Seasonal Preventative Maintenance can be a major cost saver for system efficiency as well as prevention of compounding system failures. Here are some simple steps done by our professionals as routine maintenance for the heating season.
Furnace – Preventative Maintenance
Gas Furnaces – Here are some of the common tests done annually by our professionals for combustion type furnaces. The blower motor is one of the more common components to wear out over time. Checking amp draws and bearings is a valuable practice to ensure they are operating efficiently. Safety Flame sensors are generally easy to access and simple to clean with a fine grade of steel wool. If this is not checked, the igniter might burn out due to the furnace continuously turning off and on (Short Cycling) when it isn’t working properly. Checking the Ignitor condition is a little more complex since the ignitors have a specific resistance range that they need to be at to send the proper signals to the gas valves in order for them to function properly. The condition of the heat exchanger is checked for rust or corrosion to make sure they are in good operating condition and free of leaks. Checking intake and exhaust flow for leaks or obstructions is probably one of the most important but overlooked system checks - especially coming into a heating season after being idle for longer periods. Spiders, insects and bird nests can create some major problems if not kept clear. Carbon Monoxide (CO) levels in the living space should be tested during preventative maintenance but the addition of an outlet mounted CO detector is always a recommended option.
Electric Heating - With electric heat it is assumed to be safer due to the lack of combustion and exhaust. Although this may be somewhat true, the majority of furnace failures are electrical in nature. Wiring should be properly cleaned and checked for any loose electrical connections. Heating elements should be checked for condition and amp draw to make sure they are operating both safely and effectively. As with combustion type furnaces the blower motor should be checked. Some may require cleaning and lubrication prior to each heating season. Any of these items that are not working properly can have a major impact on electric bills.
Batteries and Filters - As part of a routine schedule, now is a good time to be replacing batteries if applicable in smoke detectors, CO detectors, and wall thermostats. Filters come in many types and sizes. Filter change frequency is mostly dependent on factors in the environment with which they serve but most common practices are quarterly or semi-annually. It is important to utilize the appropriately sized filters to ensure proper direction and volume of air flow. One common mistake is to use a filter that protrudes past the body of the furnace which can allow free unfiltered air to bypass the filter. This not only can cause accelerated contamination of your air ducts but also affect the proper distribution of air throughout the apartment or home. Proper airflow is not only governed by forced air to your registers but also equally important are the return air vents and ducts.
Our professionals are here to perform these routine maintenance steps and remove the hassle of preparing for Midwest winters.