Preseason furnace tune up/ maintenance
• When do you typically want to start thinking of this? In NYC probably September to October.
- as a homeowner, landlord, business operator, you need to know about you equipment. You also want to have an established relationship with a reputable service provider. You can call us 24/7
• An experienced professional will change your filter, check you pressure switches, roll out switches, and most importantly check your heat exchanger.
- With any forced air system the professional should also check you ventilation system. The functionality of this unit working greatly depends on ductwork and you want to make sure the ductwork is clean and in tact. Very often flex ducts or ever sheet metal ducts can be damaged greatly reducing efficiency.
this isn’t just about safety; it’s also about preventive maintenance. It’s about sometimes catching a problem before your furnace quits working in the middle of the night. When you have to hire a heating contractor to show up on a Sunday evening because the furnace stopped working, you’re probably going to end up paying emergency rates.
• The vent system needs to be checked for blockage and/or leakage. This includes the outside termination and the connections at and internal to the furnace.
• Combustion gases must be analyzed and compared to the unit specifications.
• The blower access door needs to be checked to make sure it makes a tight seal at the furnace.
• The fresh air intake grills and louvers need to be checked for blockage.
• The heat exchanger needs to be inspected for rust and corrosion.
• The burners need to be checked for proper ignition, burner flame, and flame sense.
• The drainage system needs to be checked for blockage and/or leakage. This includes the hoses internal to the furnace. The condensate drain and trap need to be cleaned, and the water replaced in the trap.
• The blower wheel needs to be checked for debris and cleaned if necessary – this requires complete removal of the blower wheel.
• An amp-draw test should be conducted on the blower motor and compared with what is listed.
• The wiring needs to be checked for corrosion and damage.
• The filters need to be checked (but this needs to be done much more frequently than annually).
In addition to this list, heating contractors say that they regularly do static air pressure checks, gas pressure testing, and temperature rise checks.
• Checking the vent system for leaks or blockages.
• Examining the heat exchanger for signs of corrosion and cracks or separations. A damaged heat exchanger can allow deadly carbon monoxide to escape.
• Checking the blower and cleaning its components. This includes removing the blower wheel to ensure that it’s free of dirt and debris.
• Testing for a tight seal on the blower access door.
• Checking the air intake grills for blockages.
• Performing an amp-draw test on the blower motor and comparing the results to the unit’s listed specifications. This can reduce the risk of fire, and help extend the life of the blower components.
• Checking the burner for proper ignition and testing the flame sensor for accurate operation.
• Lubricating all the motor’s moving parts to reduce friction. When there’s friction, the motor has to work harder, which requires more electricity, and it could also result in a premature failure.
• Checking that all electrical connections are tight and examining the wiring for signs of rust and corrosion.
• Testing the thermostat calibration. When the thermostat is calibrated correctly, your home will be more comfortable. It can also save you money on your energy bills by preventing overheating.
• Examining the flue for obstructions. If the toxic fumes that result from combustion can’t escape up the flue due to a blockage, your indoor air quality will suffer.
• Testing for the unit’s safety controls. This should include checking the high limit control, which prevents the furnace from overheating and reduces the risk of fire.
• Checking the belts for signs of wear or cracks.
• Testing that the system’s startup cycle is functioning correctly.
• Checking the furnace’s air filter. A dirty filter can reduce the unit’s efficiency by restricting needed air flow, and damage vital system components over time.
Gas, Oil Furnaces Require a Little More Checking
If you have an oil or gas furnace, your technician should also perform the following tasks:
• Examining the thermocouple and replacing it if necessary. This helps eliminate the risk of an explosion.
• Analyzing the combustion gases and comparing the results to your furnace’s specifications.
• Checking that the pilot or electronic ignition is functioning properly.
• Testing that the burner is operating correctly and cleaning it if necessary.
• Checking the fuel lines for leaks that could pose a fire hazard or allow harmful fumes to escape.
• Testing the manifold gas pressure to ensure that the correct amount of fuel is reaching the burners.
Steps You Can Take Yourself
There are some steps that you can take after your furnace inspection to help maintain your heating system’s efficiency. They include:
• Keeping your blower motor bearings well lubricated. If the unit has oil cups, add a drop to each every once in a while.
• Keeping the blower unit free of dirt by vacuuming it periodically, but make sure you shut off its circuit breaker before you do so.
• Testing your exposed ductwork joints for air leaks. Hold up a lit stick of incense to the joints while the furnace is running to locate air leaks. Then, seal up these areas using metal tape.
• Checking your thermostat’s accuracy. Put an outdoor thermometer on the wall next to the thermostat. Run the furnace for several minutes, and then compare the thermometer’s reading to the displayed room temperature.
• Cleaning or changing your furnace filter once a month throughout the heating season.
The most important items on the furnace tune-up checklist include: Cleaning — The outdoor unit, blower, fan blades, and drain line all tend to get dirty and dusty over time. Inspection — We look for cracks, wear and tear, and other signs of future furnace problems.