As we approach the end of what seemed to be a never-ending summer, the last thing on your mind is the need to prepare your home’s heating system for the changes that will (eventually!) occur. But an efficient performing heating system assures both energy conservation and safety, and neglecting maintenance can lead to costly repairs or replacements and can also be hazardous.
Evaluating your heating system will require the expertise of a licensed heating and cooling contractor. According to Energy Star, a typical maintenance check-up should include the following:
- Check the controls of the system to ensure that they operate properly, and the starting cycle of the equipment to make sure that it starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
- Check the thermostat settings to make sure the cooling and heating system saves energy while you are away while keeping you comfortable when home.
- Inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump. A clogged drain can cause water damage to your home and affect indoor humidity levels.
- Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause your system to operate unsafely and reduce the life of major components.
- Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increase energy usage.
For heating specific maintenance – Check all gas (or oil) connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger. Improperly operating connections are a fire hazard and can contribute to health problems. A dirty burner or cracked heat exchanger causes improper burner operation. Either can cause the equipment to operate less safely and efficiently.
Don’t forget to change your filters monthly in your central a/c, furnace and/or heat pump. Failing to do so can result in increased energy costs and also damage your equipment.