Fall is here and with that brings cooler weather. Is your furnace ready? When talking about furnace maintenance, standards and procedures vary from company to company. When having your furnace inspected annually by a certified technician, the checklist may include:
- Vent system to be checked for blockage and/or leakage.
- Combustion gases to be analyzed.
- Blower access door to be checked to confirm a tight seal at the furnace.
- Fresh air intake to be checked for blockage.
- Heat exchanger to be inspected for corrosion or rust.
- Burners to be checked for proper ignition.
- Drainage system to be checked for blockage and/or leakage.
- Blower wheel to be checked for debris and cleaned if needed.
- Amp-draw test to be performed.
- Wiring to be checked for corrosion and/or damage.
- Static air pressure checks, gas pressure testing, and temperature rise checks to be performed.
- Filters to be changed. (This should be done by the homeowner more frequently than annually).
Not all HVAC companies or technicians perform all of the above services. When receiving a quote for the maintenance, ask what all the service includes. Furnace manufacturers all recommend annual inspections and maintenance by a qualified technician. They also state in their warranties that damage to the units caused by improper maintenance is not covered under warranty. This does not mean that an annual furnace check-up is required, but it is recommended to avoid the chance of voiding the warranty.
When your furnace quits working or it is not keeping your house up to temp. Make sure to check your furnace filter before you call us to come out. It could save you a lot of money. If you have pets we recommend you change them every 30 days.
It’s getting close to that time of year where you start to hear the ads on the radio telling you that you need to get your furnace cleaned or inspected before fall and winter comes, which was usually met with me rolling my eyes and changing the station to some tunes, not giving it a second thought. Come to think about it, we don’t really think about our systems until they break down. What if I told you that getting your system cleaned once a year could have prevented that?
There is numerous things that can happen if you don’t maintain your system and breaking down is one of them. Furnaces tend to break down when we need them the most because that’s when they are working the hardest. If you don’t have your system inspected every year, your furnace runs a much higher risk of breaking down in the middle of winter because it will be operating with issues that would have otherwise been taken care of during your tune-up.
Have you ever wondered why we tend to get more sick in the fall and winter than we do summer time? Or why there is more dust right after you turn on the heat? When you don’t maintain you furnace – it doesn’t take long for the air filter to become clogged with dust, debris, and even mold. Once the air filter can no longer keep particles out, your furnace (and ducts) become blanketed with nasty airborne residue. Now stop to realize that you are breathing that in every time your furnace cycles. People with asthma or other breathing difficulties could be in danger if their system isn’t properly cleaned and cared for.
Often times, furnace problems start small and get much worse over time. If you don’t get a furnace tune-up, you likely won’t notice problems with your system until it starts acting up. By that time, a relatively small repair that could have been taken care of during a tune-up can turn into a much bigger and more expensive repair. One of the most important parts of a furnace is the heat exchanger because it removes the poisonous gases that result from the combustion process and vents them out and away from the residence. The heat exchanger expands and contracts since temps can change in the furnace after each cycle. Over time this can produce cracks, allowing poisonous carbon monoxide gas to escape. Having your furnace annually inspected and cleaned not only elongates the life of your system but it could possibly save you from a deadly situation.
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Carbon Monoxide is responsible for sending 20,000 to the emergency room every year. 400-500 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year. If you have any gas appliance in your home it needs to be inspected yearly . If your appliance is not checked for carbon monoxide it could be causing you or your loved ones to feel sick or sleepy all the time.
Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased from any home improvement store. The basic one cost is around $20. There are better products that have a digital read out to give you peace of mind. Make sure to read the packaging to see how the detector works. Some do not go off until the readings reach 30 ppm. This could be dangerous to an elderly person or for someone who is on oxygen. They would need a detector that will alert at 5ppm.
Furnaces,water heaters,fireplaces,gas stoves and boilers all should be inspected yearly and test for carbon monoxide. ‘
The leading factors that contribute to home fires in the winter are : heating,holiday decorating,candles,electrical issues and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Heating is the second leading cause of US home fires,deaths and injuries.
Home heating equipment was involved in 16 percent of home fires,19 percent of home fire deaths,12 percent of home fire injuries and 15 percent of direct property damage. Failure to clean chimneys and furnace equipment was the leading cause of fires. However,space heaters,including portable heaters and those that are permanently installed,were involved in five out of six home heating fire deaths.
Heating equipment is often too close to things that can burn,such as furniture,clothing,mattresses or bedding and has been found to be the leading cause of fire deaths.
Carbon Monoxide-is an odorless and colorless gas.
In the home,heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel such as natural gas or propane are potential sources for carbon monoxide.
In 2010 US fire departments responded to an estimated 80,000 non-fire incidents in which carbon monoxide was found. An average of nine calls per hour.
The number of incidents increased 96 percent in 2003.
Have your furnace and water heater inspected annually, if you smell gas go outside and use your phone to call your local plumber of hvac specialist.
Spring cleaning should include your central heat and air system. The air conditioning system, which includes the furnace and blower assembly, evaporator coil, ductwork and outdoor unit (either AC or heat pump) cannot run effectively and efficiently if it is dirty. A dirty evaporator coil can become the cause for unhealthy air. Air must pass through this at a specific rate, called CFM (cubic feet per minute). This is important when it comes to comfort and efficiency. The blower assembly moves air through the furnace and evaporator coil and then through your ductwork and into your conditioned space.
Regular maintenance and cleaning is very important and can help to lower the cost of your utility bills and keep your unit running efficiently. Dirt effects the 3 main components of your furnace so cleaning it is the most important part of regular maintenance. The three parts of the furnace that should be cleaned includes the filter system, the blower and the motor.
Your furnace fan, typically called the blower motor assembly or the squirrel cage fan can become extremely dirty over time. If there is dust, dirt, pet hair or construction material in your ductwork, guaranteed it has accumulated in the furnace fan as well. It is critical to clean the blower assembly, belts and pulleys to the blower and motor housing especially if the furnace has a squirrel-cage fan, because openings in this type of blower often become clogged with dirt. You can check this by removing the panel that covers the filter to gain access to the blower or panel on the front of the furnace. We recommend you call a trained HVAC professional to clean this part of the unit.