You want to take every possible safety precaution for your home, but you can’t afford 5-star maintenance service every month. Well, you don’t need it. Effective heater maintenance is built around five basic, incredibly simple, and inexpensive tasks.
Here’s how you ensure a safe and sufficient heating system without breaking the bank on maintenance service.
- Check Gas Pressure
To check your gas pressure, you’ll need a manometer – a device that uses water columns to measure pressure. A typical gas pressure reading should be between 4 – 7 inches wc (water column.) Most service providers set the gas pressure regulator at 5.5. But if you’re pressure number exceeds 7, or dips below 4, there’s a potentially dangerous problem within your system, and should be looked at by a professional.
Too High— When gas pressure is too high, it drains the life of your furnace. Dangerously high gas pressure also leads to an overheating of your system, which either results in a total power failure or a life-threatening explosion.
Too Low – When gas pressure is too low, your system works harder to compensate for the lost gas. This increases your energy bill, and you end up paying more than you should for your heat.
- Make Sure Fan Is Clean
If your furnace problem involves insufficient heat, the first you should check is the fan. If your motor turns on, it’s not a problem with the interior of the system – it just means the airflow is somehow being obstructed. And it’s probably due to a dirty or debris-filled fan.
When your fan is covered in dirt or dust, its ability to push air through your vents is hindered. This means that your motor works extra hard to compensate, and you pay higher energy costs.
- Make Sure Evaporator Coils Are Clean
Another key component to the airflow process – evaporator coils are responsible for converting cold air to warm air in a heat pump or warm air to cold air in the air conditioning mode. These coils act as a final passage for airflow as it travels into your home. If it’s clogged with dust, not only is that dust going into your home, but it’s also weakening airflow impact. Again, this means paying more for energy costs.
- Change Filters Regularly
Your furnace filters trap dust and dirt, filtering only clean, healthy air into your home. Most service providers recommend you change your filters every 30 days – a safer bet would be changing them as soon as discoloration is visible. When they no longer look brand new, they no longer function as they did brand new.
- Inspect Heat Exchanger with Infrared Camera
An infrared camera (or thermographic camera) detects thermal energy. It is used to detect micro-cracks in the heat exchanger. These micro-cracks are not something you can see without the infrared camera. If there is a crack in the heat exchanger it means it has failed and can potentially let carbon monoxide into the air stream as it enters the home. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas that is very lethal. A professional technician should handle checking your heat exchanger for these types of cracks.
Never continue the use of a heat exchanger after 8 years – it won’t function correctly or safely.
A powerful system, your furnace is not something to leave unattended for months at a time. Heating maintenance doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, but a lack of heating maintenance could ultimately cost you much more. If you complete these five simple steps every few months, your furnace remains strong and safe, saving you money and some seriously dangerous accidents.
Want to learn more about safe and simple heating maintenance? Call the Comfort Consultants from On Time Experts at 469-336-3435 or send us an email to begin your Home Comfort Process today.