When the temperature begins to drop, you know it’s time to start your heater. But did you know that your heater needs maintenance every fall to keep you comfortable and safe during the winter season? To schedule seasonal heater maintenance in or around Quincy, MA, be sure to get in touch with Trust 1 Services, our HVAC company in Quincy.
Performing regular maintenance on your heater can help reduce utility costs and improve your furnace’s long-term function and lifespan.
Consider these seven heater maintenance tips to keep your heater in top condition for the harsh Massachusetts winter.
1: Check Your Furnace Filter
Your furnace filter is an essential part of your furnace. It prevents dust, hair, and a variety of unwanted allergens from entering the furnace. Inexpensive filters are more likely to require replacement monthly, while high-quality filters can last up to three months.
You should check the filter at least every 30-60 days. If you can see debris coating the surface of the filter, then it is time to replace it. All you do is remove the old filter and replace it with a new filter that fits the measurement of the return vent.
You can check the furnace manual for specific filter type and replacement interval recommendations. You can order filters online or buy them from a home improvement store.
If you have pets or if your family is prone to allergies or asthma, it may be worth investing in a high-quality filter for additional protection.
At Trust 1 Services, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about the best practices for your furnace system.
2: Check the Blower Motor
The blower motor is an integral part of the furnace system responsible for moving the air through your home. Without the blower motor, the air in the furnace would be at a standstill.
If your blower motor is making grinding, humming, and scraping noises, all are indicators of equipment failure. (The same advice applies to your air conditioning system’s fan as well.)
A failing blower motor can cause the furnace system to work too hard as it attempts to make up for not being able to reach the thermostat’s set temperature. This situation forces the system to burn through more power as it tries and fails to reach the temperature goal. In these cases, you will also notice a dramatic increase in utility costs.
3: Check for Insulation Leaks
Next on our list is to check for leaks in your insulation and weatherstripping. Some air leaks will be easier to detect on your own, while other areas may require the help of an HVAC professional. Our HVAC technicians have access to infrared cameras and other special equipment that can detect leaks quickly.
While this type of heat maintenance doesn’t directly address the furnace itself, leaks and drafts around the home will cause the furnace to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. By eliminating leaks, your furnace will be more efficient and use less electricity.
Some solutions may involve placing or replacing:
- Weatherstripping on windows and doors
- Insulation in walls or attics
- Covers for crawl space access points
- Seals for ductwork and vents through the home
4: Ensure That Vents Are Free of Debris
Your furnace depends on two primary types of vents to help control the climate in your home. The first is the return vent, which allows the heater to draw in air to be heated. The other vents are supply vents that direct the heated air to each area of the home through the ducts.
If you have pets, keeping pet hair out of the vents and ducts needs your special effort.
Vents built into floors often become traps for debris. Other vents, which may be located within your walls or ceilings, can gather dust, webs, and in some cases, even animal infestations. You will need to check all of your vents for cleanliness—and clean them out at regular intervals.
5: Ensure That Exhaust Flue is Clean
Gas furnaces create carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. These hazardous fumes typically drift out the exhaust flue and safely leave the home.
However, if the flue gets blocked by debris or has too much build-up, those gases can become trapped in the home and cause adverse health effects, some fatal. The dangers of these fumes can include:
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of life
If you have concerns about the safety and cleanliness of your gas furnace exhaust flue, be sure to contact our professional HVAC company for an immediate heater maintenance service. The gases from combustion can be very dangerous if they are not able to escape the flue.
6: Practice Furnace Safety
Your furnace needs to have a clean space free of any flammable items and debris. Your owner’s manual will have specific instructions about the amount of space your heater requires for safe operation. You should keep things like paint, storage items, and clothing away from your furnace at all times.
Similarly, external heat pumps also need to be free of debris, including ice or snow build-up throughout the winter season. Smaller debris can end up inside of the system and cause a significant reduction in the heater’s ability to function. Check exterior units frequently to prevent failure.
7: Consider Retrofitting or Upgrading Your Heater
The last of our heater maintenance tips is to consider retrofitting or upgrading your heater to make it more efficient. While your current, if older, furnace may be up to code, it could be slowly driving up your utility costs each season. More recent furnaces can reduce these costs significantly.
Trust 1 Services Offers Heater Maintenance
These heater maintenance tips can help you keep your furnace in shape. If you know your heater needs maintenance, be sure to call our HVAC professionals at Trust 1 Services in Quincy, MA, to perform the maintenance that you need to get you through the winter months.
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