Heating System – Service Tips
Here are some things you can ask your air conditioning and heating repair company to do for you. These tips will increase heating efficiency during the winter:
Make sure to have your heater checked every winter to make sure it is operating safely. A gas furnace can easily have a crack in the heat exchanger if it is older and rusted out. New furnaces are not immune to this, as occasionally even a new furnace under warranty might have a crack in it from a factory defect or from being damaged while shipped, etc.
The problem with a cracked heat exchanger is that it can cause carbon monoxide (CO) leakage, which is dangerous for obvious reasons. In case you don’t know the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, it can cause illness and sudden death. The most dangerous part is that it is called a silent killer because it typically happens at night while you’re sleeping. CO is not noticed because you can’t smell it. In fact CO is odorless, tasteless and colorless.
Symptoms are usually very minor, at first. It may take several hours of exposure before experiencing symptoms, and at low doses you may only experience a mild headache. While healthy adults may survive a bit longer, the biggest risk is to children and the elderly who cannot handle the side effects.
That being said, a maintenance inspection will allow your technician to keep an eye on the system and perform any preventative maintenance or repairs that may need to be done to prevent early failure and to keep the system performing optimally.
2) Air Sealing
If your system was installed more than 5 years ago it is possible that it’s not air sealed. This is vital to your system’s heat loss. With standards increasing every year and efficiency being the driving force, it makes sense to have your system updated in areas like this. Benefits include saving on your utility usage, increasing your home comfort, and lengthening the life span of the system since it doesn’t have to work as hard.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is important, especially during the fall and winter when colds, the flu, and other viruses are higher. It’s smart to replace your filter once a month or, if you have a 4 inch filter, once a quarter. This will help to remove the viruses and bacteria caught in the filter and keep them from recirculating through the home.
However, if you really want to improve the quality of air in your home, the ideal way to prevent these issues is to go with an IAQ product like an air purification system. On the low end, there are UV lights you can install. These are the cheapest and lowest performing IAQ products. On the higher end are products that will perform up to expectations and last longer. Of course, the cost of these products will be higher. In addition, a 4 inch filtration system (if installed correctly) should help to increase purification of the air flow.
We recommend both the 4 inch air filtration system along with an air purification system if your allergies are high or if you have asthma.
4) System Tune Up
If your system is older, and even if it has had maintenance, we recommend doing a system Tune Up. A Tune Up will be more in depth than a maintenance inspection. Although slightly more expensive, this type of service should provide you with a more efficient system. Our Tune Ups include pulling the electric motors, inducer draft motors, burners and other heating components, cleaning them out and reinstalling.
Your furnace motor operates in air conditioning and heating mode, which means it rarely gets a break. Because of this, and regardless of how often you change your filters, some particles will make it past the filter and build up on the motor, causing it to run harder and pull more current while operating. This can cause failure if not addressed, and it puts unnecessary stress on the rest of the furnace, causing further issues. This will also cause smaller components to fail more often than usual. A heating system Tune Up will allow the electric motors to operate more effectively and prevent expensive failure not only in heating mode but also in ac mode.