While homeowners may use different types of heating systems, there’s no getting around the fact that they need attention. Proper upkeep and maintenance will increase the odds that the system will provide excellent performance for more years. Here are some basics that should be part of any home plan for heating maintenance with most of the suggestions easily accomplished by the property owner.
Check and Replace the Filters Regularly
This is one of the most basic and the most important things you can do for your heating system. Filters trap airborne contaminants and prevent them from circulating through the house. This is not just to keep the air fresh; those filters prevent the residue from getting into the system and causing problems. They also make the air healthier for you to breathe.
Start with the system manufacturer’s recommendations for filter types and how often to replace them. If anyone in your home smokes or if there are pets that spend most of their time indoors, consider changing the filters more frequently. With most systems, it takes seconds to change a filter, so this is not a time-consuming job.
Assess the Air Flow at Least Every Other Month
Even if you feel as if the forced air emerging from the system is keeping the indoor temperature at a comfortable level, make it a point to check the air flow at least every couple of months. You can start by holding a hand in front of an air vent while the unit is running. If the air flow seems to be like normal, you’re good to go. Should it seem weak, it’s time to do more checking.
What you may find is that the blower is no longer functioning as efficiently as it should. If that’s the case, you do want a professional to check it. In some cases, minor adjustments or possibly a replacement will eliminate the issue.
Be On the Lookout For Signs of Mold in the Duct System
Duct work is a prime breeding ground for mold development. Between the residue that can collect in the ducts to the somewhat damp conditions, mold can set up easily. As air is forced through the ducts, it can carry mold spores into each of your rooms. The result is a health risk for you as well as a slight musty scent throughout the home.
You may notice that scent first. There’s also a chance that you’ll notice discoloration on the air vents or the area right around the vent. If so, don’t assume that’s just a little grime that needs to be wiped away. Have a professional check for mold in the ducts and have them flushed if necessary. Your health is worth it.
If The System Has an Exhaust Flue Make Sure It’s Not Blocked
Gas heating systems often have exhaust flues that lead out of the house. Your goal is to make sure they’re not blocked by shrubs or anything else. At all times, the flue must be clear of any type of obstruction.
Why does this matter? Gas heating involves a process of partial combustion. That process produces some gas that does not combust and must be expelled. There’s also the matter of the carbon monoxide that’s produced as combustion takes place. A flue that’s not obstructed allows for dangerous gases to escape the home safely. See it as a way to protect your health as well as prevent future problems with the system.
A Full-Scale Inspection by Professional Annually is a Must
Along with your routine maintenance efforts, do make it a point to have a professional check the system once a year. You can call on HVACPro A/C services to set up a full-scale inspection that will provide a thorough examination of the unit and the duct system. If there’s any issue developing, plans can be made to resolve it before something major happens. The professional can also provide additional tips that will help you with your ongoing maintenance.
Remember that if you do notice a change in performance or hear anything that indicates the system has some sort of issue, waiting to see if things correct themselves is not the solution. Call a local heating and cooling service and arrange for a technician to visit the home. In many instances, the things you notice are early signs that something needs to be adjusted, deep cleaned, or replaced. Once those repairs are completed, the heating unit will continue to ensure your home is comfortable no matter how cold things get outside.