By Betty Stephens
It is that time again to get your heating system checked out. I may be an extra cost, but you can save money all winter if your furnace system runs as efficiently as possible. The furnace is one of the most expensive appliances homeowners have in their homes and it greatly influences the monthly utility bill. Getting the furnace checked is just as important as getting regular oil changes and tune-ups on your car. It's an important and simple step to take in extending the life of your heating unit and helps reduce your monthly energy costs. It’s also important to change your filter on a regular basis.
When a system is more than 10 years old, having it checked regularly by a qualified professional is essential. Furnace manufacturers all recommend annual inspections and maintenance by a qualified technician. They also have language in their warranties saying that damage to the units caused by improper maintenance is not covered under warranty.
Furnace /HVAC Tune Up
Here is a list of tasks from furnace manufacturers they recommend that should be performed yearly by qualified heating technicians:
1. The vent system needs to be checked for blockage and/or leakage. This includes the outside termination and the connections at and internal to the furnace.
2. Combustion gases must be analyzed and compared to the unit specifications.
3. The blower access door needs to be checked to make sure it makes a tight seal at the furnace.
4. The fresh air intake grills and louvers need to be checked for blockage.
5. The heat exchanger needs to be inspected for rust and corrosion.
6. The burners need to be checked for proper ignition, burner flame, and flame sense.
7. The drainage system needs to be checked for blockage and/or leakage. This includes the hoses internal to the furnace. The condensate drain and trap need to be cleaned, and the water replaced in the trap.
8. The blower wheel needs to be checked for debris and cleaned if necessary - this requires complete removal of the blower wheel.
9. An amp-draw test should be conducted on the blower motor and compared with what is listed.
10. The wiring needs to be checked for corrosion and damage.
11. The filters need to be checked more frequently than annually.
12. Check thermostat calibration. An improperly calibrated thermostat will cause your furnace to over or under heat your home. • Calibration saves you money and increases your comfort
13. Lubricate moving parts• Poor lubrication causes motor and shaft drag, requiring more electricity to overcome resistance. This can also help extend motor life.
When hiring a company to do a tune-up on the furnace, ask them what is all is included. The company doing the work should provide you with a list of items they’ll check for on the furnace. Keep in mind it is about preventative maintenance and catching a problem before the furnace quits working on a cold winter night.
Tune-up your furnace and watch your heating bills go down. In 2010, the average cost of heating a home for an American family was about $1000. Anything you can do to reduce that number is obviously well worth the effort. Read more at this link: