WHEN SHOULD YOU GET YOUR FURNACE INSPECTED?
Heating system professionals and manufacturers generally recommend heater systems be inspected at LEAST ONCE annually! Your system should be inspected in advance of heavy use, and given the unpredictability of Texas cold weather, that can mean anytime before March.
5 BIG REASONS For an Ongoing Heating System Maintenance Plan:
#1: SAVE ON FUEL COSTS
Your Heating & Cooling system uses HALF OF THE ENERGY of your home’s total consumption! When the AC or heater runs properly, your home stays cool, but there’s more to the operation than moving air through the house. Your HVAC system is designed with a number of components that synchronize and work smoothly together. However, accumulated dirt, loose belts and low lubricants cut down on its overall efficiency. When the unit works harder, it consumes more fuel, and you see the results in higher utility bills. A regular system maintenance keeps everything in top shape, so you maintain ideal interior temperatures without putting a dent in the monthly budget. The small price of two annual service calls can save as much as 20 percent in yearly fuel costs.
#2: ENSURE SAFER FURNACE OPERATION
Keeping your home warm is an essential part of preserving a comfortable living environment, but it can also represent many hazards such as fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and indoor air pollution. The National Fire Protection Association reported over 50,000 home structure fires involving heating equipment over the last four years. Central heating units and water heaters accounted for 21 percent of those fires. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 150 Americans die every year from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning that is not caused by fires. A regular furnace inspection can identify signs of wear, tear or improper installation that can create an unsafe and potentially dangerous operational environment.
#3: RESTORE COMPLETE COMFORT
Nothing beats the Texas heat like heading inside on a blistering day or the cool of winter when the day just can’t get warm enough! A thorough HVAC tune-up ensures dependable, even cooling and heating throughout your home. A certified technician balances the air flow all through the house by adjusting ducts and registers and calibrating the thermostat. Optimized air distribution
translates the temperature you set on the dial into the comfort you expect in every room, and it improves overall indoor air quality.
#4: AVOID EXPENSIVE REPAIRS
The last thing you need during a cold spell or a heat wave is a heater or AC breakdown. If your furnace stops functioning in the middle of winter, you’ll probably have to wait for service. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way towards heading off unexpected repairs and uncomfortable downtime. Routine cleaning and fine tuning keep components in top working condition while a close inspection identifies small problems before they turn into expensive equipment failure. Compared to the price of emergency repairs and replacements, an affordable HVAC inspection ensures a return on your money, and a service contract can save even more on those spring and fall checkups.
#5: EXTEND YOUR EQUIPMENT’S LIFE
Most home air conditioners and heaters are designed to operate for 15 to 20 years, but neglect dramatically cuts into that time. Regular maintenance is like a fountain of youth for your HVAC system because it adds years of performance to every component. You enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re getting maximum performance at a minimum cost. Even an older unit enjoys a new lease on operational life with professional attention and expert care. The combined benefits of professional HVAC maintenance add up to lower fuel bills, a comfortable home, fewer repairs and longer equipment life. These investment returns pay off for years, and with a professional maintenance agreement, you’re on the top of your contractor’s service list regardless of the season. The cost is surprisingly affordable, but knowing that your HVAC system is always operating in top condition is priceless, and that’s a smart investment. Some of the items listed you might be able to do yourself, but most are probably better left to a professional. Either way, we hope you find this information helpful!
What YOU Should do! These are the things YOU can do to keep your system running smooth!
CHANGE YOUR FILTER!
Set a reminder for yourself to change your filter on a regular basis. As a best practice, we recommend doing this once a month, especially during seasons of peak usage like winter and summer. A dirty filter makes your system work harder to keep you warm and decreases air flow, which wastes energy, and ultimately ends up costing you more money. It also allows dust and dirt into your house which could affect your allergies, not to mention make you have to dust more often!
REVIEW YOUR THERMOSTAT SETTINGS
As you notice the days getting cooler, review the temperature that you have your thermostat set at. Make sure it’s at a comfortable setting for you when you’re home, but set so that it doesn’t run
as often when you’re not at home. Resist the temptation to turn your thermostat off. It will take much longer to warm your home when your entire home is cold. Walls, furniture, clothes etc. will hold the current temperature in the home. Tip: Set the thermostat to the lowest temperature that is still comfortable for you.
Each degree over 68 degrees F can add 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating.
SCHEDULE SERVICE MAINTENANCE
Maintaining your heating equipment is important because it keeps your system running at peak performance and helps prevent future problems, which usually also lead to unwanted costs. HVAC businesses get busy during peak demand, so get ahead of the game and schedule your service before everyone else!
What an A/C & Heating Professional can do to help!
Furnace tune-ups involving checking all of the system’s essential components and adjusting, cleaning, testing, and/or lubricating them, as needed. Some of the specific tasks involved in a furnace maintenance checklist include:
• Inspecting the vent system and air intake grilles, removing any blockages
• Checking heat exchanger for signs of damage/corrosion
• Examining and cleaning the blower, removing any debris
• Checking the blower motor and testing its amp draw
• Inspecting the electrical connections, tightening them
and/or replacing damaged wiring as needed
• Checking the burner and flame sensor
• Examining the belts for any signs of damage or cracks
• Inspecting the thermostat and calibrating it as needed
• Lubricating all moving parts in the heating system
• Checking the air filter, replacing as needed
• Checking the system’s safety controls and startup cycle
• If it is an oil or gas furnace, additional steps included in
furnace maintenance service include:
• Examining fuel lines for potential leaks
• Checking gas pressure, the burner, and the pilot
• Inspecting the thermocouple
• And more!
• Check the control box, wiring, any extra controls or
accessories, and make sure electrical connections are tight. If
any of the electrical connections are bad, they can cause
unsafe operation of your system.
• Clean away any dirt, leaves or debris. This can make your
system have to
work harder and potentially cause damage.
• Inspect the compressor, coil, and cabinet for any damage.