The Importance of Checking your Heating System
Temperatures are slowly starting to cool down and the leaves are starting to change. This means that the cold months are coming and it is time to go through your fall checklist. Not only do you need to rake the leaves and put out the autumn decorations, it is also time to schedule your annual HVAC check up. Here are some reasons why preventative maintenance on your heating system is important:
- Health – when your heating system runs off fossil fuels there is the potential for a gas leak that could be deadly. The most common problems come from carbon dioxide leaks, but methane and sulfur dioxide are dangerous too. According to the CDC, over 400 Americans die each year, and 20,000 people visit the emergency room due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. It is hard to detect carbon monoxide because it is an odorless, colorless gas which means you can’t see it or smell it if there is a leak. Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, vomiting, chest pain, and a feeling of weakness. By having your heating system checked annually, you can reduce the risk of gas leaks in your home. If the heat exchanger becomes cracked, it could leak gases into the home. Trained specialists will check for any signs of leaks, damage, or faulty parts that could lead to bigger issues in the future. You can also protect your loved ones by installing a carbon monoxide detector next to each bedroom.
- Lifespan – regular preventative maintenance is the best way to ensure that your heating system lives as long as possible. Replacing your heating system can cost anywhere from about $3,000 to $10,000, so the longer your current system can operate, the more money you are saving. When completing a preventative maintenance visit, technicians will thoroughly check all the parts of the furnace or heat pump and look for any signs of wear and tear. A worn out part could cause damage to the rest of the system, or make things work harder than they should be. This can greatly reduce the lifespan of your heating system, which means you end up spending a lot more money. An $8,000 system that lives 8 years costs you $1,000 a year. The same system that lives 18 years costs you less than $450 a year. The longer a heating system runs efficiently, the less it costs overall. Preventative maintenance may seem like an upfront cost that you don’t want to pay for, but it will save you a significant amount of money in the years to come.
- Energy Efficiency – keeping your heating system operating as efficiently as possible is great for many reasons. Efficient systems use less energy and don’t put as much stress on the machine as a system that has not been taken care of. Using less energy is great for the environment and great for your wallet. Not only do you save money on your energy bill, you also save money by not having to buy a new heating system.
- Warranty – many heating systems come with a warranty, but the warranty is only good if you have documented maintenance completed every year. Schedule your annual check up with a certified HVAC specialist and make sure you save the paperwork so that your warranty stays valid.
What does an inspection check?
- Look for a clean pilot light and ensure that flame sensor works
- Make sure there is no dust or debris in burner compartment or in other moving parts
- Inspect blower wheel and check that filters are all in good condition and clean
- Check size of burner flame and ensure there is a steady flame
- Check the condition of heat exchanger or combustion chamber, no signs of wear and tear
- Check for carbon monoxide or other gases in furnace or boiler
- Ensure exhaust vent is unobstructed and that it is correctly sized
- Apply oil to motors and provide service to belts as needed
Don’t wait until your heater cuts off in the middle of a particularly cold stretch this winter. Many of the parts and equipment needed to make repairs on heat pumps, furnaces, and other HVAC systems are difficult to get in a timely manner these days because of backups in the supply chain. Waiting until a problem comes up is not a good idea, plan ahead. Schedule an appointment today with Weather Crafters and don’t get left out in the cold this winter!