The heat is off: Now’s the time for annual maintenance

April 12, 2017

Now that winter is over and you're relying less on your heating system, it's the perfect time for some routine maintenance. A heating system using a boiler or furnace as the heat source typically lasts 15-30 years. That's a big range! Properly maintaining your system is the key to increasing its lifespan and efficiency while ensuring your comfort. This also increases your chances of avoiding high energy and repair bills in the future.

There are some things you can do yourself, but other tasks require a professional to lend their expertise.

Here's what you can do:
Clean or replace filters. This should be done every three months at most. Dirty filters lead to your heating system working overtime to circulate hot air.

Clear dirt and dust from vents and radiators. Same deal as the filters. Anything getting in the way of air circulation can reduce the effectiveness of your heating system and result in future maintenance issues.

Check the color of the flame. For gas systems, a blue flame is good. A yellow flame and soot build-up are signs of poor combustion, and a professional should be called to address the issue for you.

Here is what an HVAC professional can do:

Thoroughly clean the parts of your system. While you may be comfortable replacing the filters and cleaning vents, a professional can ensure all of the parts of your system, inside and out, are free of dust, dirt, soot and corrosion.

Check that your ducts are sealed. Leaky ducts leads to heat loss, overburdened equipment and higher energy bills. A professional will identify the leakage rate and seal up areas where air is escaping.

Perform a safety check. Cracked, damaged or faulty equipment can lead to serious consequences like carbon monoxide leaks. A professional will inspect your equipment for these issues. In addition, you should also make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm with working batteries.

Replace a faulty or outdated heating system. Sometimes it's time to say goodbye. An HVAC professional will help you determine when it's better to replace than repair. In that case, consider ENERGY STAR® certified appliances that can save up to 30% on heating costs.

To find a professional that can perform a heating system check, check out our listings.

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