping my pipe lit. Of course, two of my favorite former students, Tom Edisen and Nic Tesla, were nearby. As these two are most entertaining when their long-standing rivalry is stoked, I devised a contest between the two – first to find the reason behind this phenomenon would get one of my finest cigars.

The reading room at the club seats about twenty in high, wing-back chairs, and on this day it was full to capacity. We were all enjoying a smoke, whether a cigar, cigarette (in long, ornate filter, of course), or pipe, and the room had a nice haze of blue smoke that just reached to the backs of the chairs… Looking around at my fellows, I noticed one or two gasping as they stoked their smoking implements, as they were also having trouble keeping them lit. In fact, it looked like a few of the lads had fallen asleep.

After a somewhat lethargic effort, Nic strode to the nearest window and threw open the sash. The wheezing stopped, my pipe stayed lit, and old Jeffers woke from his nap. Nic’s report was that we had starved the room of oxygen!

It occurs to me that some people (not you, I am sure) do the same thing to their furnace(s)! As you must periodically check your gas filter for obstruction, so too you must occasionally check your air filter. Forgetting to clean the blower filter, having air pipework that is too small, or not keeping burners properly tuned are all ways to choke your furnace. And when you do, you get less heat, more pollution, and less valuable product.

Just like throwing open the window, keeping your air filter clean allows your furnace to operate the proper way!