You must know that your heater is also responsible for regulating your overall indoor air quality in addition to helping to keep you warm in the winter season. Also, in case your heater is not working properly, it is very easy for you to end up with sky-high heating and energy bills. You can also say that there are a lot of different consequences for failing to schedule a heating system service or conducting the proper maintenance.
So, what sort of heating system maintenance should you make sure you conduct before winter hits? For its knowledge, you will have to read this blog.
Heating System Maintenance Checklist
1. Switch Out the Filter
We will start with the most common entry on any furnace maintenance checklist that is changing the filter. First of all, you must remember that this is the most important step because a dirty filter negatively affects the overall air quality in your home. In case your filter is covered in any sort of dust, dirt, and other debris all that junk will end up being filtered back into your home’s air. Also, a filter that’s clogged with debris also won’t be able to work as effectively.
2. Ask A Pro To Remove Debris From The Burners
During the summer months, when the heating system isn’t in use, it’s easy for dust and dirt to build up. We would always suggest that you do not attempt to clean the burners on your own. But you can also vacuum the outside of the unit and the area around it. You will just have to make sure that the system is shut off completely before you get started.
You must also vacuum out the blower door. Particularly if you are concerned about missing a few spots, use a handheld flashlight to help you to spot black soot.
3. Make Sure The Vents Aren’t Blocked
You must remember that vents are there that are helping you to improve the air’s ability to move freely throughout the entire home. If there is any piece of furniture in its way, it would be tough for the vents to do their job properly. For the best possible results, we would suggest that you leave about 18 inches of space between the vents that are there in your home and the furniture.
4. Check out Your Thermostat
Always make sure that you have switched your thermostat over to heating. This is the point that a lot of people avoid. But simply switching your thermostat over to heating sometimes won’t do the job for you. In order to check that yours is in good condition, you should switch on the furnace and check out how long it would take for your thermostat to respond.
And in case you are still working with a manual thermostat, make this the winter that you upgrade to a more modern option.
5. Oil the Blower
There are chances that you might need to ensure that all of the parts are still in good and working order before the winter season finally arrives, particularly if you have an older heating system installed in your home. One of the most essential parts of the heating system is the furnace blower. It works in order to make sure that your heater is running properly. You must aim to have it professionally oiled once a year, though if the system is old, you may need to do it at least once in the whole season. An oiled blower would also mean that you will not have to deal with any annoying sound coming from your heater when it is on.
6. Schedule A Professional Inspection
The most important step of heating maintenance would be to call in a professional. Particularly if your heater has been making strange or weird sounds, or if you are concerned that it might need heating system service, working with a professional ensures that you correctly identify the problem. You will also be able to learn if you need to purchase any new parts for your system, or if your best bet is to replace it from the scratch.
For the best possible results, you must make your appointment a month before winter really kicks in. This way, you’ll be certain that you have enough time to make any required replacements. Make sure that you look for a company that offers a guarantee on their repairs like Alturas Contractors, as well as 24-hour emergency service. You should also check out a company’s online reviews, to understand the level of service you’re likely to receive.
Furnace Maintenance Checklist
Furnace maintenance is an important part of your Heating System Maintenance checklist. Here is a list of maintenance items that you should conduct on your AC system at least once in a year. The only exception is changing the air filter, which you should do after every 3 months, or as per requirement.
1. Replace Air Filter
Air filters should be replaced after every 3 months.
2. Clean burners and flame sensor
The burners and flame sensor have to be cleaned frequently.
3. Inspect heat exchanger and CO detector
You must inspect the heat exchanger for any cracks or leaks. Also, test your carbon monoxide (CO) detector and replace its batteries if required.
4. Lubricate blower and inducer fans
Fans should rotate freely, and they might need some oil to do so.
5. Clean humidifier
In case you have a humidifier, you must clean it often if you have been using it constantly.
6. Inspect electrical wirings and controls
Any sort of loose connections can cause equipment failure or fires.
7. Check thermostat for proper operation
The thermostat should control the furnace correctly.
8. Check and clean air registers and ductwork
Dusty air registers can reduce airflow.
Gas Furnace Maintenance
Your gas furnace cannot take care of itself unless you begin maintaining them and checking up on them regularly. In case it is dirty, you as the user must know when to clean it. Taking into concern your furnace is the only way to avoid spending on it each and every season.
Here are some tips on maintenance that will help your gas furnace remain in good condition for more years:
Make sure you are working under safe conditions
Gas appliances can strike anytime, you will have to make sure that you exercise safety measures. Before you start cleaning and checking your gas furnace and turn it off. Make sure that the power system and any circuits connecting to the furnace are off. You must also check for gas leaks before you start cleaning it. Gas leaks can be really dangerous and can cause harmful accidents. In case there are leaks, you must request any professional to fix the problem and you will have to stay far away from the gas until it is fixed. Once everything is checked properly, only then you may proceed with your cleaning.
