Use the following checklist to ensure your furnace stays working all winterLate summer and early fall is tune-up time for heating professionals everywhere. The dog days of summer might still be lingering, but this doesn't stop those smart, proactive folks from making sure their home heating system is in tip-top shape and ready to face the chilly brutality of winter. Over the years, these smart customers have learned that regular heating system maintenance tune-ups are absolutely critical to the performance, energy efficiency and durability of their furnace. What a Quality Maintenance Tune-Up Checklist Should Look Like:
- Check thermostat operation and settings to ensure the heating system keeps the homeowner comfortable when home and saves energy when away.
- Check and tighten all electrical connections. Measure voltage and current on motorized components. Faulty connections will cause unsafe system operation and ultimately reduce the life of all major components.
- Properly lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increase the amount of electricity you use. The better lubricated your heating system is, the less energy it will require.
- Check controls to ensure system is operating properly and safely. Key the equipment’s starting cycle to ensure the system starts, operates, and shuts off by the book.
- Check fuel connections, burner, combustion chamber and heat exchanger. Improperly functioning fuel connections are dangerous—a massive fire hazard, not to mention a contributing factor to various health problems. A dirty burner or cracked heat exchanger can cause faulty burner operation resulting in an increased risk of unsafe of inefficient operation.
- Improved efficiency: Your heating system can only live up to its manufacturer expectations if it’s well loved—pristine and clean. In fact, most heating service professionals will tell you that dirt is the biggest enemy of energy efficiency to your furnace. As dirt accumulates on important components like the motor, air handler or heat exchanger, it creates friction, causing the system to consume disproportionate amounts of energy and also increasing regular wear and tear.
- Superior comfort: Left unchecked, dirt build-up in your furnace can be disastrous. As efficiency decreases, your furnace’s ability to generate heat does too. And excessive dirt doesn’t just hinder your furnace’s ability to produce heat, it can also impact the system’s other components as well. For example, too much dirt and grime on your furnace’s air handlers will drastically reduce its ability to distribute heated air throughout your home. When this starts to happen, you may notice that some of the rooms in your home just aren’t as warm and cozy as they once were. Don’t risk enduring a chilly home this winter, get your whole house heating system professionally serviced to make sure you and your family will be enjoying optimal levels of comfort all winter long.
- Extended life: Typically, a new furnace system will generally last around 15 years. However, you’ve got to remember that manufacturers assign these expected life spans under the assumption that the furnace will be ‘living’ in ideal conditions. This means that the only way you can hope to get the most of your furnace’s life span is to faithfully maintain and service it. In fact, some HVAC experts out there even claim that homeowners can actually extend that expected life span by up to five years with an annual maintenance plan.
- Low lifetime costs: The initial amount that you paid for your furnace is not an accurate representation of the overall operation costs. Taking operating costs into account gives you a better picture of your furnace’s lifetime costs. With regular, reliable maintenance, you can keep those lifetime costs low. Remember—a clean, well-lubricated system, lovingly maintained heating system is less likely to succumb to basic wear and tear and/or component failure, keeping repair costs low and energy savings high.