It’s that time of year again—the time when we urge our customers to schedule their heating maintenance as soon as they can. We don’t do this to pester you, but rather to stress just how important of a service it is. This is particularly true for gas-powered systems. Gas-powered heaters aren’t inherently dangerous, but if they’re not cared for the right way as they age, then they can become dangerous.
What happens is that components start wearing down and malfunctioning, the burners get covered with dirt and grime, and small problems that could have otherwise been repaired go without service—leading to subsequent problems, with the worse being cracked heat exchangers. Cracked heat exchangers leak dangerous gasses—namely, carbon monoxide—into the living space, where it has the opportunity to make you and your family ill, or worse.
“Okay, I’ll Get Maintenance, But What Happens During It?”
This is a logical question. Naturally, you want to know what you’re paying for when you have any type of heating service performed. In a nutshell, during your heating maintenance tune-up, our technicians do a thorough inspection of your system, clean it, and alert you to any repair needs so you can get them on your schedule right away. But what does this all really entail?
The most important part of heating maintenance is the inspection portion. Keep reading as we delve into what’s so important about it, what our technicians look for, and why it isn’t something you can do on your own. That’s right, HVAC inspections of any type require skilled and trained technicians with the right training and tools—if you have a gas-powered system it may even be required by law that you have licensed professionals maintain your system.
Here’s a basic checklist of what our HVAC technicians look for in order to analyze the major components of your heating system.
- Corrosion and Loose Electrical Connections: Many of the most common problems in any given HVAC system end up being electrical in nature. Factors like moisture and chemicals in the air can cause issues for electrical wiring and connections—that same moisture can lead to corrosion of the system, too. This creates a domino effect and starts wearing down on other components of your heater. Our professionals take a close look at all of this and check for any loose connection that need tightening.
- Motors in Need of Lubrication: Our experienced techs pay special attention to the motors that operate the fans (and compressor, if we’re talking about a heat pump) in any forced-air HVAC system. The stress on these motors can cause overload and lead to burnout. Additionally, if these motors have accumulated dust or lost lubrication, our technicians will lubricate them, or if necessary recommend replacement.
- Refrigerant Pressure and Levels: If you’re utilizing a heat pump, that means your system runs on refrigerant. This is the liquid to gas (and vice versa) fluid that enables the heating and cooling process. Your heat pump has enough refrigerant at installation to ideally last its entire lifespan. If you have a leak, though, then you may have lost refrigerant. The source of the leak must be found and repaired, and the refrigerant recharged (refilled).
- Thermostat Problems: Our techs will also check your thermostat. Sometimes, what you think is a furnace or heat pump problem is actually an issue with the thermostat. Even the smallest thermostat miscalibration will start draining energy.