Clean and replace the filter system
Remember that the filter system is one of the major parts of a gas furnace because of the reason that it prevents dirt from entering the furnace. It is always recommended that every gas furnace owner replace or clean the filter continuously and that depends on its uses. This is due to the filters and traps dust, dirt, and other debris. You will have to check the filter and see if it has accumulated any sort of dirt. If it is completely clogged, consider doing a replacement.
Check the thermostat
Remember that you must check for any problems with your thermostat particularly if it has been working for a lot of time. there are chances that your thermostat has stopped working and needs to be replaced in the time frame. Check the thermostat and make sure it is in proper condition and replace it when need be.
Clean the blower
While cleaning the filter system, the blower assembly should be the next in the list. The blower is basically located right after the air filter. The little dust, dirt, and debris which would penetrate through the air filter go to the blower. You will have to clean the blower, pulleys, and belts in order to remove all that dirt built up. You must remove the panels that are covering the filter in order to access the blower assembly. For this purpose, you can also use a damp cloth while cleaning the blower.
Clean or repair furnace ducts
Furnace ducts are very much prone to damage, particularly when using a forced-air furnace. In this case, one is required to clean ducts frequently using a high-powered vacuum cleaner. After you have finished, cover all ducts so that you can prevent air from leaking into the furnace.
Clean the vents
Gas furnaces are basically hooked with a venting system. This ventilation at some point can block due to large amounts of dust and debris. Blocked ventilation is actually really dangerous and can cause lots of hazards to the users. With the help of a large brush, clean all the vents. you can start by removing the vent cover and cleaning the inside with the help of a vacuum cleaner.
To avoid experiencing problems with your gas furnace, a thorough inspection will be helpful. Inspection done by professionals will save you all the costs to spend on repairing parts of the gas furnace. Besides a general inspection, its fan components should also be checked. An inspection will reveal whether there are dust and other components on it. Make it a routine to take your gas furnace for a thorough inspection yearly.
Gas Furnace Maintenance DIY
Here we have listed few Heating System Maintenance DIY options for your winter maintenance.
Shutting down the System
Before performing annual furnace cleaning, you must make sure to switch off the electrical power and the fuel supply. The distinctive red power switchplate can usually be found near the burner itself, while the fuel shutoff valve is near the oil tank or on the incoming gas pipe. You must remember the location of both in case of a future leak or fire.
Cleaning the Combustion Chamber
In the combustion chamber, fuel mixes with air and is ignited, generating heat—as well as carbon soot, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and worse. This buildup of soot has a high chance to cause the chamber walls to corrode. You can scrape out built-up carbon using a small wire brush. Then you can remove loose material with an industrial shop vacuum and inspect the chamber for holes or corrosion before replacing the cover.
Inspecting the Flue Pipe
After that, you must check for any holes in the exhaust flue that could leak carbon monoxide, especially where the pipe meets the furnace. Small holes can be patched with foil tape, but corroded flues must be replaced. You must also adjust the flue pipe’s barometric damper, which moderates the chimney draw.
Replacing the Oil Filter
The oil filter that is found in oil-powered systems only prevents small impurities from clogging the oil-burner nozzle, which could result in a misfire that shuts down the system. You must close the oil valve, remove the old filter and replace it, setting aside the dirty filter to be disposed of according to local hazardous-waste regulations.
Adjusting the Burner and Testing Efficiency
Make sure that the burner’s air gates are adjusted for the proper ratio of fuel to air. You must also replace the oil nozzle, which atomizes the fuel just before it ignites, and check the flame color and shape at the igniter. For either oil or gas, this is a key indicator of stable and complete combustion. In a gas system, this is the time when the burner tubes should be vacuumed clean.
Cleaning Floor Vents
The fall is a good time for homeowners to remove floor registers and vacuum out the ducts, which are magnets for dust, pet hair, small toys, and food scraps. All of this reduces its efficiency, forcing you to crank up the heat. You’ll also breathe a little easier without this debris in the air.
Electric Furnace Maintenance Checklist
Here are 10 important maintenance tasks your HVAC professional will perform:
- Check and tighten electrical connections to make sure your system operates securely.
- Check operational pressures.
- Clean condenser coils.
- Measure the current and voltage on the motor.
- Check safety switches.
- Clean and lubricate all moving parts to reduce friction.
- Check your thermostat for accuracy and proper operation.
- Check and clean blower assembly.
- Clean condensates drain lines.
- Check and replace the air filter.