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Home heating: Annual furnace tune up checklist

October 3, 2014

Annual maintenance for your home's heating equipment can lead to improved durability and reduced energy costs

Annual maintenance for your home’s heating equipment can lead to improved durability and reduced energy costs

Most furnace manufacturers recommend at least an annual maintenance checkup of your heating unit by a licensed professional technician. Here are five essentials homeowners should understand about the annual inspection process and the benefits of scheduling professional yearly inspections of their heating and cooling system:

1. What an annual inspection entails

For most climates, it’s best to schedule your annual home heating checkup or service during the fall before the system is needed for colder weather. A basic tune up usually consists of a visual inspection of the heating system, which should include examining the system for corrosion, leaks, checking the air filter and ensuring proper ventilation.

Other basic tasks on the technician’s checklist should include checking the burners for proper ignition, burner flame and flame sensor, as well as testing the carbon monoxide detector. More extensive and costly checkups may include tests of the static air pressure, temperature rise assessment, gas pressure testing and analysis of combustion gases.

2. Tune ups help you avoid breakdowns

Having your home’s unit serviced annually ensures maximum performance of the heating system. The annual checkup reduces the likelihood of a malfunction occurring when you depend on the unit the most. If you defer a checkup of the heating system, you may save money in the short run, but if the unit breaks down, you can end up paying substantially more in terms of inconvenience and for the cost of emergency repairs.

3. A tune up can save you money

The U.S. Department of Energy states that heating and cooling comprise 54 percent of the average energy costs for a household. A heating system that operates at peak efficiency may rank high for homeowners looking for an effective way to save money on energy costs.

It is wise to have a professional technician inspect your system to identify deficiencies and necessary repairs before it becomes more costly to repair and correctly tune up.

4. Protect your home and family

Damaged, broken or poorly vented heating equipment unit can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. During an annual tune up, your HVAC technician should perform an inspection of your home’s furnace exhaust outlet in the chimney or direct vent pipe section for broken components and cracks.

5. Maintain the appliance warranty

Homeowners who are handy may be tempted to perform their own yearly tune up, but many of the items on the annual checkup list require the knowledge that only an experience heating contractor possesses.

If you neglect to have your heating and cooling system serviced by a heating qualified professional, the appliance warranty often contains language that could void the coverage if negligence or improper maintenance cause damage to the unit.

Jim Lavallee Plumbing
Serving Eastern Massachusetts and the Boston area
Phone: Toll-free (888) 884-4122


(original article)

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