A furnace has a number of different components that in working together, provide your home with heat. When a problem occurs with one of the furnace’s components, the heating system is effected and at times, even comes to a complete halt. One component that can have a surprising effect on your heating system is the furnace’s supply plenum. Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning will explain the job of the supply plenum and how it can affect your home’s heating system.
What is a Furnace Supply Plenum?
The furnace’s supply plenum is an enclosed compartment that sets between the heat exchanger and air ducts. The supply plenum is the last chamber the heated air runs through before heading through the air duct system. The heating system starts when the air handler blows air over the heat exchangers That air is then directed into the supply plenum. Once inside the supply plenum chamber, the air temperature is measured, making sure the air was properly heated before being released through the air ducts.
Where is a Furnace Supply Plenum Located?
As a furnace comes in a wide variety of models, designs, and sizes, the location of the supply plenum can vary. The supply plenum in most cases is on top of the heat exchanger or to the side of the heat exchanger. The primary supply ductwork is connected to the other end of the supply plenum. It makes it easier to locate the supply plenum by locating the primary ductwork. By locating the supply plenum, it can be inspected when problems occur.
Troubleshooting Problems in the Supply Plenum
The furnace’s supply plenum can develop a couple of problems. One of the common problems associated with the supply plenum is in the limit switch, which is inside the supply plenum chamber. The limit switch measures the temperature inside the furnace. If the heat exchanger becomes overheated, the temperature inside the supply plenum will begin to heat up. If it gets too hot inside the supply plenum chamber, the limit switch will shut down the furnace. If the limit switch malfunctions or breaks down, the limit switch will need to be replaced. Often the furnace will not turn on even though it has power and there is no other visible problem. The supply plenum will need to be opened and the limit switch replaced. Another common issue involving the supply plenum is a major air blockage. If the heat inside the air duct gets backed up, the heat will be pushed back inside the supply plenum. The accumulating heat inside the supply plenum will trigger the limit switch, turning off the furnace. Air blockages are most often due to a closed air vent. However, at times the air ducts can collapse or develop a blockage from debris. Any obstruction will cause heat to push back into the supply plenum chamber. It is important to discover the cause of the limit switch being triggered to prevent additional problems.
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If your furnace keeps turning off, their may be a problem within the supply plenum and with the limit switch. For furnace repairs and more, contact Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning today.